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Weird Cars: The Isuzu VehiCROSS Was a Weird but Capable SUV

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author photo by Will Kinton September 2016

Isuzu was mostly known for its diverse SUV lineup -- featuring the Isuzu Trooper, Rodeo and Amigo -- before leaving the U.S. market in the mid-2000s. Thankfully, before Isuzu pulled out of America, they gave us the VehiCROSS, an especially weird and wonderful SUV.

The VehiCROSS was first sold in the U.S. for the 1999 model year, featuring a 215-horsepower V6 and an advanced 4-wheel-drive system that allowed it to be surprisingly capable off-road. The VehiCROSS's 4-wheel-drive system constantly surveyed what was happening to the wheels and sent torque to the needed axles depending on conditions. This allowed the VehiCROSS to handle fairly challenging conditions, both on- and off-road.

Despite its advanced 4-wheel-drive system, the VehiCROSS's real calling card was its styling. When it first hit U.S. shores in 1999, the VehiCROSS looked like it was from the future -- and it still looks surprisingly modern today. Even the interior was off-the-wall, with multicolored trim and seats. The VehiCROSS was not a vehicle that flew under the radar.

The VehiCROSS never found many buyers, and it didn't exactly fly off the shelves -- only 4,153 were sold in the U.S. throughout its production run. Consumers found the 2-door VehiCROSS to be a little too impractical for an SUV, and the styling was certainly polarizing. That said, it was never supposed to be a major hit. The VehiCROSS was always intended to be a limited-production, single-generation vehicle that was built for exactly the kind of person who would buy a VehiCROSS.

Although there really isn't anything weird like the VehiCROSS on the market today, the good news is that used ones aren't very expensive. Currently on Autotrader, there are eight different VehiCROSS models for sale with an average price of about $7,000, with just 72,000 miles on the lowest-mileage example. Not bad to look like you're from another world.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Weird Cars: The Isuzu VehiCROSS Was a Weird but Capable SUV - Autotrader