2007 Isuzu Ascender SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2007 Isuzu Ascender SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Isuzu Ascender Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.2 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 291 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2007 Isuzu Ascender

  • The 2007 Isuzu Ascender offers solid GM-sourced drivetrains and engineering underneath and generous warranty coverage. But mediocre handling and interior materials and a lack of premium features prevent it from truly challenging the class leaders.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth and powerful engine, generous passenger and cargo room.

  • Cons

    Soft suspension and vague steering, some subpar interior materials, aging design, seven-passenger seating option no longer available, lack of premium features.

  • What's New for 2007

    The extended-wheelbase, seven-passenger Ascender has been discontinued. Otherwise, Isuzu's only SUV carries over unchanged.

Full 2007 Isuzu Ascender Review

What's New for 2007

The extended-wheelbase, seven-passenger Ascender has been discontinued. Otherwise, Isuzu's only SUV carries over unchanged.


Despite its decades-long alliance with industry titan General Motors, tiny Isuzu has existed on the fringes of the light truck market -- and been left for dead in the sales and branding department -- for quite some time. In fact, a lack of money for new product investment and marketing in the last few years has forced Isuzu to rely almost entirely on its partnership with GM -- if it weren't for the current i-Series pickup and the Ascender sport-utility vehicle derived from existing products, it's conceivable Isuzu might have already been relegated to the retailing graveyard of American automotive history.

But soldiering on and carrying over mostly unchanged on the sport-utility side of the store is the capable, oddly familiar 2007 Isuzu Ascender five-passenger SUV, which was introduced in 2004 and is based on and mechanically similar to GM's midsize truck-based SUVs. Compared with its corporate cousins, the Ascender has slightly tweaked styling -- including a different front grille, front and rear bumpers, unique lighting and Isuzu-specific 17-inch wheels -- as well as minor interior fabric and trim variations.

The 2007 Isuzu Ascender appeals mostly as a reasonably priced value choice with otherwise solid GM-engineered credentials. Considering its low price of entry, long list of standard/available features and generous powertrain warranty, the Ascender generally matches up well with its midsize sport-utility competition. For the best deal, though, we suggest careful comparison shopping -- paying particular attention to final price and warranty terms now that some competitors have extended their coverages into Isuzu's formerly exclusive territory.

If you typically carry no more than four or five and don't mind its truck-based origins and lack of contemporary refinement, features and style -- or are a niche user looking for a capable and relatively economical medium-duty tow vehicle or confident all-weather/off-road utility vehicle and simply appreciate a good value -- then by all means put the powerful, price-competitive 2007 Ascender to the test. Keep in mind, though, that given Isuzu's marginal, class-trailing status, ultimate resale value will be lower on the Ascender than on other more mainstream -- and more desirable -- rivals like the Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2007 Isuzu Ascender is a well-equipped five-passenger midsize SUV available in either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Two-wheel-drive S models include standard features like tire-pressure monitoring, foglights, powered accessories, dual-zone air-conditioning with rear-seat climate controls and a CD stereo. Select the Preferred Equipment Package (PEP) as most do to add privacy glass, power driver seat, remote keyless entry and cruise control -- or spec a 4WD S model and you'll get them anyway.

Upgrading to the midlevel LS package adds a limited-slip rear differential, a moonroof, outside mirror defrosters, steering-wheel audio controls and an in-dash CD changer. The fully loaded, gotta-have-it-all Luxury package gets you leather seating with power/heated front seats and driver-seat memory, power-adjustable pedals and six-speaker Bose sound. To maximize your listening choices, both these models may also be equipped with optional satellite radio.

Powertrains and Performance

The Isuzu Ascender is available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive with low-range gearing. Either way, a 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder rated at 291 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque is under the hood. Although a V8 is no longer available, this smooth and impressive inline-6 engine has shown itself capable of outmuscling other competitors' V6s and many of their V8s, too. It's mated to GM's proven-but-aging four-speed automatic transmission. EPA estimates are 15-16 mpg/city and 21-22 mpg/highway, depending on drivetrain. When it's time to work or play, though, properly equipped Ascenders can tow up to 5,800 pounds with the standard trailer hitch.


All 2007 Isuzu Ascenders include antilock disc brakes, tire-pressure monitoring and stability/traction control technology; side curtain airbags are available. Government crash tests yielded three out of five stars for frontal-impact protection and a top-ranked five stars for side impacts (when equipped with side-curtain airbags); the independent IIHS rated the Ascender "marginal" -- the second lowest of four rankings -- in frontal-offset crash testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

The five-passenger Isuzu Ascender might appeal to young, value-conscious families or empty-nesters who don't need three full rows of seating. Though the Luxury package adds inviting leather and wood trim, other interior materials and detailing are similar to those of its GM cousins, which is average at best. If you can overlook its truckish lack of refinement, there are more than 80 cubic feet of cargo space out back with the rear seat folded -- about mid-pack among its competitors.

With the rear seat up, the Ascender offers decent accommodations for two adults, provided they can fit through the narrow rear door openings. Although there's plenty of legroom and foot room to go around, a low-mounted seat bottom cushion forces some tall persons to sit with their knees high and legs uncomfortably splayed apart. Storage space is not particularly plentiful, though rear passengers score a pair of average-size cupholders that can hold larger beverages than the undersized holders up front.

Driving Impressions

On the road the 2007 Isuzu Ascender offers a solid, powerful presence and a well-cushioned ride, but falls short of more evolved, well-rounded midsize SUVs. Though now-standard stability control is a welcome addition at the limit, our editors report the Ascender is generally plagued by sloppy handling and "loose" steering with vague on-center feel sometimes requiring correction when headed straight down the highway. Road feel is hard to discern and response to driver input can be both slow and numb, exacerbating the problem. Off-road, though, the Ascender comes more into its own and is more sure-footed; it's capable of tackling the typical obstacles one encounters while accessing trailheads and campsites -- mountaintops, too -- with the available four-wheel-drive hardware.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Love my ascender

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Isuzu Ascender S 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

We have had our ascender more than 2 years so far, and we love it. It has a great smooth ride, and is pretty much a rebadged trail blazer. The car literally is labeled GM everywhere except on the hood, and the steering wheel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good suv

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Isuzu Ascender S 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

I like my ASCENDER 2007, but don't like the front seat belts. They scratch my neck and I have to keep pulling them away for a while. The seat belts are too low. Also, the tire maintenance sensor lights went on the first week I bought it and they've been on for 3 years, even though the tires are brand new, including the spare tire! I wish it had keyless entry and better sound system. The center console is too fragile. Other than that, it is a good car to drive.

Losing some paint

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Isuzu Ascender S 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

After almost a year of ownership, overall I really like the vehicle. It handles the snow well and the ride is very good for an SUV. There is a problem of the paint getting blasted off on the flairs in front of the rear wheels.

Our first isuzu suv

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Isuzu Ascender S 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

Being used to a big Dodge I was skeptical to purchase a smaller vehicle. Surprisingly the interior feels roomy with pretty good leg room. Fits my family and animals well. Handles wonderful in the snow and the ride is quite comfortable. I travel to CT a lot and this SUV is more than satisfactory in comfort for the long trips. I love the turning radius when parking especially in Boston. The engine has pretty good zip as I waited for a "Lag" when going up hills, but that never happened. The pick up was right on and the full frame gives the feeling of sturdiness. With all the outside recreational activities this SUV has supported us well!

Talk About The 2007 Ascender

2007 Isuzu Ascender Discussions See all Started By

will be no serious effort to market the GM made Ascender through the 2005 and 2006 model years, after which Isuzu's contract to sell that vehicle will end. Isuzu plans to introduce at least two compl...

There will ONLY be the Ascender 5 & 7 passenger until the 2007 model year. In 2007 Isuzu plans to be completely free of GM and bring a new, completely ISUZU vehicle to the US....

Hello...I am new to this group. I am a devoted Isuzu owner who currently owns a 2007 Ascender, 2006 I-350 and a 1999 Amigo....

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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