What's New for 2000
A two-wheel-drive model is available in the S trim, as well as the new midlevel LS and top-level Limited guises; all receive slight exterior restyling. The 10-year/120,000-mile powertrain warranty, the longest in America, ensures longevity.
Well over a decade ago, Isuzu introduced the first Trooper. It was a tough truck, sturdy and boxy in style, with two doors and a sparse interior. Powered by a four-cylinder engine, the original Trooper wasn't prepped to win any drag races, but the truck won fans for its off-road prowess and exceptional reliability. Soon, four-door models joined the lineup, and a GM-sourced V6 engine became available. As the sport-utility market grew, luxury amenities were added to the Trooper, but by the early '90s, it was apparent that Isuzu needed to redesign the Trooper so that it could remain competitive against steadily improving competitors.
The Rodeo claimed the entry-level slot for Isuzu in 1991, so the Trooper was moved into the upscale category in 1992. Since then, continued refinements have given the Trooper one of the best blends of style, comfort and utility in its class. Dual airbags and four-wheel antilock brakes are standard equipment. Fold the rear seats, and a Trooper can carry 90 cubic feet of cargo, which is over 10 percent more than its rival, the Ford Explorer. Ground clearance measures an impressive 8.3 inches with the manual transmission, and rear seat passengers enjoy far more spacious legroom than its competitors.
A 3.5-liter, 24-valve DOHC V6 powers the Trooper, pumping out 215 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque. Torque on Demand, Isuzu's traction system, which instantly directs more power to the front or rear wheels as needed, is now standard on 4WD Troopers with an automatic transmission. With the system engaged, you get the on-road stability of all-wheel drive and off-road capability of part-time four-wheel drive. And with the generous 10 year/120,000-mile powertrain warranty, you can use and abuse your Trooper to its fullest capacity.
For 2000, slight cosmetic changes are made to the Trooper brood. In addition to the basic S model, there's the LS, which comes with heated cloth power seats, mesh 16-inch alloy wheels, an automatic transmission and standard six-disc CD changer. The Limited edition will get you a two-tone paint scheme, 12-spoke alloy wheels, power moonroof, and a beige leather interior. With these enhancements you've got a comfortable, luxurious cruiser that you won't be afraid to take off-roading. A more substantial change is that a 2WD version is available in all three trim levels, reducing the purchase price.
The Trooper has always been one of our favorite trucks because it has loads of personality and off-road ability. Although the 4WD may have been slightly off-putting in terms of value for those of us whose idea of rough terrain is the dirt parking lot of the sweet corn stand, the cheaper 2WD version, with its concurrent lower cost of ownership, will suffice nicely to traverse that mean pothole at the parking lot of Denny's.