The Isuzu VehiCROSS evolved from a concept vehicle first seen at the 1993 Tokyo Motor Show. This rugged looking compact SUV was marketed as a high performance sports vehicle. It was available as a two-door four-wheel drive model. The look on this SUV is unique with a ‘can do’ attitude. This model was shorter and heavier than it’s Amigo sister and came in at a much higher price. Part of the reason for this was the bigger engine, better four-wheel drive system, and the huge set of standard features that came with it. The body was steel with the lower body cladding in composite plastic for light damage resistance. There was black matte paint on the hood to reduce glare. The biggest promise of the vehicle came from the 3.5 L V6 engine paired to a four-speed automatic transmission and the Torque-On-Demand four-wheel drive.
This 4WD meant that the system didn’t have to be disengaged when coming onto dry pavement. The system had the ability to continually asses the throttle position, the brake/ABS use, axle speeds and could adjust the front/rear torque requirements every 20 milliseconds. Isuzu had a readout mounted onto the dashboard that allowed the driver to see how much torque was being sent to the front axle.
The EPA fuel economy rating for this vehicle comes in at 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway.
There are many standard features for this vehicle. For the driver there is a bucket front seat with leather upholstery in a red/black pattern. The front passenger seat can slide forward to allow access to the split folding rear bench. There were only a few minor changes in the following few years. In 2000, there were new colors available and larger tires were added in halfway through the year. The air conditioning system was also upgraded this same year to an automatic climate control system. This is also the year that the Ironman Package came out, which added a roof rack and special graphics. For 2001, rear child seat tethers were added in but the vehicle was discontinued the following year.
Unique in looks, the Isuzu VehiCROSS is one of the better SUVs for it’s time. It offers excellent acceleration, balance and steering and with the 8 inches of ground clearance, this is a vehicle that is happy to head off-road.
Isuzu VehiCROSS Features and Options
Standard equipment for the Isuzu VehiCROSS includes air conditioning with automatic climate control, variable-assist power steering, tilt leather-wrapped steering wheel, AM/FM/cassette w/in-dash 6-disc CD changer, digital clock cruise control, leather upholstery, front bucket seats, center console, cupholders, split folding rear seat, heated power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, intermittent wipers, tachometer, map lights, visor mirrors, rear defogger, and even floor mats.
Other features include roof rails, rear spoiler, skid plates, tow hooks, 18 inch tires on chrome alloy wheels. One optional feature were rubber floor mats.
Isuzu VehiCROSS Safety
The safety equipment included as standard equipment for the Isuzu VehiCROSS dual front airbags, antilock four-wheel disc brakes, traction control, antiskid system, front side airbags, curtain side airbags and rear side airbags.