Been Nice Knowing You

 Isuzu is pulling out of the Detroit auto show, claiming "The Detroit show is a big show as far as the press is concerned, but Detroit is not a big market for us." Instead, they're going to have exhibits at shows where their market is larger, such as Sacramento, Calif.; San Antonio; Raleigh, N.C.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Knoxville, Tenn. None of those shows get major media attention, and it looks like Isuzu is really going to pull out of the US market. A lot of people will say "so what", but Isuzu holds a special place in my heart, having made quite a few unique and fascinating vehicles.

 The Trooper was ahead of it's time, predicting the demand for SUV's. It was even used to give Acura an SUV (the MDX) until they could develop their own.

 A cute 'ute before everyone jumped on the bandwagon, the Amigo was another vehicle ahead of it's time. Before the RAV4, before the CR-V, your only choice was the Jeep Wrangler, Suzuki Samurai, Daihatsu Rocky, and the Isuszu Amigo, and c'mon, how could you ask for a better name than Amigo for a cute 'ute?

 The Rodeo was a viable alternative to the Toyota 4Runner, Jeep Cherokee, and Ford Explorer. It was Isuzu's best seller for a long time, and was even built in the US. Unfortunately it never received the updates it needed to remain competitive.

 A turbocharged, AWD coupe that undercut the Diamond Star trio, the Impulse was a car that should have been more successful. It was also available as the Geo Storm, and there where a million of those on the road. Isuzu got out of the car business just before releasing the next Impulse, a shame we never got to see it.

Take the Impulse and give it four doors, and you have the Isuzu Stylus. The only thing it lacked was the turbo motor and AWD. Why there was never a Geo version of this car is beyond me. It was way more entertaining than the Geo Prizm.

The last Isuzu-made vehicle sold in the US, the Axiom is still one of the most interesting SUV styling designs yet. Basically a Rodeo with a designer 'do, the platform was too old to really make a difference.

And finally, the Vehicross. THE most unique SUV available, it's basically a concept car come to life, the Vehicross showed that Isuzu has balls and wasn't afraid to try something new. Own one of these and you'll get all the attention you can handle.

 For some reason GM is letting Isuzu die. They've sunk money into Saab, money into Suzuki (with the Daewo built models), but poor Isuzu has been left out to dry. Some gratitude for Isuzu giving Chevy some viable cars for years.


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