2008

2008 Isuzu Ascender

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$27,149-$29,149
$25,656-$27,546
14 CITY / 20 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability

Overview

What Changed for 2008:
  • Engine recalibrated for better fuel economy and cleaner emissions

  • Side curtain air bags now standard

  • Leather package discontinued
Overview
Isuzu's 5-passenger Ascender SUV was launched as a 2004 model. Available with either rear- or 4-wheel drive (RWD or 4WD), this truck-based SUV was developed by General Motors and shares its underpinnings with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy. Isuzu's warranty structure differs slightly from other General Motors SUVs, however: The Ascender is covered by a 3-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with 7-year/75,000-mile powertrain protection.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Isuzu Ascender is sold as a single model, the Ascender S, which includes power windows, locks and mirrors; dual-zone climate control; CD player; and 17-inch alloy wheels. A Preferred Equipment package adds cruise control; HomeLink transmitter; power driver's seat; floor mats; cargo cover; tinted windows; and chrome exterior trim. The LS package includes a limited-slip differential; heated exterior mirrors; moonroof; roof rail crossbars; 6-disc CD changer; and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Finally, a Luxury package provides color-keyed body trim; auto-dimming rearview mirror; leather interior trim; power-adjustable passenger seat; Bose premium stereo; lower axle ratio; and driver-adjustable pedals.

Powertrain
The 2008 Isuzu Ascender is powered by a 4.2-liter, inline 6-cylinder engine. For 2008, the engine gets a new electronic management system and new fuel injectors. Its power output of 285 hp at 6000 rpm and 276 lb.-ft. of torque at 4600 rpm is down by 6 hp and 1 lb.-ft. compared to last year, but the engine produces lower emissions and gets better fuel economy: EPA estimates are 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway for both RWD and 4WD models. All 2008 Ascenders come equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel-drive models use a New Venture Gear transfer case with a driver-selectable low range.

Safety
The 2008 Isuzu Ascender comes standard with dual front air bags, 2-row side curtain air bags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) frontal crash tests, the Ascender scored 3 out of 5 stars for the driver and 4 stars for the front passenger. The side-impact test yielded a perfect 5-star rating for both first and second rows, while the rollover score was 4 stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which uses a four-mark rating system (Good, Acceptable, Marginal or Poor), gave the Ascender an \"Acceptable\" rating for front crash tests and \"Marginal\" for side impacts.

Technology
All 2008 Isuzu models get a new engine-management computer, which features a 32-bit processor, 32MB of flash memory and 128k of RAM. The controller monitors more than 100 functions, including the engine's electronic throttle, variable exhaust-valve timing, spark timing, and cruise control. Isuzu points out that the unit is more than 50 times faster than the first engine control computers introduced in the 1970s.
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J.D. Power Ratings

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