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1986 Isuzu TrooperReview
Alan writes:
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2nd Best Car (or Suv) I've Ever Owned. — This was a fantastic SUV that I picked up from my old boss' father in-law when I moved to the Denver / Boulder CO area. It had to get something better than my '73 Formula Firebird to manage the snowy days / nights. The very low power with decent traction (in 2WD or 4WD) is much more pleasant in the winter. You could check traction by flooring the Trooper in the snow and if the wheels slipped you'd back off without getting in too much travel. I'd never attempt that in the Firebird or I'd go in the ditch. I drove the heck out of this truck in the mountains and it never protested. Body is still rattle-free after 27 years. But it needs a motor rebuild and possibly will get a transplanted Ford 1.8 L diesel in the future.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

Pros: A pretty reliable used SUV... for ~ 9 years. Bought used for $4500 in 1990.  

Unstoppable in bad weather with 4x4 and good snow tires.  Excellent brakes.   Fantastic visibility for lane changes.   It is the "unknown" competitor to the Toyota 4Runner.

Cons: A weak 2.3 L I-4 (~75 hp at rear wheels per dyno check) meant that i drove with class 8 trucks in right lane going up interstate 70 (7% grade for several miles) with engine near redline in 2nd or 3rd gear. Handling was never crisp - but what do you expect from a basic SUV.

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Have you driven a 1986 Isuzu Trooper?