Junkyard Find: 1999 Acura SLX

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1999 acura slx
Even though we’ve just had two Japanese Junkyard Finds in a row, I’ve been searching for a discarded Acura SLX for so long that I had to share this ’99 in Denver immediately.
As the 1990s progressed, it became clear to vehicle manufacturers who did business in North America that they had to sell luxury commuter trucks over here if they wanted to rake in the big dollars, yen, kroner, won, pounds, Deutsche marks, or (after 1995) Euros. Nissan and Toyota were in the game, but Honda had to turn to Isuzu for some help until the MDX was ready.
There are few Junkyard Finds I like better than a weird and rare exercise in badge engineering. I pursued the elusive Isuzu Oasis for years before finding one, and the Saab 9-2x took even longer. No luck yet on a junked Suzuki Equator, I’m sad to say, but an Acura-badged Isuzu Trooper is nearly as rare.
Americans had been buying rebadged Isuzu hardware for decades when the SLX appeared, with plenty of Isuzu-powered “Buick Opels” and Chevrolet Chevettes rolling out of showrooms, not to mention the Chevrolet LUV, Chevrolet/Geo Spectrum, and Geo Storm.
But an Isuzu-made luxury SUV with Acura badges just didn’t seem very appealing to American truck shoppers, and total sales didn’t even crack the 10,000 mark. The SLX was available for the 1996 through 1999 model years, so this is one of the last ones sold.
It’s a road not found on any map. It’s the first gentle tug on your fishing line. It’s a moonroof large enough to capture the sky over Yosemite. And, oh yeah, it’s really an Isuzu!
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2 of 29 comments
  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Nov 07, 2018

    I am a fan of the SLX. I like that it's pretending, and I like the Trooper upon which it's based. You really don't find them that often in either case, and when someone has a clean Trooper for sale, they ask too much money for it. The utility of the shape and the styling appeals to me. I think it's really aged very well, and I like the simplicity of the interior. Some research showed me that the top trim Trooper Limited was actually priced above the SLX - though perhaps this was some internet inaccuracy. Bonus points for the enormous sunroof, two-tone paint, special SLX wheels in this case, and very early implementation of an LED CHMSL strip. I think Isuzu had a misstep in not offering it with a third row seat like in pretty much all other markets. That would've added appeal, and put it more on par with things like a loaded Montero, or a Discovery. Alternatively, giving that option only to the SLX would've made it stand out, and surely increased sales. I have seen *one* for sale on eBay with a factory third row seat, and it was a US example. I'm not sure how that happened, but I wish I saved the photos.

  • Tyson Tyson on Dec 27, 2018

    And after a decade of secretly lusting after one of these, I bought one last week to play around with. 1997 base model, "Fir Green Mica," what a hoot. 178,000 miles with a slipping transmission and that classic top-heavy handling.

  • 28-Cars-Later "11 city / 16 highway / 13 combined" "$155,365 (U.S.) "So much winning.
  • Wjtinfwb Cops know an arrest is fruitless. The courts will spring him with zero bail and and likely drop all charges if he promises not to steal anymore. Which of course he will. Lock your cars, secure your keys and arm yourself to keep your home and family safe. This kid will get bored of stealing Kia's and escalate to jewelry and valuables soon, no doubt.
  • FreedMike Well, good to see folks got their five minutes anti-Biden hate on. Glad he didn't do something REALLY hateful, like wearing a tan suit. Meanwhile, speaking of "picket lines," I seem to remember one that the former president - who's running again - attended. Now, the date escapes me...oh, wait, now I remember, it was on January 6th, 2021. But that was locker room talk, I suppose.
  • MaintenanceCosts 0-60 in four seconds and only ~0.65 g of cornering grip are not a good combination.As someone who has been absolutely terrified riding in a "regular" current-gen Escalade with the 6.2 and the most aggressive airport shuttle driver I've ever experienced, what the truck needs is NOT, NOT, more power. It needs better stability in transitions, where it always feels like you are on the cusp of losing the rear end.(We saw 110 mph on I-5 north of San Diego. My company fired the shuttle company after hearing of the experience.)
  • Analoggrotto Another victory for Kia Telluride.