(2004 model shown)
Isuzu's version of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL mid-size sport-utility vehicles remains with only minor changes for 2006 in a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive. The Ascender comes powered by the Chevy/GMC's 4.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine that generates 275 horsepower and is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. A high-torque 5.3-liter 290-horsepower V-8 engine is also available for added muscle. This powerplant features "displacement on demand" technology that closes off half the engine's cylinders when not needed to maximize fuel economy without sacrificing power. Three rows of seats are on hand to accommodate as many as seven passengers. Available amenities include dual heated power mirrors, running boards, rain-sensing wipers, heated leather seats, a Bose audio array, and the OnStar communications/safety system.