Used 2008 Isuzu Ascender

Pros & Cons

  • Generous passenger and cargo room, comfortable highway ride.
  • Aging design, unsettled and vague handling, some mediocre interior materials, no third-row seat.
Other years
Isuzu Ascender for Sale
List Price Estimate
$3,501 - $5,489

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2008 Isuzu Ascender's many faults, combined with the company's departure from the American market, make it a poor choice for a midsize SUV.

Vehicle overview

In the past few years, a lack of new product and marketing investment has left Isuzu struggling on the fringes of the light truck market. In fact, the end of the road is now in sight: 2008 will be the company's last year for its i-Series pickup and Ascender sport-utility vehicle, with plans to leave the U.S. consumer market altogether in early 2009. Given the company's negligible sales last year, we don't think many consumers are likely to notice.

Soldiering on in its final year and carrying over mostly unchanged in the people-carrying department is the capable but aging 2008 Isuzu Ascender. Introduced five years ago and based on GM's midsize truck-based SUVs like the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, the Ascender offers slightly tweaked styling -- including a different front grille and bumpers, unique lighting and Isuzu-specific wheels -- as well as minor interior fabric and trim variations. Without third-row seating or a V8 engine option, the 2008 Isuzu Ascender appeals mostly as a reasonably priced value proposition with solid GM-engineered credentials. Considering its low price point and long list of standard features, the Ascender generally matches up well at the lower end of the midsize sport-utility segment. Those looking for the best deal should plan on comparison shopping, however, and keep an eye on final price and warranty terms, as 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 unrefined truck-based origins and equipment -- or you are specifically looking for a capable and relatively economical medium-duty tow vehicle or all-weather/4WD SUV offering good value -- then a 2008 Isuzu Ascender is a viable choice. Just remember that Isuzu's runner-up status means that your resale value down the road will likely be poor. Unless you can score a screaming deal, we suggest checking out the Ford Explorer or the Toyota 4Runner instead if you're mainly interested in a truck-based SUV.

Isuzu Ascender models

The 2008 Isuzu Ascender is a well-equipped midsize SUV available in basic S trim and a choice of either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. S models include 17-inch wheels, dual-zone air-conditioning with rear-seat controls, velour cloth upholstery, 60/40-split-bench rear seat, tilt steering wheel, power windows and locks, and a CD stereo.

Most Ascenders are also equipped with the Preferred Equipment Package, which adds rear privacy glass, power mirrors, body-side moldings, power driver seat, remote keyless entry, cruise control and other minor conveniences. The available midlevel LS Package adds more function with a limited-slip rear differential, a sunroof, heated outside mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a six-disc CD changer. The fully loaded, top-of-the-line Luxury Package provides color-keyed bumpers and exterior trim, leather seating with power/heated front seats and driver-seat memory, power-adjustable pedals, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a premium Bose audio system. LS and Luxury models may also be equipped with optional satellite radio.

2008 Highlights

Now in its last year, the 2008 Isuzu Ascender carries over with minimal changes. Among those are newly standard side curtain airbags and reconfigured option packages.

Performance & mpg

The Isuzu Ascender is available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. All Ascenders are powered by a 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder rated at 285 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to GM's proven but aging four-speed automatic transmission. Regardless of drivetrain, EPA-estimated fuel economy is rated at 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. Properly equipped, Ascenders are solid medium-duty workhorses able to tow up to 5,800 pounds.


All 2008 Isuzu Ascenders include antilock disc brakes, stability/traction control and head curtain side-impact airbags. Government crash tests resulted in three out of five stars for driver-side frontal-impact protection and four stars for the front passenger. It fared much better during government side-impact testing, receiving a solid five stars for both front and rear occupants. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing was less impressive, resulting in an "acceptable" rating for frontal-offset impacts and only a "marginal" score -- the second lowest of four rankings -- in side-impact tests.


As with the rest of the vehicle, the 2008 Isuzu Ascender's driving dynamics are a mixed bag. The Ascender offers a solid road-going presence and well-cushioned ride, but on-road handling and steering quality lag behind other more evolved and well-rounded midsize SUVs.


The five-passenger Isuzu Ascender holds the most appeal for young families or other value-conscious utility seekers who don't require three full rows of seating. Upscale leather and wood trim are available through the Luxury Package; however, other GM-sourced interior materials are bland and average at best. If the Ascender's lack of refinement doesn't bother you, there are more than 80 cubic feet of maximum cargo space with the rear seat folded -- about average for its segment. With the rear seat up, the Ascender's rear compartment reasonably accommodates two adults -- though the narrow rear door openings can make ingress and egress a bit awkward. Also, despite generous legroom, a low-mounted rear seat cushion forces larger folks to sit with their knees in an uncomfortably high position. Small item storage space is another weak point.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Isuzu Ascender.

Average user rating: 5.0 stars
1 total reviews
5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • road noise
  • comfort
  • value
  • seats
  • fuel efficiency
  • interior
  • transmission

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.625/5 stars, Not a beer can
donna steele,
S 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
Just totaled an Equinox which folded up like a beer can at less than 30 mph with both air bags deploying even though I was alone in the car. The Ascender has a heavy frame, my husband crawled under it to check it out. It is quiet, very comfortable and has all the bells and whistles I love,as a spoiled woman including heated leather dual 6 way power seats and moon roof. My gas mileage so far has exceeded my expectations at 17 around town. I'm very pleased with my "new" used car ( it had 4800 miles on it)and the price I paid for it. I also feel safer with automatic on/off front air bags and side air bags.

Features & Specs

MPG & Fuel
14 City / 20 Hwy / 16 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.7 gal. capacity
5 seats
Type: rear wheel drive
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Inline 6 cylinder
Horsepower: 285 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 276 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 50000 mi.
Length: 191.6 in. / Height: 74.5 in. / Width: 76.1 in.
Curb Weight: 4417 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 43.7 cu.ft.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Driver3 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
Rollover3 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact TestNot Tested
Roof Strength TestNot Tested
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front TestNot Tested


Is the Isuzu Ascender a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2008 Ascender both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Isuzu Ascender fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Ascender gets an EPA-estimated 16 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Ascender has 43.7 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Isuzu Ascender. Learn more

Is the Isuzu Ascender reliable?

To determine whether the Isuzu Ascender is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Ascender. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Ascender's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2008 Isuzu Ascender a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2008 Isuzu Ascender is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2008 Ascender is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2008 Isuzu Ascender?

The least-expensive 2008 Isuzu Ascender is the 2008 Isuzu Ascender S 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $27,149.

Other versions include:

  • S 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A) which starts at $27,149
  • S 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A) which starts at $29,149
Learn more

What are the different models of Isuzu Ascender?

If you're interested in the Isuzu Ascender, the next question is, which Ascender model is right for you? Ascender variants include S 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A), and S 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A). For a full list of Ascender models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2008 Isuzu Ascender

Used 2008 Isuzu Ascender Overview

The Used 2008 Isuzu Ascender is offered in the following submodels: Ascender SUV. Available styles include S 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A), and S 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A).

What do people think of the 2008 Isuzu Ascender?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2008 Isuzu Ascender and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2008 Ascender 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2008 Ascender.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2008 Isuzu Ascender and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2008 Ascender featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2008 Isuzu Ascender?

2008 Isuzu Ascender S 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

The 2008 Isuzu Ascender S 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $27,884. The average price paid for a new 2008 Isuzu Ascender S 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A) is trending $24,319 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $24,319 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $3,565.

The average savings for the 2008 Isuzu Ascender S 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A) is 87.2% below the MSRP.

Which 2008 Isuzu Ascenders are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Isuzu Ascender for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2008 Isuzu Ascender.

Can't find a new 2008 Isuzu Ascenders you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Isuzu for sale - 4 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $20,184.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 Isuzu Ascender?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Isuzu lease specials