The 2008 Isuzu Ascender is lacking the brand recognition and third-row seat that has attracted so many automotive consumers to its competitor’s mid size SUV offerings. However, the Ascender’s rugged construction, stylish trim levels and low price help make this 5 passenger mid size SUV stand out in the crowded sport utility vehicle marketplace.
The only available trim is the ‘S’ model, which is available in rear wheel drive or 4 wheel drive and comes standard with dual zone air conditioning, stereo system with CD player, machine finished alloy wheels and flip and tumble rear seats to conveniently increase cargo space when needed. Standard safety features include an electronic stability system, anti-lock brakes, frotn and overhead airbags,a tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.
As opposed to various trim models, the Ascender can be customized by adding one of the reasonably priced option packages to the base model. The Preferred Equipment Package includes privacy glass, velour seating, a cargo cover, remote keyless entry, and exterior side moldings with chrome inserts as well as cruise control and the Universal Home Remote system. The LS Option Package adds an upgraded stereo system with 6 CD changer and 6 speakers, a roof rack, power moon roof and a leather wrapped steering wheel. The Luxury Package includes a special monotone paint job and color coordinating rocker and side moldings, heated leather trimmed seats and a premium Bose audio system. All options packages are priced under $2100 and can be purchased separately or in any combination of the three.
Although there are more advanced mid size SUVs on the market, the 2008 Isuzu Ascender has low range gear ratios and a body on frame construction that make this vehicle very capable during off road excursions, something not as easily achieved by other vehicles in this category. However, the real attraction is the low sticker price. Even the 4WD model has a MSRP of under $30,000, making it is one of the most affordable mid size 4WD SUV’s available today.