Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Isuzu and General Motors joined forces and produced a few vehicles and applied the badge-engineering process for them.
Thus, the first generation of Chevrolet TrailBlazer became the Isuzu Ascender.
The U.S. market was the biggest one globally, and Isuzu tried to make its way into it. The Japanese carmaker signed various contracts for badge-engineered vehicles with Honda and General Motors to make its way into the North American market, and the Ascender was just an example.
Unlike the American brand, Isuzu showed a different front fascia with a fence-like chromed grille at the front. Its headlights were uninterrupted by a cross-slat as the TrailBlazer. In the rear, the Ascender featured slimmer but taller taillights.
Inside, apart from the dials inside the instrument cluster, the Ascender featured a different dashboard. Its air-vents were round instead of squared, and the center stack featured a cleaner look. The Japanese designers even changed the location of the buttons for the 4x4 system settings on the center console instead of next to the audio system. The car was big enough to allow comfortable seating for four and fair for five. Isuzu offered an option for two extra seats in the trunk area.
From the technical perspective, the Ascender featured the same inline-six and V-8 engines as the American cousin. Despite its seven-year warranty, the brand couldn’t resist the U.S. market and, in 2006, it dropped the ball and quit.