Used 1998 Isuzu Trooper SUV

1998 Isuzu Trooper
List price range
1998 Isuzu Trooper

Pros

  • Huge interior, excellent lease deals, good off-road ability, outstanding visibility

Cons

  • Doesn't handle like a sports car. Go figure.

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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, continued refinements have given the Trooper one of the best blends of style, comfort and utility in the class. Dual airbags are standard equipment, as are four-wheel antilock brakes. Fold the rear seats, and a Trooper can carry 90 cubic feet of cargo, 10 more than rival Ford Explorer. Ground clearance measures an impressive 8.3 inches with the manual transmission, and rear seat passengers enjoy as much rear legroom as found in a Mercedes S500 sedan.

A new 3.5-liter, 24-valve DOHC V6 powers all Troopers, pumping out 215 horsepower and 230 foot-pounds torque. Three trim levels are available: S, LS, and Limited. 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, alloy wheels and a 60/40 split folding rear seat). Add running boards and remote keyless entry, and you've got a comfortable, luxurious $31,000 cruiser that you won't be afraid to take off-roading.

Many of you may have heard a rumor that the Trooper is dangerous, prone to going around corners on two wheels at moderate speeds. Forget it. Government agencies and private test facilities have debunked the myth. The Trooper is no more tippy than any other sport-utility vehicle on the market. However, keep the following in mind: any vehicle with a short wheelbase and a high center of gravity requires care when cornering or traversing rough terrain. The rules of physics necessarily dictate that such a vehicle is more prone to tipping than a longer wheelbase car or truck with a lower center of gravity, as we once discovered during an off-road jaunt in a Nissan Pathfinder.

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 urban friendly Ford Explorer XLT and Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, the Trooper makes little sense for most suburbanites whose idea of off-road driving is the dirt parking lot at the sweet corn stand. However, as an alternative to more expensive and competent SUVs like the Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rover Discovery, the Trooper makes perfect sense.

1998 Highlights

A bigger and lighter engine provides huge improvements in horsepower and torque (up 13 and 22 percent, respectively). And the new Torque On Demand (TOD) drive system replaces conventional four-high mode for better performance on paved or slippery roads.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Isuzu Trooper.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

The Epitome of a Japanese Vehicle
Mike,11/24/2006
Purchased the Trooper to drive back and forth in the snow belt between Erie, PA and Cleveland back in '98. The 4WD on the fly saved me many times on ice/snow covered I-90. Now in Texas, still driving well and looks good. Great quality build with 174,000+ miles. This one is a keeper but mileage is taking a hit and oil needs checking every 10 days. Love cargo space, made many trips for supplies from Lowes "Blue" and Home Depot "Orange" while finishing a basement. Like the roomy interior and durable materials.
98 Isuzu Trooper
kitson,06/14/2009
I really enjoy driving this vehicle. It's very comfortable and spacious with lots of room in the back for pretty much anything. It's also fun to drive and has great pickup. And it's great in snowy or muddy conditions. My only real complaints are its low mpg rating and I've been having a strange problem with the front tires when backing out of parking spaces, and no one can figure out why it's doing this. Also the sound system isn't so great. But otherwise, it's a great car and you can get a real bargain on it. So if you can afford the gas, I highly recommend this vehicle.
Reliable Workhorse
DC Mainer,05/21/2005
I bought my second Trooper in 1998, after having my first one for nearly 10 years. This SUV has been super, virtually trouble-free, comfortable, strong in snow, safe in extreme conditions, and great on the road from here to Maine and back. My black lab likes to stretch out in the back and snooze on those long trips, and he has lots of room because of the huge cargo area behind the back seat. The engine on the '98 is bigger and stronger than the '86 model, but needed to be to power the heavier vehicle. I may buy a new car for city use, but my Trooper will stay in the family, here in DC or on the coast of Maine, where this work horse thrives in snowy winters or muddy springtime. Thanks Isuzu.
The Best SUV Ever, especially for depreciated used pricing!
lakeshow23,09/28/2011
This is the second Trooper I've purchased on the used market, after simultaneously owning a '99 Trooper and a '99 4Runner. The Trooper is so much better than the 4Runner it wasn't close. The 4Runner cost like twice the amount on the used market, had way less features for the money, less space, less power, lower interior build quality, more delicate exterior paint that loses its gloss, I went ahead and sold the 4Runner and pocketed the cash. IMO the Trooper also has more style and is more comfortable. The build quality of the interior, the chassis, this is a really strong truck! Take an Explorer of the same year and it's obvious the Trooper stood the test of time! Superbly designed.
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Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
215 hp @ 5400 rpm
MPG
13 city / 18 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
215 hp @ 3000 rpm
See all Used 1998 Isuzu Trooper SUV features & specs

Safety

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
    0

More about the 1998 Isuzu Trooper
Used 1998 Isuzu Trooper SUV Overview

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Can't find a used 1998 Isuzu Trooper Trooper SUV you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Isuzu Trooper for sale - 8 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $21,622.

Find a used Isuzu for sale - 11 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $25,080.

Find a used certified pre-owned Isuzu Trooper for sale - 3 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $23,084.

Find a used certified pre-owned Isuzu for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $12,321.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 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