View Full Version : Replacing my Trooper -- need a recommendation

Ray Dunakin
08-26-2015, 06:12 PM
My past three vehicles have been Isuzu Troopers. Now it's time to replace this one, and you can't get them in the USA anymore. It's going to be really hard to replace. So far I haven't seen anything that has the same great combination of features:

Practical features: Lots of places to hold drinks or store maps, tools, etc. Massive cargo space. Four doors. A rear door for easy access. Spare mounted on the rear door. Good instrumentation (tach, electrical gauge, temperature gauge, etc.) Plenty of power without being too much of a gas guzzler. Manual transmission with overdrive.

Off-road features: High clearance. Skid plates protecting the oil pan, tranny/transfer case, and gas tank. On the fly 4wd with limited slip differential.

Comfort features: Lots of head room, both overhead and side-to-side. Plenty of leg room. Power windows, locks, and mirrors.

Most SUVs these days are built more like cars than like trucks. They're so streamlined and stylized that they lack the head room and cargo area that a boxier design would have. They barely have any off-road capability, are lacking in clearance, and aren't built tough enough to handle serious off-road use.

Worst of all, most have hatch-backs instead of doors. I hate those things! For one, they're a head injury waiting to happen. Two, if you're hauling anything on the roof that sticks out the back, you can't open the hatch. Third, eventually the mechanism wears out and you can't get them to stay up. Fourth and worst of all, they eliminate the only logical place to store the spare tire. As a result they end up mounting the spare under the vehicle, where it inhibits clearance and you have to crawl around in the dirt to reach it; or they put it inside where it wastes valuable cargo space.

01-09-2016, 12:37 AM
I had two Troopers, both were 1987's. I had a two door that was in really great shape and I regret selling that rig so much! I had it set-up just right. I had been going up to northern Alberta quite a bit and had some buddies that spent a lot of time in the bush help me do it. It had brand new paint and was levelled off, not really lifted. I ran 31 10X50's on American Racing wheels, rear locker. It was gas and I had a 42 gallon tank installed so it would go quite a ways between fill-ups.
I also had a four door diesel, I wanted to put the oil burner in my rig but my wife ran it to death... oh well. Have you looked into a Nissan Xterra? It really reminds me of a Trooper, especially with the offroad or Pro4X package. I have a 2011 Frontier Pro4X and love it. You can still buy a new one with a manual transmission. The Pro4X package consists of skidplates, rear diff locker, off road lights, heavier suspension and if you have an auto and tow package it comes with a tranny cooler and engine oil cooler. I bought my 11 new and love it. It just turned 90K miles with 0 issues. I wanted a pickup bed so I bought a crewcab PU instead of the suv. The Frontier and Xterra are mechanically nearly identical.
Good luck

Ray Dunakin
07-22-2016, 09:23 PM
I ended up getting a 2016 Toyota 4Runner, Trail Edition, in February. I replaced the stock tires with BFG KO2s, and I have a Gobi roof rack on order which should be arriving any day. So far I've only had the chance to take it out to the desert once since I bought it, but I've got my annual Mojave/Nevada ghost town trip coming up soon. Really looking forward to that trip with this new vehicle!

Mustang John
07-22-2016, 10:30 PM

I'm looking forward to your annual trip report.