The Isuzu Hombre was the first pickup truck build by the company and was basically a rebadged Chevrolet S-10. The Chevrolet S-10 was also the base model for the GMC Sonoma and all these three clones shared the same design, and technologies.
Isuzu preferred this strategy, as it was the cheapest variant and the company saved a serious amount of money. The Isuzu Hombre was offered in both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations with either regular cab or extended cab body styles (Spacecab).
Like the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma, the Isuzu Hombre is offered with 2.2, 4.3 V6 and a 4.3 Vortec engine. The vehicle was priced pretty competitively at $11.500 for the base rear drive model equipped with manual gearbox.
The Isuzu Hombre was offered with 36-month/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warrantee, a five-year/60,000 mile powertrain guarantee and roadside assistance.
Except for the front end, the entire exterior design of the Isuzu Hombre is identical with the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma.
Up front the Hombre gets a chunky radiator grille fitted with the Isuzu badge in its center and traversed by two horizontal stripes. The main lights have a pretty dull rectangular design, but they gel well with the rest of the body.
There are also two dynamic creases sculpted into the hood which give the vehicle a touch of sportiness. The front bumper is identical with the one from the S-10 and features a conventional design with rounded corners.
The off road character of the truck was betrayed by its high ground clearance and the big wheels. Around the back there was a wide opening tailgate and a convenient foot step which gave you easy access into the load bed.
The Isuzu Hombre’s cabin offers plenty of space, with adequate leg-, head- and shoulder room. The dashboard has a pretty dull design, but we like the curved center stack as is pretty ergonomically designed. Needless to say that most of the switchgear was placed within easy reach and there were also enough storage places to keep you satisfied. Instrument and gear knob placement was also well thought out.
The build quality is pretty solid, but don’t expect to any high class materials as most of them were choose for their durability.
On the other hand, the seats were pretty spartan as they are devoid of any adequate side bolstering. Though, there are a few adjustments to help you find a proper driving position. The driving position is pretty low and the dash is placed higher than usual, so smaller passengers could have problems with the front road visibility. On the other hand the exterior mirrors are brilliant and you can rely on them with confidence as they keep you well informed at any time.
Unfortunately, the cabin was pretty poor isolated, as at higher speeds wind noise enters the cabin like it owns the place.
The Hombre Spacecab is fitted with rear jump seats that fold out of each side of the cab. As most truck of this type, the rear seats are a bit cramped, really intended for use only in a pinch.
What wasn’t available on the Hombre was the range of optional equipment offered on the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma, especially the third door on the extended cab model.
Engines and performance
The Isuzu Hombre rear-drive truck is equipped with a standard 2.2-liter four rated at 120 horsepower, and an optional 4.3-liter, 175-horsepower V-6.
The 4WD Isuzu Hombre gets a 4.3 liter Vortec V6 which develops a maximum output of 195 hp and 339 Nm of torque at 2800 rpm. The top of the range engine was fairly capable of dealing with heavy loads, but it wasn’t as refined as other units in its class.
When equipped with 4WD and the Vortec V-6, the Hombre turns out to be a very capable off roader. It feels agile, and goes head to head with rocky or muddy terrains without baking down.
All three engines were available with either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions.
Isuzu Hombre Engines Specifications
| Engine|| hp @ rpm|| nm @ rpm |
| 2.2 liter ||120 @ 5000 || 140 @ 3600 |
| 4.3 liter V6 || 175 @ 4400 || 310 @ 2400 |
| 4.3 liter Vortec|| 195 @ 4400 || 339 @ 2800 |
Ride and handling
On road, the Isuzu Hombre felt pretty uncivilized mostly due to its heavy duty suspension that transferred every road bump directly into the cab. Luckily, the ride quality improved once you’d put some load at the back.
The Isuzu Hombre’s handling was fairly predictable with small body roll and an adequate steering, while the stopping power was pretty strong as well. You won’t complain about the Hombre’s off road abilities either, as the truck can tackle difficult terrains without too much fuss.
Overall, the Isuzu Hombre is a basic no nonsense pickup truck. It’s also true that the vehicle doesn’t offer the amenities, power or comfort found at its more upscale rivals. On the other hand, it comes with a solid build quality, reliable and reasonable engines and a very generous warrantee.
Needless to say, that it’s also pretty versatile and practical offering the classical pickup panache at a very competitive price. Many used the Isuzu Hombre both as a work truck and as a lifestyle vehicle as it provided great value for money.