Used 2006 Isuzu i-Series Crew Cab

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2006 Isuzu i-Series
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2006 Isuzu i-Series

Pros

  • Handles well on- and off-road, simple controls, side curtain airbags available on both body styles, generous powertrain warranty.

Cons

  • Not much low-end torque, no six- or eight-cylinder engine option, low tow ratings, subpar build and materials quality, limited availability of customizing options.
Isuzu i-Series years
2006

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2006 Isuzu i-Series is a decent truck, but it's outclassed by the latest offerings from major competitors in the important areas of power, interior room and overall fit and finish.

vehicle overview

As automakers go, Isuzu has been in a deep rut. A lack of money for both new product investment and marketing has forced Isuzu to rely heavily on its corporate partnership with General Motors. This shows up in Isuzu's latest offering, the new i-Series compact pickup.

Built on a tough ladder frame chassis, the Isuzu i-Series comes in two distinct body styles, is available with either two- or four-wheel drive and is powered by either a four- or five-cylinder engine. The suspension consists of a solid rear axle with leaf springs and an independent coil spring front suspension. If any of this sounds familiar, it's probably because the i-Series is basically a re-skinned version of General Motor's compact pickup, which currently serves duty as the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. The Isuzu truck differs in a few trim pieces, options and, most importantly, its powertrain warranty. The warranty for the i-Series is 7 years or 75,000 miles, while the GM warranty is a more common 3 years/36,000 miles. If you're planning on buying a GM compact pickup and owning it for a long period of time, you'll want to keep the Isuzu's warranty advantage in mind.

There are two versions of the Isuzu i-Series. The i-280 is an extended-cab pickup with a four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. The i-350 is a crew cab only, and it comes with a more powerful five-cylinder engine and four-wheel drive. Extended-cab models feature small reverse-opening rear doors on both sides for easier access, while the larger crew-cab models offer four normal doors and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat that can accommodate three adults. Side curtain airbags are available that provide head protection in the event of a side impact.

On paper, the 2006 Isuzu i-Series offers all the necessary ingredients to satisfy the majority of compact truck buyers. The problem is that the i-Series feels cheap, even in a class of vehicles where functionality and value come before upscale accommodations. The doors are lightweight and tinny, and the first thing you'll notice when you slide behind the wheel is how low-grade the dash looks and rough the upholstery feels. Out on the road, neither the four- or five-cylinder engine provides acceleration on par with V6 and V8 engines offered by the Dodge Dakota, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. If you're shopping for a small pickup, make sure you explore all the options before settling on the Isuzu i-Series.

Trim levels & features

The Isuzu i-Series comes in extended- and crew-cab body styles. The extended-cab model has a 6-foot bed, while the crew cab gets a 5-foot bed. There are three basic trim levels: i-280 S, i-280 LS and i-350 LS. The i-280 S is an extended-cab configuration, and comes with air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo, vinyl seating and vinyl floor covering. An S Plus Preferred Equipment package adds carpeting, cloth seats, rear jump seats with storage compartments, a CD player and tinted windows. The LS model adds power windows, locks and mirrors; keyless entry; tilt steering wheel; cruise control; six speakers; and bucket seats. The Luxury package includes a six-disc CD changer, traction control (2WD only), a locking rear differential, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, foglamps, a sliding rear window and side curtain airbags. The i-350 LS is equipped much the same as the i-280 LS. An available Limited Package for the i-350 LS adds a six-disc CD changer, dual power heated seats, leather upholstery, auto-dimming rearview mirror, sliding rear window and a moonroof.

2006 Highlights

After a five-year hiatus, a compact pickup returns to the Isuzu lineup. Called the i-Series, the Isuzu truck comes as either an extended-cab or crew-cab body style. Mechanically, it's very similar to the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickups.

Performance & mpg

A 2.8-liter, four-cylinder engine is standard on the i-280 and is rated at 175 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. The 3.5-liter inline-five engine is included on the i-350 and offers 220 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but a four-speed automatic is also available on all models. The i-280 is rear-wheel drive and the i-350 has a four-wheel-drive powertrain. The i-350's 4WD system is push-button shift-on-the-fly and offers low-range gearing. Maximum towing capacity, at 4,000 pounds, is relatively meager for this class of truck.

Safety

Roof-mounted side curtain airbags are optional on both Isuzu i-Series body styles. Four-wheel antilock brakes are standard, and traction control is optional on 2WD trucks. In government crash tests, the similar Chevy Colorado earned four stars (out of five) for both the driver and front passenger in frontal-impact testing, and four out of five stars in side-impact testing for front passengers, and five stars for rear passengers.

Driving

The inline engines are reasonably refined, but their lack of off-the-line punch and odd exhaust notes are disappointing compared to the larger V6s offered in competitors. Shifts from the four-speed automatic are firm and well timed, and the five-speed manual gearbox is about as good as you're going to find in a compact truck. The suspension tuning is on the soft side, but the 2006 Isuzu i-Series handles well for its class.

Interior

Trucks may have gotten more hospitable in recent years, but don't expect anything fancy in the cabin of the Isuzu i-Series. Materials range from average to substandard in quality, and build quality is inconsistent. On the plus side, simple rotary climate controls and a large stereo faceplate make the interior seem instantly familiar as soon as you get in. The gauges are similarly basic, but functional in their design.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Isuzu i-Series.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Nice Try, Keep Working
OldsBoi,12/18/2008
At first it was awesome. but the seat belt receiver broke, the windows and power locks have been skitso recently. Looks awesome with LED tail lights. My friends really like it, but it's not my thing. I have grown up in Isuzus and this was disappointing. I have grown up in Troopers, Rodeos, VehiCross, Amigo, Hombre, Axiom, and various others. Those were good Isuzus. I'm sad for this... my grandpa has the 2x4 and his has no problems, dad said it was just mine. And the battery has died 3 days in a row now. Mine has almost 23,000 miles now
3300 miles, and the turn lamps quit
T.Shuerger,01/26/2006
Bought new in 10-05, now 3300 miles. The i-350 AT accelerates like a small v8, but with the fuel mileage of a v6. I really like the 3.73 gear with the 265-75-R15 Generals. Have not been offroad, but I now have no trouble at the boat ramp. I am 6'5" and I feel like I'm in a full size truck, plenty of room. It tows a 1000# trailer every weekend, doesn't seem to effect the fuel mileage. I'm averaging 15-16 mpg in town, 17-19 mpg on the road. No wind noise in the door seals at speed. Other than that I think it is the best truck for the money.
superb truck
isusu i3500,02/14/2006
The performance and quality of this midsize truck is outstanding. I have had many compliments and head turns while driving this truck. I have had this in fields and a few snow storms and haven't barely spun a wheel. The engine of this 5 cylinder has been better than a 6 cylinder. I would recommend this vehicle over many other brands; it is well worth the money spent for excellent workmanship and the paint quality is awesome.
Versatile Vehicle
Striper John,05/14/2006
Leather package is good when driving clients. Tonneau cover gives me 2 more mpg on highway at 24 mpg. Great on the beach when fishing but the clients never know that my fishing gear is under the rear cover. Side step accessories is a must with the chrome & black. Classy, sporty, rugged, gas saving is great with the 5 cylinder. Best buy around with the 7 year 75,000 warranty. You can't get that with the GMC Canyon or the Chevy Colorado. I have a 2000 Trooper that's still running great with 89k miles. It pays to research. Thanks.
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Features & Specs

MPG
16 city / 21 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
220 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 2006 Isuzu i-Series Crew Cab features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 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 Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Marginal
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2006 Isuzu i-Series
Used 2006 Isuzu i-Series Crew Cab Overview

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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Isuzu i-Series?

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
Check out Isuzu i-Series lease specials