The world's largest manufacturer of heavy trucks, the Japanese company Isuzu, built its first SUV called Trooper (translated as "trooper") in 1981. The compact and comfortable all-wheel drive car became a direct competitor to the Mitsubishi Pajero that appeared a bit earlier. Even external angularity, they were similar. The Isuzu Trooper gamut at first included a three-door SUV and a soft-top two-door convertible. The three-door versions, in turn, were made with both a short (2300 mm) and long (2650 mm) base, which soon made it possible to create a full-fledged five-door SUV from an elongated version, which became the most popular model in the series. In 1985, with a debut in Geneva, this version of the Isuzu Trooper and launched an attack on the European market.
The design of the Trooper is typical for Japanese compact all-wheel drive pickups and SUVs: a powerful spar deputy, front independent torsion bar suspension with adjustable stiffness, rear dependent spring, jet thrust. Transmission with a plug-in front axle, a multiple ratio and differential locks. Rear door with a hinged spare wheel double. Initially, only a 2.0-liter 88-horsepower gasoline engine and a 2.2-liter 61-strong diesel were installed on the Trooper. For foreign markets, more powerful power units were offered: a 2.3-liter 92-horsepower carburetor engine and a 72 hp turbo diesel engine.
Already in 1986, the exterior of the Trooper was modernized: round headlights were replaced with rectangular ones, the grille also became different. More powerful steel engines: a 2.6-liter injection developed 114 hp and a 2.8-liter turbo diesel 100 hp (87 hp naturally aspirated).
In the cabin of all versions saved Spartan style, so typical of cars, designed for off-road driving. There is not even a backrest tilt adjustment, but lateral support is well developed. The rectangular shape of the instrument panel is designed in the spirit of Japanese design of the 1980s. In the middle of the panel there are three indispensable scales - inclinometers and altimeter. The steering is equipped with power steering. Visibility is quite good, thanks to the large side mirrors.
All-wheel disc brakes, which is unusual for SUVs, and even with ABS, work flawlessly. Freewheel couplings in the front hubs are connected manually.
In general, the first generation Isuzu Trooper proved to be a very reliable car.
In 1991 debuted Isuzu Trooper second generation. Its design essentially preserved the continuity with the first model, only it became more modern in design and body comfort. The front axle couplings, like himself, are now activated with a button from the passenger compartment and even at speed (only up to 100 km / h). Driving performance has become even better. Overall dimensions are not seriously changed: 4660x1745x1840 mm (for the five-door version). Three-door by 430 mm shorter.
The model, of course, was equipped with more powerful engines: a 3.2-liter 24-valve V6 with an injection capacity of 193 hp. (177 hp with a catalytic converter) and a 3.1-liter 125-horsepower turbodiesel. In addition to the 5-speed manual gearbox, there is a 4-band “automatic”. The diesel engine has an excellent economy of 13.1 l / 100 km in the city, while gasoline, in turn, consumes up to 16 l / 100 km.
Subsequently, Trooper was distributed in various markets under local brands. So in April 1992, the Opel Monterey (aka Vauxhail) was released, which differed only in nameplates and interior equipment. In Japan itself, under an agreement with Honda, the model was sold under the name Horison, which didn’t change the essence of the car. But designed for the North American market Acura SLX is equipped on the highest level.
In 1998, the model was seriously upgraded, and the new three-door version looks the most noticeable.
Trooper is a serious car. The body is attached to the frame through numerous rubber cushions of various configurations and is additionally kept from detachment by massive ties, resembling cargo ladders. Complementing the picture below is the presence of powerful tow hooks and eyelets, fixed with red-hot bolts.
The five-door body has a rather smooth, but at the same time completely “uncompromising” contours. Frontal part without excesses: impressive dimensions of the false radiator grille with a proportional company logo, large headlights with glass diffusers. In the lower corners of the bumper are foglights - also glass.
In general, the appearance of the car is an example of a balanced design. Everything is appropriate - both the large “Trooper” inscription on the front door and the cover of a full-size spare wheel on a large part of the back (it is double-wing, 70/30).
After upgrading, Trooper received a new 3.5-liter V6 engine with a customizable intake manifold - instead of the 3.2-liter one. Gearboxes were offered both mechanical and automatic.
Landing in the Trooper is greatly facilitated by the ribbed steel sheet steps that stretch along the body. The salon has a high ceiling and a large glass area. Here, comfortably accommodate five. As an option, two more are possible in the luggage compartment. Successfully organized driver's seat. Everything is at hand - and seat adjustment, and control of air conditioning, and, of course, the transmission.
The front axle is connected / disconnected on the go (up to 100 km / h) - with a button, the “automatic” row is standard, downshift “activated” by a lever with the words “H-4L”. There are also buttons "Winter" (forced tugging from the second gear on a slippery road) and "Power" (for those who are not too lazy to change tires often - when you press the car it becomes just mad, it digs the ground and asphalt equally well with wheels).
The instrument panel is simple and functional. Gasoline level gauges, coolant temperature, oil pressure, as well as a voltmeter and tachometer are traditional switches, a speedometer dial with an electronic odometer. All devices are clearly visible and readable, with excellent illumination in the dark. There is a duplicate display of the automatic transmission selector displayed on the dashboard.
The steering is surprisingly sharp and accurate, the car perfectly listens - no matter wet asphalt under the wheels or dry. The advantages of the Isuzu Trooper are obvious - a full-sized, roomy, comfortable, strong, well-assembled and richly equipped car with good off-road capabilities.
The next update of this car occurred in 2001. Externally, the car has changed little. Chromium was added to the integrated grille of the false radiator grille. In the roof - a new, automated hatch oversized. There was a curtain in the trunk - it allows you to isolate its contents from prying eyes.
A voltmeter and an oil pressure gauge disappeared from the instrument panel for the sake of the modern trend. Their place was taken by the LED transmission mode TOD - Torque On Demand.
Otherwise, everything is still. Solid body of conservative box-shaped with plastic wheel arch extensions, rear door of two unequal parts with a spare wheel cover on the larger, headlights and fog lights with traditional glass diffusers of impressive thickness. Lights equipped with washers and cleaners. Side mirrors in chrome-plated cases, folding, with electric.
Leather interior light beige color is visually and in fact very spacious. It also has a large glass area, which provides an excellent overview in all directions. Instead of air conditioning appeared climate control.
Reliability and solidity are felt in everything. The steering column is height adjustable. The steering wheel is leather trimmed in interior color and pleasant to the touch. The dashboard overview is excellent - in all positions of the steering wheel and in any landing.
Element Trooper - good highway. High exchange rate, easy handling, comfortable suspension. The car has sufficiently precise steering and good maneuverability. The turning radius for the five-door version is only 5.8 m (for the three-door it is 5 m).
Major changes - in the new for Isuzu type of all-wheel drive. Formally, Trooper has a permanent four-wheel drive, but on a good rough surface, the front axle practically does not work. It connects automatically only when necessary - so the transmission is called Torque On Demand, "torque on demand." If desired, the front axle can be completely disabled.
Since the fall of 2002, Trooper began installing a new 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine with a common rail system of 3.0 liters, developing 159 hp. Of the gasoline versions in the range left only 3.5-liter overhead valve V6 engine with 215 hp.
In Russia and in other countries of Northern Europe (Finland, Sweden) Troopers are sold with a special northern package, including headlamp wipers, a battery with increased capacity, climate control, heaters for mirrors and front seats.
Every detail of the Trooper is a direct proof that the car is made with love, everything is so comfortable and ergonomic. All the trim is made of good plastic, the panels docked with each other perfectly. Road (and roadless) irregularities are swallowed by energy-intensive, moderately stiff suspension without the slightest tension. In general, about Isuzu you can almost say without any exaggeration - a great car.
The model is assembled at the Japanese plant in Kanagawa, since January 2003, all SUVs are only exported. Troop is currently the only Isuzu SUV in Europe.