2008 Isuzu i-Series Review


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2008 Isuzu i-Series Overview

Except for a few modifications of option packages and the elimination of the i-290 LS trim, the 2008 Isuzu i-Series remains unchanged from 2007. Remaining are the base Isuzu i-290 S, the i-370 LS, and the i-370 Limited. Reflecting Isuzu’s partnership with GM, the ’08 i-Series borrows the basic design of this small pickup from the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, with some significant styling and feature differences being the major distinctions.

Isuzu’s i-290 for 2008 is a four-door, four-passenger Extended Cab pickup with a 6-foot bed and 1,530 pounds of payload capacity that is delivered in rear-wheel-drive configuration only. The i-370 is offered in either the Extended or Crew Cab variation, with the Crew Cab version offering a 5-foot bed. As well, the ’08 Isuzu i-370 is offered in both the rear-wheel-drive (RWD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) trims.

The ’08 Isuzu i-Series trim levels are indicative of the engine size offered in each, the i-290 having a 2.9-liter inline four-cylinder (I4), and the Isuzu i-370 packing a 3.7-liter inline five-cylinder (I5) powerplant. The ’08 i-290 is capable of 185 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque with a standard five-speed automatic transmission. A four-speed automatic is optional with the i-290, and fuel economy is estimated at 18/24 mpg. The i-290 trim will tow a paltry 3,200 pounds when properly equipped.

For 2008, the Isuzu i-370 generates 242 hp and 242 lb-ft of torque and is delivered with the four-speed automatic as the standard transmission. Only the i-370 Crew Cab is available with 4WD. The i-370 is rated to tow some 5,500 pounds, and the EPA estimates 16/22.

Both the 2.9-liter and the 3.7-liter engines have been described as surprisingly peppy. Ride comfort and handling are also better than expected, though the suspension in the i-290 is somewhat softer than that in the i-370 trim. The ’08 Isuzu i-370 4WD trim has better-than-average off-road capability.

Standard comfort, convenience, and appearance features for the ’08 Isuzu i-290 include air-conditioning and cruise control, vinyl seats, and 15-inch painted alloy wheels, with a Preferred Equipment Package, including rear jump seats, tinted rear windows, cloth bucket seats, and a CD player, as an option, along with the four-speed automatic. The i-370 adds a sliding rear window, cloth bucket seats, power windows, locks, and mirrors, front and rear floormats, a CD changer with six speakers, and keyless entry. Options for the i-370 LS trim include leather upholstery, powered and heated front seats, and an upgraded audio system. The i-370 Limited trim offers these options as standard features.

Safety features for the ’08 i-Series include four-wheel ABS, front airbags, passenger airbag de-activation, an anti-theft alarm system, child seat anchors, and daytime driving lights. Standard with the i-370 Crew Cab and optional with all other trims are front and rear head airbags. Traction control is another optional safety feature available throughout the lineup.

Owners of the ’08 Isuzu i-Series bemoan the lack of a V6 engine as well as the lack of a center console in the i-290 trim. Overall interior build and material quality is also an issue. On the other hand, drivers laud the acceleration, ride comfort, performance, handling, and value they receive with the ’08 i-Series.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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