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2001-2017 Isuzu Crosswind
We rarely feature Isuzu models in this used car review segment, especially that they have a rather small passenger car line-up. We featured two pick-up models (Fuego and D-Max) and two sport utility vehicles (Trooper and Alterra) before, so the spotlight now belongs to one of the manufacturer’s longest running vehicles, the Crosswind. Similar to its rival sold during the same time, the Toyota Revo, it is developed primarily for the Indonesian market and was changed to suit Filipino tastes. Unlike the Taiwanese Mitsubishi we had featured a week ago, this vehicle will be killed sixteen years after its existence and wouldn’t reach its debut year.
Known as the Isuzu Panther since 1991, it was sold primarily for Indonesia and suited to local conditions which dictates of its harsh climate, poor road conditions, and a penchant for carrying the extended family that requires the need for something durable yet capable of carrying seven warm bodies. Technically, what we are featuring is the second generation model that was sold starting 2000 still wearing the same engine from its predecessor. By this time, only Indonesia and India (as a Chevrolet) have this vehicle by next year.
Isuzu brought in the Hilander in March 1997 to rival the Toyota Tamaraw but it only played third placer when it comes to sales behind Toyota and Mitsubishi. With the introduction of the Hilander Crosswind (the Hilander moniker was dropped for 2005), it made competitors looked older and outsold Mitsubishi’s Adventure for some years. Just like any best seller, upgrades were done through the years and several special edition models were launched. By the time you have read this, production had stopped and sales will cease by year end due to emission requirements and will be missed by a wider base of clients from OFW families to shuttle operators. Crosswind buyers can choose from the following variants available throughout the years: a taxi exclusive XS, XL, XT, XTO, XTI, XTRM, XUV, XUVI, and Sportivo.
Value and Costs
When brand new, the Crosswind is priced higher than the similarly spec’ed Adventure. The same thing is true for second hand with the Isuzu selling more than its Mitsubishi counterpart. Early examples can be had for P250,000 and units sold recently have an average price of P800,000. We suggest going for October 2014 models and above to utilize the remainder of their warranty. Ex-public utility vehicles are a huge no-no, we would go for something seen as a private car used carefully. Since not much had changed internally, focus on the year model with varying kit. Since this vehicle sold well, be patient on your hunt.
With the engine being shared with several Isuzu models and having a simple mechanism, maintaining this vehicle is easy with any mechanic having the ability of maintaining this one. Parts can be purchased anywhere, a plus advantage. Similar to any diesel vehicle, do check the tailpipe for any black smoke. Problem points include the water pump and the radiator tends to leak.
Exterior and Interior
While the body remained the same, cosmetic changes were done to keep the vehicle fresh. XS, XL, XT, XTO, and XTI ride lower than those on the upper range, especially that their raised suspension and their spare tire at the back make them similar to an SUV. Special edition models do carry blacked out rims and a roof rack, depending on what was released.
Inside, it is a hard plastic affair with lots of them dominating the cabin and even the latest model is #throwbackthursday no thanks to several elements that make it look like one. Still, the controls are simple and easy to modulate. Cheaper models utilize a vinyl interior while higher ones are done well. Sportivo models have a DVD system with headrest monitors only to be removed on later releases. The XUVI trims gain a VCD player with two wireless microphones, perfect at a time with the Magic Sing was released. Three people in the first row wouldn’t translate to a comfortable ride so better look for something with bucket seats. Three people is fine in the middle row but four isn’t good and for models with a side facing jump seat translates to limited head and leg room and the front facing ones are best left for kids.
One main advantage of the Crosswind (which commanded a price premium when brand new) is the diesel engine which is the 4JA1 2.5 with either 81hp or 85hp rated at 3,900rpm with the latter being standard for 2007 and up models and for older ones, the automatics having more power. Torque is rated at either 170Nm at 3,200rpm or 185Nm at 2,000rpm with the higher rating reserved for 2007 and up and older automatics. Yes, this does not have any CRDi technology but if you are using this vehicle to haul people this is acceptable enough. Low grunt is there but go faster and this is where the car loses stream. Manuals are acceptable enough while automatics are slow, but then if you’re in the market for a diesel AUV with two pedals, this is the remaining choice since the main two rivals do not have. Fuel consumption is tops when compared to the Adventure and Revo but still no match to the modern competition.
Similar to the Mitsubishi Adventure, this vehicle comes with a floaty handling and body roll comes standard at high speeds. Ride quality, similar to most competitors, are bouncy when not fully loaded except for lower riding variants but do take note that this vehicle is tuned for cargo carrying.
The Crosswind was a best seller for a reason back then but no thanks to fresher rivals as well as changing market trends, good things came to an end. This vehicle witnessed a lot of events and had stood the test of time and had brought a lot of families together and commuters to their destinations safely. To our good friend, you will be missed.
- Cheap maintenance
- Fuel friendly
- Lacks airbags or ABS brakes
- Somewhat slow
The Pick: XUV M/T
Engines: 2,499cc 4JA1 I4 diesel
Power: 81hp @ 3,900rpm (diesel manual, 2001-2006), 85hp @ 3,900rpm (diesel automatic, 2001-2006, and all models from 2007 onward)
Torque: 170Nm @ 3,200rpm (diesel manual, 2001-2006), 185Nm @ 2,000rpm (diesel automatic, 2001-2006, and all models from 2007 onward)
Fuel Consumption: 8-10km/L (city), 10-14km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front double wishbone, rear leaf springs
Price (New): P600,000-P1,300,000 (range from 2001 to 2017)
Price (Now): P250,000-P800,000
Rivals: Mitsubishi Adventure, Toyota Revo, Toyota Innova
On Sale: 2001-2017
Isuzu Pasig – (02) 671-3434
Isuzu Manila – (02) 562-4601