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It’s VehiCross Week! (No, not really)

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Within about 40 minutes of Tuesday’s VehiCross post going live, while I was headed home on my evening commute, what should turn left in front of me but another of Isuzu’s quirky Trooper-coupes. When I saw the driver pull into a driveway about half a block down the side street, I knew I had to get a snap of it.

The owner was wary when I asked for a picture. He asked me not to get the license plate in the photo and ensure I didn’t geotag his location. But once he was confident that I wasn’t going to unduly invade his privacy, he loosened up and chatted enthusiastically about his VehiCross. He told me he bought it about a year ago with about 120K on the odo, and had to go all the way to Detroit to find one in this sort of condition.

He told me he loves it. “Greatest vehicle I’ve owned,” he said.

  • Garland137

    Isn't that a 2014 Cherokee?

    • MVEilenstein

      No. Ground clearance is too high.

  • Rover1

    This is exactly what a twenty-first century sporty, performance inclined utility/activity vehicle should look like. It begs the question even more as to how BMW given the same brief could come up with the awkward hunchback of the X6.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Nice to hear from a satisfied owner. I was always surprised that the VehiCross wasn't a lot more popular. Neighbors of mine had one and seemed to like it. They've traded it for a new, up-optioned FJ

    • jeepjeff

      I'm not as surprised. As much as I love SWB 4x4s, the nose is horribly disproportionate to my eye, and it's never gotten better. They probably have the normal trade-offs that come with SWB 4x4s (you can carry cargo or passengers, but not both; that FJ has a lot more internal volume), and then they've got that polarizing styling.

      • Van_Sarockin

        Sure, it's goofy looking. I never liked the body cladding, though I understood its purpose. Damn sight better than Pontiac, anyway. In the right hands that styling could have become a desirable attribute. But these days, there's an unlimited supply of stupid, an stupid looking, SUVs that seem to be selling.

        • IsuzuGeek.org

          The VX is a love it or hate it vehicle. IMO, the front end looks amazing, like nothing else on the road, and the cladding just adds to the hyper-futuristic look of it. I think the reason it was not more successful, is simply because it lacks practicality and it was very expensive when sold new. And most sheeple in this country simply can't wrap their heads around a 4×4 that isn't a Jeep, which is sad, but that's the "follow the crowd" mentality of the vast majority of the human race. The VX is bold, it stands out, and it attracts attention. Most people are just not into that.

          Personally, I think the new FJ looks like a horrid, cartoony version of the H2. I've tried and tried, I just can't bring myself to like them. When I drive my VX around town, you would think I am driving a Lambo. Rarely do I go to a gas station and NOT get questioned about it. Its just an amazing looking SUV. And driving one? It's an absolute blast!

          • jeepjeff

            I definitely agree that it's love it or hate it.

            I mostly like the FJ. If it weren't so damn big, it would be awesome. And don't dismiss Jeeps. I've got one that's about the same age as your VehiCROSS. It's a throwback styling and technology wise (solid axles, no ABS, no electronic driver aids of any kind, 5 speed manual transmission). It's a helluva lot of fun to drive too, and stock-for-stock they're both about equally fast in a straight line (which is why I believe you about the VehiCROSS being a blast). That Jeeps are iconic and all most people know isn't the fault of Jeep drivers. (I considered quite a few different 4x4s, the Wrangler 4.0 was the most awesome.)

            EDIT: Almost forgot! Welcome to our corner of the internet! Just in case it ain't clear, we like odd-ball vehicles around here, and I like that someone likes these. I'm a bit sad that they haven't grown on me.

          • Guillermo

            I started laughing when I read 'sheeple,' and when I got to 'Lambo' I fell out of my chair. Comedy gold!

        • jeepjeff

          It's the headlight-to-grill ratio/shape/configuration paired with the titanium fangs that get me. I don't mind the body cladding, and I'd probably like it if they'd just done something else with the headlights (lower and bigger with no clear plastic dragging back onto the top of the bonnet. Yeah, more traditional, but I drive a 21st vehicle with 1940s design language).

          Not going to argue with the stupid looking nature of SUVs these days.

      • pj134

        The thing that pisses me off about the FJ is that it's pretty damn enormous and the rear seat is roughly equivalent to that of the extended cab tacoma, meaning you can fit two adults without legs or one adult sitting lengthwise across the back. That, and the fact that you CAN'T SEE OUT OF IT. Seriously, it's an offroad styled SUV and you have all the visibility of a submarine. Being able to avoid obstacles offroad is a plus.

        I guess what I'm saying is I'd take the kind of goofy VehiCross over the mentally handicapped design of the FJ.

  • BobWellington

    Looks like this guy actually conditions/takes care of the plastic cladding. Nice.

  • safetystephen

    Wow what lovely showroom queens they were. I worked at an ISUZU dealership near their end of all things. Rodeos were beginning to get too old and sales slowed badly after the Consumer Reports flip-over fiasco. Troopers were really nice trucks but they too were getting passed by. Amigos were just sitting in the lot too. I suspect ISUZU folded eventually because they really couldn't meet Jeep or Land Rover offerings on price or choices.

    As for the VehiCross, not enough folks liked the dowdy grey/silver and dealer trades were pretty much impossible. Like the Firebirds of the era, dealers were hoping to get the MSRP on them and they sat and sat. To sit in the VehiCross was wonderful though. Tight but cushy, like a 928, a real spaceship.

    The only people who expressed wanting them were pain-in-ass, mercurial, rakish, well-heeled guys who probably would up getting something less weird for their toy. making matters worse the trucks were too big and pricey for the "fifth-wheel" market. I recently saw one on the streets here in PA and it was in great shape too. Great to see these still-futuristic halo-cars are getting appreciated and preserved by Hoons. My personal favorite was the fully loaded "Ironman" (think triathalon) edition with lots of gidgets and gadgets, straps and nets..

    • IsuzuGeek.org

      "I suspect ISUZU folded eventually because they really couldn't meet Jeep or Land Rover offerings on price or choices. "

      Caught in the middle I suspect. Jeeps appeal to the heard mentality and they were cheaper out the door, and Land Rover appeals to the rich douche-bag who wants to roll on 20s in a SUV that was meant to go on expeditions. But in reality, I think poor marketing and mishandling by GM was more to blame than anything else. I have a VX, 2 Troopers and a vintage Impulse, best cars I have ever owned. Bury me in a Trooper.

  • apfeifer3

    Anyone know how hard it is to maintain these? Parts and such?

    • IsuzuGeek.org

      With Isuzu out of the passenger vehicle market, body parts are pretty much nil. Most wear parts are still available. If you are seriously interested, check out VehiCROSS.info and read up on them. They do have some quirks any prospective buyer should be aware of.

      • apfeifer3

        Thanks! Not seriously interested yet. Just kinda curious. I'm in a similar situation with my GTO and was wondering. For some reason I am drawn to cars like that.

    • M P

      Not difficult at all. Drive train comes out of the Trooper, so parts are readily available. As a matter of fact, I'm in the process of converting my 4AT to a 5MT w/the help of a donated Trooper (this has been done before). Body parts are a little bit more expensive, but not horrible. There are parts vehicles around. You should jump on over to Vehicross.info to get more information. I have 120k on mine (picked it up w/78k on the odo 3 years ago) and haven't had a problem at all, outside it overheating a bit (turned out to be the A/C compressor causing the issue). It's my daily driver, which says a lot as my other car is an E90 M3. As with any vehicle, there are some quirks problems, but nothing expensive. Including the M, I've owned 17 vehicles in my life, and this is by far my favorite.

  • Triathlete

    The only "gadgets" on the Ironman edition were the badging and embrordery on the seats and they came standard with the roof rack and cargo area mat that was optional on the "standard" model. The Ironman was also only available in white.
    As far as maintainance give vehicross.info a search. But with exception of body parts, most other parts are shared with other Isuzu models

  • James

    Best vehicle I have ever owned. I have it in Proton (yellow). Love it. Love driving it. Looks great….like new. Always turns heads….people ask questions all the time wondering what it is. Check out Vehicross.info Some of the best people you will ever meet.

  • Sjalabais

    The C-pillar is like a whole building to look past when turning. Holy macaroni!

  • Ruckus Racing

    funny this should show up here, one showed up for sale on CL in Hawaii the other day

  • octavspot

    It's certainly got an unusual yet interesting design… I kinda like it. Looks very close to the VX-O2 convertible concept (that also made a brief cameo in the Mission to Mars film)

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