Should You Buy A Used Isuzu Trooper Over 20 Years After Manufacturing Ended?

· faqs

The market for used 4x4s is bustling with activity, offering a plethora of options for the adventurous soul or the utility-minded buyer. In this crowded field, the Isuzu Trooper stands tall, a reminder of the days when SUVs were unapologetically boxy and built to tackle more than just the urban jungle. But does this discontinued classic make for a smart purchase in today's secondhand market? Here’s a look at what potential buyers should consider.

Off-Road Capability and Durability

One of the Trooper’s most lauded features is its robust off-road capability. With a sturdy body-on-frame construction, solid axles, and a high ground clearance, the Trooper is engineered to handle tough terrain. For the off-road enthusiast looking for a reliable and capable machine without breaking the bank, a used Trooper can be an excellent choice. Its durability is well-documented, with many units still in service after decades of use.

Spare Parts and Maintenance

The Trooper was discontinued in 2002, which raises concerns about the availability of spare parts. While some parts can be hard to find, the Trooper’s long production run means that many units were sold, creating a relatively abundant supply of secondhand parts. Additionally, its mechanical simplicity makes it a good candidate for DIY repairs and maintenance. However, for more complex issues, finding a specialist or a mechanic familiar with older Isuzus could be challenging and potentially costly.

Comfort and Practicality

Compared to modern SUVs, the Trooper may lack in comfort and the latest tech amenities. Its utilitarian approach means that it is more spartan than plush. Yet, it offers a spacious interior, with plenty of room for passengers and cargo. For those who prioritize utility and space over luxury, the Trooper delivers. It's worth noting, however, that its ride quality and noise levels will not match those of contemporary crossover SUVs.

Fuel Efficiency and Emissions

By contemporary standards, the Trooper is not a fuel-efficient vehicle. Its engines, designed in the 80s and 90s, are less efficient than modern powertrains. Prospective buyers with an eye on fuel costs or concerned about carbon footprints might find the Trooper wanting. Moreover, the Trooper may not meet the emissions standards in certain regions, which could limit its use or lead to higher taxes.

Safety Considerations

Safety standards have evolved significantly since the Trooper was last sold. Modern safety features like multiple airbags, electronic stability control, and advanced driver-assistance systems are absent in the Trooper. Furthermore, its earlier models were scrutinized for rollover risks, although these concerns were addressed in later models. Buyers prioritizing safety, particularly if the vehicle is intended for family use, may want to consider more recent alternatives.

Insurance and Value

The Trooper can be an affordable buy, often priced lower than other used 4x4s with similar capabilities. Insurance costs may also be lower due to its age and value. However, potential buyers should be aware that insurance companies might charge more for vehicles that lack modern safety features. On the upside, the Trooper’s depreciation curve has flattened out, and well-maintained models can retain their value, especially in the enthusiast market.


The Isuzu Trooper is a bit of an old-school maverick in the used 4x4 market. Its simplicity, ruggedness, and off-road prowess make it appealing to a certain kind of buyer. If you value these characteristics and are willing to overlook the drawbacks, the Trooper could be a fulfilling purchase. On the flip side, if your priorities are fuel efficiency, cutting-edge safety, and modern comforts, you might want to steer toward a more recent offering. Ultimately, choosing a used Trooper is about embracing its character—idiosyncrasies and all—and acknowledging that, like any good trail, the path of ownership might be rough, but it's also rewarding.