Otherwise known as the Isuzu Bighorn, Acura SLX, Honda Horizon, and HSV Jackaroo, the Isuzu Trooper was produced in Japan, the Phillippines, and Malaysia from 1981-2002 (two generations) as a mid-size SUV with 3-door and 5-door vehicles available along with 4-speed manual and automatic and 5-speed manual options.
Though at the beginning the Trooper was somewhat underpowered for an off road vehicle (with only a four-cylinder motor option and part-time four-wheel drive), it gradually evolved into a more powerful, luxurious vehicle, with a V6 engine, optional two-wheel drive, and power windows.
In certain parts of the world such as Central America, the Isuzu Trooper could be bought as a hard top or with a removable roof. There was also an option for higher wheel clearance and a diesel engine.
The inconsistency in the name was due to marketing the vehicle around the world, where it was known by its various monikers such as the Korando Family (South Korea, Scandanavia, Southeast Asia and South America); the Holden Jackaroo (Australia and New Zealand); and the Opal/Vauxhall Monterey (Europe).
It was entered in motorsports in the early 90’s and won first place in both the 1992 and 1993 Australian Safari, the 1994 Paris-Dakar Rally, and the 1994 Pharaoh’s Rally.
Despite enjoying popularity worldwide, there were some hiccups in the Trooper’s history, such as the rollover controversy instigated by Consumer Reports between the years 1995-1997. Alleging that the Trooper had a tendency to roll, though this was later found to be false by the National Highway Traffic Administration. This caused a drop in sales, and ended with a lawsuit.
The Trooper would be made for a few more years, but its glory days were over. It was later replaced by the Isuzu Ascender and Axiom as well as the Chevrolet Captiva.
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