What's New for 2000
Hombres receive an upgraded standard suspension package and V6 engines get a horsepower boost. The three-door Spacecab gets a bare-bones S trim model.
Isuzu's entry in the compact-pickup market, the Hombre, is built using sheetmetal stamped by General Motors with basic mechanical and structural components donated from the Chevrolet S-10/GMC Sonoma twins. When it debuted in 1996, the Hombre came with two-wheel drive, a regular cab and a weak, 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine -- not exactly the tough stuff truck buyers craved.
Built in the United States, Hombres are currently available in a variety of cab and powertrain configurations, ranging from a standard-cab, 2WD model with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine to a 4WD, 4.3-liter V6 Space Cab model featuring an optional third door.
Isuzu introduced the Space Cab extended-cab model, a 4.3-liter V6 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission in 1997, adding four-wheel drive in 1998. Last year, Hombres received a new bumper design and a third-door option. For 2000, Isuzu ups the ante, making the heavy-duty suspension standard, bumping the 4WD V6 model's horsepower by 10 (2WD models get five) and the 2.2-liter four cylinder becomes a dual-fuel engine, burning E85 alcohol and gasoline.
The regular-cab versions are available in S and XS trim levels, and options are few. S models are the workhorses, with vinyl floor covering and limited options that include air conditioning, stereo and rear step bumper. Hombre XS models are better equipped, offering custom cloth upholstery, carpeted floors and a tachometer.
Extended-cab models are now offered in S and XS trim, providing vinyl folding jump seats in the rear and easy-entry seats in the front. If ordered with the optional third door, the truck comes equipped with only one jump seat. Four-wheel antilock brakes, battery-rundown protection, auto on/off headlamps and a theft-deterrent system are standard on all models. As before, 4WD Hombre buyers will enjoy standard alloy wheels and will benefit from a midyear tire upgrade to an aggressive 235/75R15 size.
Isuzu hasn't been selling many pickups in the past several years. As personal-use pickup sales skyrocketed, the company stuck with basic trucks more suited for work than play. Hombre can't change Isuzu's bleak forecast in this segment.