What's New for 1999
The SLX is carried over unchanged from a year ago.
Corporate sharing is all the rage these days. Manufacturers are scrambling to fill the holes in their lineups by slapping their badges on vehicles they buy from other makers. Even highly regarded firms like Acura are not above climbing into a cozy relationship with another marque; witness the Acura SLX. Based on Isuzu's competent Trooper, the Acura is a marginally spruced-up version of the same truck. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does seem dishonest. Imagine the embarrassment of the SLX owner who thinks they bought something special only to find that they are driving an Isuzu?
The SLX has a 3.5-liter, dual-overhead-cam engine that produces 215 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 230 foot-pounds of torque at 3,000 rpm. It delivers capable acceleration in a vehicle this large, and this vehicle is definitely large. Markedly wider and taller than most of its competitors, the SLX has a rear cargo capacity capable of hauling several sheets of plywood.
Last year's revisions included a more powerful engine, as well as the Torque On Demand (TOD) drive system, which replaced conventional four-high mode for better performance on paved or slippery roads. That's plenty of improvements under the hood, but the interior design is starting to show its age. A recently revised instrument panel includes a digital odometer and trip meter.
The Acura SLX is priced the same as a fully loaded Isuzu Trooper. The SLX has a softer ride that results in improved on-road manners, but it still handles like a tall truck. Off-road capability is equal to the ground-pounding Trooper, but large bumps may cause the suspension to bottom out; the price you pay for that luxurious highway ride. Of course, very few SLXs will ever find their way off-road, unless the gravel driveway of the local polo club counts.
Luxurious sport-utes of today are like the sports cars so prevalent in the mid-eighties. Designed for function but purchased for prestige, they are seldom driven to their full potential. With this in mind, the SLX is a fine vehicle, delivering the prestige and comfort that Acura owners have come to expect from their cars. If you are looking for a large, luxurious sport-utility vehicle, and you aren't prone to whipsawing the steering wheel back and forth during your daily commute, this truck might just be your best option.