Used 1996 Isuzu Trooper SUV

1996 Isuzu Trooper
List price range
1996 Isuzu Trooper

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Just more than 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 nineties, 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 upscale in 1992. Since then, continual refinements have given the Trooper one of the best blends of style, comfort and utility in the class. Dual airbags are standard equipment, and four-wheel antilock brakes are available on all Troopers. Fold the rear seats, and a Trooper can carry 90 cubic feet of cargo, ten more than rival Ford Explorer. Ground clearance measures an impressive 8.5 inches, and rear seat passengers enjoy as much rear legroom as found in a Mercedes S500 sedan.

A 3.2-liter, 24-valve V6 powers all Troopers, pumping out 190 horsepower for 1996. Four trim levels are available: S, LS, Limited and new SE. SE models, according to the 1996 Isuzu press kit, represent "the epitome of the automotive term loaded'...(designed) to appeal to the most discerning of Trooper owners." SE models will be introduced mid-1996, and will be painted Moderate Blue Mica and Light Silver. Prices will start at about $40,000.

We think you'd be better off with either the S or the LS. The S model is our favorite, when equipped with alloy wheels and a preferred equipment package which includes air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and locks, premium sound, cruise and a 60/40 split folding rear seat. Add running boards, keyless entry, ABS and overfenders, and you've got a comfortable, luxurious $30,000 cruiser that you won't be afraid to take off-roading, for about the same price as a loaded Rodeo.

The Trooper has always been one of our favorites, because it has loads of personality and ability. What it doesn't offer is value. As an alternative to the Chevy Tahoe, Ford Explorer XLT and Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, the expensive Trooper makes little sense for most suburbanites whose idea of off-road is the dirt parking lot at the sweet corn stand. Buyers in this category might want to investigate the Rodeo. As an alternative to more expensive and competent SUV's, like the Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rover Discovery, the Trooper makes perfect sense.

1996 Highlights

More standard equipment, a horsepower boost for the SOHC V6 engine, and standard shift-on-the-fly debut for 1996.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Isuzu Trooper.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

The first car
This is my first car and it is great. I have 221,000 miles on it and I have only had to fix the axle boots. This car has been used for moving things and has showed its power. I couldn't have asked for a more dependable first car.
best little suv i have owned.
paul eckelman,04/18/2016
first it is a great suv when you compare it to its like minded vehicles. ie 4-runner, path finder, montero. the inside is awesome and so roomy. the seats are quality and have alot of flexibility for various layouts. the instrument cluster is great and logical. love the 4x4 option being inside. it is a truck first then a "car". not like todays. for the exterior being a 20 year old suv it is holding up great. original paint. recently the uv layer is starting to show-up. i really like the turn assist feature when you turn on the blinkers a side light comes on for the corners, never sen that on a suv. styling of course it is unique and part of its charm. for the engine it is doing well. typical repairs. water pump, timing belt, radiator. sometimes the oil return ports need some heavy cleaning. it does and will have a valve ticking noise then you have to sea foam it. the steering is a little loose it can be adjusted but it is my only complaint. it is the 2nd trooper i have owned and would buy another if the chance comes up. they are so under-rated you can get a good one for little money. I still love each time I get in it. Today is 4/15/17. I would by it again. Still chugging along. It's still my favorite suv. The only things that are not to spec are the steering, the engine ticking noise and that's it. The steering could be more accurate, tried everything except new parts. The engine ticking to my understanding is caused by lack of efficient oil return holes. So nope I've not fixed that. Current Mileage is 133200. Want 180000 out of it.
Avoid Isuzu
Due to an underdesign, the engine burns oil FAST! The only fix is to rebuild the engine. This engine is not friendly for the DIY'er.
1996 Isuzu Trooper S-PEP
Ronald S Italiano,03/11/2002
Most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. Forget Consumer Reports "unacceptable due to tendancy to roll". I've found this vehicle to perform very well under all weather driving conditions during all four seasons in New England.
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Features & Specs

13 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
190 hp @ 5600 rpm
13 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
190 hp @ 5600 rpm
14 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
190 hp @ 5600 rpm
13 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
190 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1996 Isuzu Trooper SUV features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    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
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Isuzu Trooper
Used 1996 Isuzu Trooper SUV Overview

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Can't find a used 1996 Isuzu Trooper Trooper SUV you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Isuzu Trooper for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $13,517.

Find a used Isuzu for sale - 9 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $24,638.

Find a used certified pre-owned Isuzu Trooper for sale - 4 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $24,551.

Find a used certified pre-owned Isuzu for sale - 7 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $25,622.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Isuzu Trooper?

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 Trooper lease specials