Isuzu Trooper: Yours among strangers
SUV “Isuzu-Truper” is not as popular with us as its competitors: “Mitsubishi Pajero”, “Nissan Patrol GR / Nissan Patrol” or “Toyota Landkruyzer.” There is also a share of the guilt of the Japanese company Isuzu Motors, which was in no hurry to enter the game on the “Russian field”. Another circumstance that can confuse motorists lies in the fact that in different markets, “Isuzu” is sold under different, even “alien” names. More than a third of the shares of the Japanese company is owned by General Motors. That is why the Truper is known in Europe as the Opel Monterey, in Britain it is known as Vauxhall.
At home, he acts under the pseudonym “Isuzu-Horizon”, “Bighorn” – on behalf of the all-wheel-drive station wagon popular in the early 80s, which served as the progenitor of modern designs, and even Honda-Jazz. The company “Honda”, which does not have its “big” all-terrain vehicle, according to the gentlemen’s agreement, successfully sells this car in the USA under its trademark “Acura”.
For dating, we chose the “Truper” with a gasoline engine and an automatic transmission in a very expensive configuration, with an almost complete set of additional equipment. Even exterior mirrors are able to fold automatically after pressing the button of the electric drive upon entering a narrow garage or a car wash. The exterior of the car, priced at $ 45,500, is emphatically rigorous and quite respectable. Light alloy wheels with knitting needles, a lot of chrome-plated parts, such as door handles, door glass frames. But the sense of proportion and taste did not change the designers. It is an important circumstance, considering that in Russia it is customary to go on all-terrain vehicles not only on long journeys, fishing or hunting.
The size of the cabin is impressive: high ceiling, huge windows, excellent visibility. Here and rear passengers can sit down imposingly and even take a nap on the way, bending back the seat back to the reclining position. And without that, a huge luggage compartment can easily be turned into a grand cargo platform, folding the seats forward.
In front, two wide comfortable seats are separated by an impressive console, so that the driver and the passenger, even of very solid build, will not push each other with their elbows. Each chair has its own folding armrest – very comfortable. On the console are placed the control levers of the box and downshifting, as well as the buttons for switching the transmission power and winter mode, additional headlights and heated seats.
The front panel is framed, as they say, a simple idea, but it is very functional. The devices are informative, easy to read. Large buttons-switches are compactly grouped, which minimizes the movement of hands and eyes of the driver, allowing you to focus on driving. By pressing one of them, it is possible on the go – even at speeds up to 100 km / h – to connect the drive of the front wheels, turning the “Truper” into a four-wheel drive vehicle with a flick of the wrist. But, alas, with a “hard” distribution scheme of the moment – without a center differential or viscous coupling, four-wheel drive can only be included on slippery surfaces or off-road. By the way, a year ago, some of the machines began to be equipped on the conveyor with an electronically controlled center differential. So far such cars are not officially delivered to us.
The new engine with aluminum block and cylinder head, variable intake manifold, shows excellent traction in a wide rev range. Perhaps, in this indicator, “Truper” ahead of classmates-competitors. Switches of an automatic four-stage box are distinguished by smoothness even with intensive acceleration in the “Power” mode (power). The driver does not necessarily push the gas pedal to the floor in order to quickly accelerate. Smart electronics seem to anticipate his desire and she will turn on the low gear. Accelerate to the “hundred” two-ton jeep is capable of less than 10 s! True, we note: at revolutions close to the maximum, the bass sound of the engine becomes annoying.
In the “Winter” mode (winter), the coupe very smoothly starts at the third (!) Gear and just as smoothly gains momentum. Upon reaching about 40 km / h or abruptly pressing the gas pedal, the inscription “Winter” on the instrument panel goes out, and the “automatic” itself returns to normal mode. Excellent system to start without slipping on an icy road!
However, the “elastic” engine and in normal operation of the transmission allows you to accurately meter the force of traction. Even in the rear-wheel drive version, the Truper can be steadily controlled on a slippery road. In this we have seen, practicing on the ice of the Olympic rowing channel.
On the asphalt of the city streets “Truper” in terms of comfort without stretching can be compared with a solid sedan. This is facilitated by the elasticity of wide tires on 16-inch wheels that “smooth out” bumps and gouges. Worth driving off-road, it becomes clear that, as if by itself, the “toughened” suspension of the car is set to fight in the most difficult conditions.