Crapwagon Outtake: 1999 Isuzu VehiCROSS
Most mainstream consumers don’t recall much about Isuzu. If asked, they’ll either remember their friends’ droptop Amigo back in college, or if they are of a certain age, they’ll know Joe Isuzu and his outlandish claims. Some enthusiasts might know Isuzu as the partner in numerous joint ventures with GM, Honda and Subaru, among others.
That said, Isuzu built some remarkably good SUVs worthy of both halves of that descriptor. The Trooper especially was a good, sturdy off-roader that could handle family duties.
However, for a few short years, Isuzu made a wacky, limited-edition truck that could handle nearly any terrain in style.
The VehiCROSS was that special rig. Going against the grain of soft-roaders meant to appeal to families, the two-door VehiCROSS wore matte black plastic cladding over the lower third of the body to protect against the harsh elements. I wonder how the sheetmetal beneath is holding up in salt-laden climates.
This 1999 Isuzu VehiCROSS has 173,000 miles on the odometer, but looks quite clean for the age. The electric window winders have failed, apparently a weak spot on these trucks, though thankfully the windows are in the up position. The windows and the mileage explain the low $4,500 price, where clean trucks typically pull at least double this.
If I were a bit younger and unattached, I’d be all over this. I’d spend my weekends on ORV trails in the Appalachians, camping and getting muddy.