Pros: Reliability, Styling, Warranty, Turn Radius, Manuverability and it's just plain FUN!!
Cons: Should come standard with rear view cam like the ones in Japan.
When I first saw the concept model for the Isuzu VehiCross in 1993 I wanted to purchase one on the spot. When the vehicle actually made it to the show room floors, I was one of the first ones through the doors to get a look at what has turned out to be one of the sexiest little SUV's on the road today! This vehicle comes one way...Packed!
The only change in this vehicle since it's initial introduction in 1999 has been the size of the wheels and a few technical modifications to the engine. In 1999 the wheels were a mere 16 inches. For 2001 they are a MONSTER 18 inches!
The Vehicross isn't styled like anything else on the road today. As a matter of fact, it is one of the few vehicles that looks very much as it did when it was shown as a concept vehicle. One of my co-workers says it looks like a Tonka Toy and I have to agree. There is black rubber cladding which surrounds the vehicle. When I first purchased the vehicle I was worried about keeping this from fading but a product called Back to Black put out by Mothers Car care has kept it looking rich and not slippery. The 18 inch Chrome wheels are standard. The white model has been deemed the "Ironman" edition and has the word IRONMAN emblazened across the hood. Fortunately this is an adhesive and can easily be removed with a razor blade and 3M adhesive remover. Took me about 30 minutes. The hood also has the middle portion painted black which helps when the sun is attempting to reflect off of the hood and into your eyes. The fuel door reminds me of the fuel doors on the F/A-18 jet. Actually...it is the same style door but these are much easier to open than the jets I used to work on.
Leather Recaro seats STANDARD! Is there any other reason to drive? They wrap the body and snuggle you in for a nice long ride. I've insisted on these seats in every other car I've owned because of the comfort. It's nice not to have to pay extra for them. The interior of the Vehicross is standard Black or Grey unless you have the Ironman edition. For that model the interior is red and black with carbon weave accents. The steering wheel is leather wrapped and a nice size to grip...not too thin. The gauges are large and easy to read. The sound system is manufactured by Fujitsu the makers of world famous Eclipse. There is a six disc in dash CD system STANDARD. I had the head unit replaced with a higher end Eclipse which also had six discs in dash. The two connected perfectly and now I have twelve (12) discs in dash. The speakers actually sound pretty good but if you replace the head unit replace the speakers too. I have heard a lot about rear visibility problems. I put those little mirrors in the corner of my side mirrors and haven't had any problem. $2.99 at Pep Boys.
The 2001 Vehicross comes with a 3.5 liter, 24-valve V6 that pushes 215 horsepower STANDARD! That little engine ROCKS! The compression ratio is 9.1:1, Peak horsepower/torque SAE net is 215 hp@5400 rpm/230 lb-ft@3000rpm. I will say that I think the Vehicross could be a little quicker off the mark. It seems to be a bit sluggish to start but it picks up rather quickly and cruises nicely. Things are placed for easy reach for those of you who want to perform routine maintenance yourself.
Isuzu makes nothing but trucks and this is a truck. If you are looking for a sedan that looks like a truck look somewhere else. I measure my ride by the ability I have to drink a cup of coffee while driving down the freeway. YES! I can do it. That is smooth enough for me. But seriously, the suspension is markedly good. The monotube shocks with external heat-expansion chambers keep the bounces to a minimum and the stabilizer bars keep it level. The Vehicross is equipped with full time ABS and a Torque on Demand 4WD system STANDARD! This vehicle is made for on and off road riding. It sits high off of the ground so nothing gets caught while you are climbing over rocks and trees to get to your favorite camping sit.
3 year/50,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty, 6 year/100,000 mile Perforation from Corrosion, 5 year/60,000 mile Roadside Assistance and
10 years or 120,000miles STANDARD...enough said!
The Vehicross is hand-built and comes with so many STANDARD features it will make your head spin. The dealer invoice is a little over $27,000 but most dealers try to sell them for a little over $32,000. Haggle a bit you can get it for $29,000.
This vehicle ROCKS! It handles level two/three offroad trails and is still smooth enough to take on city streets. It is NOT for the FAINT of HEART!