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Even if you haven’t thought about the Isuzu Trooper SUV in a while, it might be time to revisit the subject. The Trooper was a popular sport utility vehicle made by the Japanese automaker Isuzu Motors. Like all good things, the Trooper’s time on the U.S. market came to an end when consumers shifted preferences and wanted a different type of vehicle.

Is the Isuzu Trooper a reliable car?

The Isuzu Trooper was a popular midsize SUV from Japan with a great reputation for reliability. AdAge says Isuzu sold 127,630 vehicles in 1986, which ended up being its biggest year in the U.S. market. However, Isuzu seemed to lose sight of what made it such a big seller in the first place.

At the time, Isuzu had a big ad budget that involved popular actors and dazzling commercials; one went so far as to claim the Isuzu Trooper could top 300 mph. It was one of the best campaigns of the 1980s. The reliability and dependability history came along after.

The president of Land Rover North America back in 1987 said that Isuzu Trooper was one of the most popular SUVs on the market. “It was very affordable, and people were flocking to it,” he noted. But by 2007, Isuzu only moved 7,098 vehicles. People didn’t think the brand was unreliable, but it was out of touch with what consumers wanted. The best-selling vehicles at the time were the compact Honda CR-V, RAV4, and the Ford Escape.

Do they make Isuzu Troopers anymore?

MotorTrend says the first generation Trooper lasted from 1984 until 1991 in the U.S., and the second generation lived from 1991 until 2002. Isuzu cut the Trooper from the lineup in favor of the smaller Axiom vehicle, trying to keep up with consumer needs. However, the damage was done, and Isuzu stopped making cars for the U.S. market in 2009.

After popularizing the SUV in the mid-80s, other automakers started making competition for the Isuzu Trooper. The market became flooded with other sport utility vehicle options with more features and lower prices.

Isuzu tried to push prices up in the 1990s, but consumers wanted something else at this point. The automaker stopped selling cars in favor of trucks and SUVs, but drivers still didn’t jive with the new price hikes. By the time 1993 rolled around, Isuzu sold less than 100,000 vehicles for the first time since 1984. Buyers wanted more fuel-efficient cars, and the Trooper couldn’t keep up.

You can still find used Trooper SUVs for sale

A 1985 Isuzu Trooper SUV
A 1985 Isuzu Trooper II | Denver Post via Getty Images

Back in 1984, you could get a new Isuzu Trooper for $8,683. It was a rugged, off-road capable, daily-driver SUV that was legendary at the time. There are a few left on the market for under $20,000 these days. Parts can be hard to come by, and most of the options on the market have 100,000 or more, but Edmunds does show 11 listings.

Purchasing an Isuzu Trooper with 100,000 miles on it would make for a dreadful daily driver, but it could make for a fun project car. There was a push for Isuzu to return to the American market with the D-Max compact truck, which it still sells in other markets.

The Isuzu Trooper failed to retain the attention of American consumers and was cut from the lineup. Eventually, the Isuzu brand failed to do the same and left for other, more lucrative markets.


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