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2006 Isuzu Ascender Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 1 review
Stability control has been added to the Ascender's standard features list for 2006. Isuzu has also adjusted some of the options packages for this fourth year of production. Competitors include the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer and the Nissan Xterra. The Ascender is a close relative to the GMC Envoy, and there are no significant changes on the horizon for either SUV.
Isuzu offers the Ascender SUV in 4 trim classifications, but buyers will ultimate be able to select from a dozen configurations created through different drivetrain, seating and features package options. Standard features include a CD sound system, powered accessories and dual-zone climate control with rear-seat controls.
The Preferred Equipment Package adds a power driver seat, keyless entry and cruise control. These items become standard on all 4-wheel drive versions. The LS Package builds off the Preferred equipment list, adding 17-inch wheels, a moonroof, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and an in-dash CD changer. A third tier Luxury Package includes all of the above, plus monochromatic paint, heated leather seats and a premium Bose audio system. The Limited adds automatic wipers, a power seat for the passenger, power-adjustable pedals and a memory system for the driver.
There are two available engines for the Ascender. A 4.2-liter inline 6-cylinder is standard, making 275 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. The 7-passenger models are eligible for an optional 5.3-liter V8, which delivers 300 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. Each powerplant is teamed with a 4-speed automatic transmission, and both rear- and 4-wheel-drive configurations are available. Isuzu's new Displacement-on-Demand system is standard with the V8 Ascenders, and these models will haul 7,100 pounds.
ABS and stability control are now standard on all trims, but Isuzu's crash-test marks may drive many shoppers to the competition. At casual speeds, the Ascender is pleasant to drive, but challenging this SUV will reveal some undesirable attributes like numb steering and unstable suspension. The larger Ascenders can be had with one of two potent engine options, each offering brisk acceleration and very strong towing power. Isuzu's full-size 7-passenger model allows drivers to load a class-leading 109 cubic feet of cargo.