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The Isuzu Trooper Was Also a Subaru, an Acura and… the Holden Jackaroo

You know it as the Isuzu Trooper, but drivers the world over know it as an almost unbelievable array of other things. At one point, it was a Chevrolet. A Subaru. An Acura. In Australia, it was called — I swear this is true — the Holden Jackaroo. See the Isuzu Trooper models for sale near you

“What are you driving these days, Roger?”

“Oh, I’ve got a Jackaroo!”

Yes, the Isuzu Trooper wore many hats throughout the 1990s, when the second-generation model was rebadged for any automaker who needed, wanted or sort of desired an SUV — or whose executives had a boat and wanted something to tow it with.

The strangest rebadge of the Trooper was probably the Subaru Bighorn. At the time, Subaru didn’t have an SUV, and so — possibly due to the fact that General Motors owned Isuzu and also a portion of Subaru — Asian markets received the Trooper as the Bighorn. This thing wasn’t changed even a little bit from the Trooper, except for the fact that it had a Subaru badge on the grille. It even kept the wheels.

Of course, we can never forget that the Trooper was also sold in America as the Acura SLX. Honda realized a little too late that they needed SUVs, so they turned to Isuzu for some stopgap SUV options while Honda was developing its own. The result was the SLX and the Honda Passport, which was based on the Isuzu Rodeo. Interestingly, a good argument could be made that the SLX preceded virtually all modern luxury SUVs, as it debuted in 1996 — well before the Mercedes M-Class (1998), the Lexus RX (1999) and the BMW X5 (2000).

Other names the Trooper took over the years: Vauxhall Monterey. Chevrolet Trooper (in Asia). Honda Horizon (seriously). And my personal favorite, Holden Jackaroo. Only Australians would be crazy enough to buy a vehicle named the Jackaroo. And apparently, they were. Find an Isuzu Trooper for sale

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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  1. This was sold as a Subaru only because Subaru and Isuzu shared a plant. It was also sold as Holden, Isuzu, Honda, Acura, Chevrolet, (oddly only in foreign markets), Ssang Yong, HSV, Vauxhall, and Opel.  To this day the Isuzu DMax and Chevrolet Colorado/ GMC Canyon share a chassis. What’s funny is the Colorado/ Canyon is an absolute piece of garbage- so much so that Consumer Reports says to never buy a used one- however, Isuzus (some with Holden engines) run forever.  That must be why Chevrolet smartened up at some point and started buying the Isuzu-built Duramaxes to put in their trucks.  Outsource the engines to Isuzu and the transmissions to Allison, then they’re just making money without really engineering anything.  Just have to weld the mounts in the correct places.

     The reason Honda picked up the Trooper and Rodeo was that they only made small cars and didn’t have any SUVs for the market at the time.  Honda didn’t make their own SUV until the Pilot.  This is extremely common amongst car brands and can actually cause a person who is absolutely committed to one brand to lose their faith.  For instance… I love my new Buick Regal…Oh…its an Opel and Buick had nothing to do with designing it.  Or, “I love my Jaguar!!  Its so sexy and foreign looking!”  Nope, its a Ford but have fun.

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