1992 - 1999 Isuzu Pickup

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The last pickup developed entirely by Isuzu was sold on the US market back in the 90s, as all the following models were basically rebadged GM versions. The 1995 Isuzu Pickup was one of the most basic pickups that could’ve been found at that time on the market. The vehicle had a spartan interior and a stiff ride but it managed to deal well with arduous working conditions.

The Isuzu Pickup was offered in two configurations. The two-wheel-drive version is powered by a 2.3-liter, 100-horsepower engine, while the four-wheel-drive model comes with a 2.6-liter, 120-horsepower unit. There is only a single cab configuration available, but there were two bed lengths to choose from.

Design

Isuzu Pickup

The Isuzu Pickup design dates back in the 80s. The vehicle was pretty solid and had a rugged appearance, looking ready to go head to head with harsh working conditions without backing down.

As most trucks of its time, the Isuzu Pickup came without any fancy lines and the overall style was pretty dull and robust.

The U-shaped grille was traversed by a set of vertical stripes and the company’s badge was embossed in its center. On each side of the grille there were the big rectangular headlights which further enhanced the bold attitude of the truck. Needless to say, that the bumper shared the same basic design with the rest of the body.

On each side there is a small straight crease which runs along the middle of the doors all the way up to the rear body panels. The rear bumper came with an integrated foot step to help you get easier into the load bed.

Interior

Isuzu Pickup

Isuzu’s cab was pretty rudimentary and was fitted with low rent plastics and materials. Though, the bench seat was covered with a high-quality cloth that was fairly easy to clean.

The dashboard features a robust design, but it’s pretty practical and comes with a few integrated cubbies were you can store various things. Unfortunately there are no map pockets in the doors for small items, and there’s no console fitted between the seats.

Controls for the lights and wipers are placed on the outer edges of the boxy instrument panel housing, which is a bit unusual and you’ll need some time to get used to it. The radio’s position is also pretty, strange as it’s nested behind the shifter which puts it too close to the floor.

The two spoke steering wheel looks agricultural, but it’s not intrusive and feels comfortable to hold. Back in the 90s, it was hard to find a set of comfortable seats tucked inside a pickup truck, so don’t expect to any exception in the case of Isuzu’s truck. Though the seats did offer a reasonable back and under thigh supports and there were also some adjustments to help you find a less uncomfortable driving position.

The road visibility from the driver’s seat was excellent. The sloped hood is combined with a panoramic windscreen to offer a wide angle of visibility. We also like that the rear window slides open.

Engines and performance

Isuzu Pickup

The Isuzu Pickup was offered with two engine options. The weakest engine was a 2.3 liter which developed a maximum output of 100 hp, while the strongest was a 2.6 liter unit which came with 120 hp on tap. There was no automatic transmission available and both engines were mated on a five speed manual gearbox.

The 2.3 liter featured a single overhead cam unit and it didn’t always idle at a constant speed. Though despite its lack of refinement, the engine was pretty capable and thanks to its strong low end torque it offered reasonable towing abilities. The clutch was sloppy, but the gearbox was pretty smooth. The fuel consumption was reasonable being rated at 23 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

Isuzu Pickup Engines Specifications

Enginehp@rpmlb.ft@rpm
2.3 liter100 @ 4600123 @ 2600
2.6 liter120 @ 5000146 @ 2600

Ride and handling

Isuzu Pickup

The truck felt pretty rigid and its suspensions weren’t able to soak bumps without affecting the passengers comfort. The sound isolation isn’t brilliant either and the engine and wind noise enters the cabin like it owns the place.

The stiff suspension however, is translated into small body lean and the truck stays pretty well planted on its wheels on winding roads. The steering was pretty accurate, but it needed small adjustments at higher speeds.

Overall, the Isuzu Pickup’s road manners weren’t as civilized as GM, Ford or Toyota’s trucks, but for a utilitarian work horse, it offered reasonable performances.

Verdict

Isuzu Pickup

The Isuzu Pickup wasn’t as advanced as its rivals and despite the fact that it had a pretty strong build quality, it came with poor safety features and equipments. It didn’t receive great marks in the ride and handling departments either, but the engines were fairly strong and managed to deal great with the utilitarian nature of the truck. The Isuzu Pickup was also pretty reliable. On the other hand, it looked and felt heavily dated compared with other models in its class.


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