If there is one fact that we can all agree on, the Isuzu VehiCross is much easier on the eyes than the confusing, or confused, Suzuki X-90. So what else do we know about this sport utility vehicle? It's made by Isuzu, yes. One can say the vehicle is an acquired taste, or some people just love to hate it. Is Isuzu following today's trend in the auto business and staging a comeback for the VehiCross?
Perhaps a 2021 VehiCross hybrid or an electric one would be good. Whatever you know or have heard, we are here to separate the truth from fiction. Here are 10 cool facts about the Isuzu VehiCross.
10 History of the Isuzu VehiCross
From a skeletal and organic standpoint, it can be said that the VehiCross is the cousin of the Isuzu Trooper. The Trooper was produced by Isuzu in 1981 and the car lasted 20 years in the market. At the time the VehiCross was assembled, perhaps in or before 1997, it shared the same engine as the ones Isuzu put in the Trooper.
The Trooper may be a midsize SUV and the VehiCross a compact one, but they possess the same engine. In Isuzu's history, there have been a number of models that shared the same engines and bodies. But this is nothing new in the automotive industry, some vehicles even carry another manufacturer's engine.
9 Generations and Discontinuance
The Isuzu VehiCross is classified as a compact sport utility vehicle. The term compact is used in the auto industry to signify that a vehicle is neither a regular-sized one nor a subcompact one.
In the SUV class, subcompact SUV examples are the Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Kona, Volvo XC40, and BMW X1. Compact SUVs like the VehiCross are the Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Compass, and Audi Q5. The midsize SUV designed and made by Isuzu started in 1997 in Japan, but it only lasted three models and marketed in the U.S. from 1999 to 2001. A 2011 Wall Street Journal article states that the VehiCross might turn out to be a collector's item, we agree with them because it already is one today.
8 What's under the hood?
The engine that powers the Isuzu VehiCross upon its commercial release was not below par. It was hailed as the SUV of the future, a compact SUV that will perform faster but will still possess the same power as a regular SUV.
The engine specs according to Automobile Catalog are as follows: A V6 engine that gives the vehicle 212 hp, a 4-speed automatic powertrain that accelerates to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds. The all-wheel-drive is a Torque-On-Demand system performing up to 50/50 torque split. The VehiCross' speed at a quarter-mile goes to 79 mph. The last produced model VehiCross in 2001 has better performance as it goes up to 60 mph in only 8.9 seconds.
7 External Specs
The 1999 release of Isuzu's compact SUV captured the hearts and wallets of a little over a thousand new owners, as these people chose the astral silver metallic paint finish of the 1999 VehiCross. The exterior paint available for this model went from three in 1999 to seven in 2001.
After the astral silver metallic, the second most-purchased model was the dynamic and memorable proton yellow VehiCross. Wheels vary from 16 to 18-inch chrome, it comes with reflected quartz bulb headlights and a titanium-looking plastic grille. The VehiCross is a 3-door SUV with two regular doors and one at the back that opens upward, but a new and improved Iron Man edition was made as reported by Motor 1 last year.
6 Interior Design
The fuel economy of this vehicle is actually good at 16 mpg. The Isuzu VehiCross weighs in at a base curb weight of 3,955 lbs or 1,794 kg, it's heavier than it looks and has some other cool features in its interior. Here are the interior’s dimensions: the driver and front passenger have 43.1-inches of legroom, 52-inches shoulder room, and 38.2-inches of headroom. The backseat dimensions were 29.5-inches of legroom, 51.6-inches in shoulder room and 35.4-inches of headroom.
Upholstery came in red/black and gray/black leather seats. If you own an Isuzu VehiCross it might be time to upgrade the interior, Auto Accessories Garage has the things you might need to get replaced.
5 If Looks Could Kill...
Let's face it, the Isuzu VehiCross might be a futuristic sight back in the day but it's not so much at our present time. The problem was, while it was hailed by many as a great compact SUV, there are still some who cannot bring themselves to tolerate it. But one fact is that the VehiCross is not the Isuzu XU-1.
If you have no idea what this model is, check out this article by Mad 4 Wheels. It's an Isuzu concept car that didn't take off, the crazy idea for the doors is just a little too much. Some might like it though, to each his own, right?
4 Sales and Advertising
At the time the VehiCross was released in the U.S. market, its competition was the likes of the Jeep Wrangler Sahara & Sport, Mitsubishi Pajero, and Mercedes Benz G320. These four SUV examples kind of all look alike, and this is exactly what makes the Isuzu VehiCross stand out.
The body, the curves, and the overall design are new and refreshing, attracting owners who are tired of the same boring look that "new" SUVs offer. But the issue is that it only shipped out about 4,000 cars to the U.S. Some of those owners are still enjoying the vehicle today.
3 The Designer
We can't say for a fact that the Isuzu VehiCross is a favorite of auto enthusiasts, it's a darling piece of machine for some but the reception is ice cold for others. One fact we can say about the inception of this SUV is the name of the man behind it, Shiro Nakamura. Presently retired, he worked largely with Nissan as Chief Creative Officer for almost two decades. Before he designed breathtaking cars for Nissan (Juke) and Infiniti (FX) he worked for Isuzu.
The VehiCross was not a mistake, but rather an innovative and futuristic vehicle concocted by one of the most brilliant minds to ever work in the automotive industry. Nakamura is a visionary, Automotive News even says that he is the crossover king.
2 The Tokyo Motor Show story
The Tokyo Motor Show has been around since 1954. It's an auto catwalk for upcoming and concept cars from the biggest names in the auto industry all over the world. The 1993 Tokyo Motor Show is the setting of the origin story of the Isuzu VehiCross.
Presented by the company as a concept car, the VehiCross mostly shocked and awed visitors and fellow exhibitors. The warm reception led Isuzu to scrap the concept tag on the vehicle and set it up for mass production, six years later the former concept car is in showrooms and dealerships in the U.S. Ever wondered what were the other cars in the '93 Tokyo Motor Show, it's where the Nissan Skyline GT-R and Isuzu XU-1 was also first seen.
1 Isuzu, Stealth lookalike?
It's now easy to mistake the Isuzu VehiCross as one of those older SUVs, but if we are oblivious to this fine vehicle's history we'd be blown away to find out that it's been manufactured since 1997 and been in the country when 'N Sync was still singing bye bye bye! Now that the futuristic look is common, we can't help but compare it to the SUVs today. And we didn't actually have to look very far to find one that's reminiscent of the gone-too-soon VehiCross.
The D-Max Arctic Truck AT35 Stealth limited edition is all-black and the whole front side of it just looks like a VehiCross.