Used 2007 Isuzu Ascender SUV Used 2007
Isuzu Ascender SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

Have you been itching to get a new GMC Envoy or Chevrolet TrailBlazer, but you're waiting for some big event to ensure you get the most bang for your buck? We're going to let you in on a little secret: The deal you've been waiting for is at this very moment sitting at your local Isuzu dealership. It's the Ascender, a carbon copy of the GMC/Chevrolet twins, with a nearly-identical price tag but with a powertrain warranty over twice as long as its GM cousins (seven-years/75,000 miles vs. three-years/36,000 miles). Unless you need a V8 engine (the Ascender doesn't offer one), with the same suspension, same interior features and same seating capacity, how can you go wrong?

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You'll Like This SUV If...

If you love everything about the Chevy TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy but you want a better warranty, slightly different styling and can live without OnStar, the Ascender is the way to go.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

If you need maximum interior space, the five-passenger Ascender may not offer enough seating for your growing family. A sparse dealer network may make servicing a bit difficult, depending upon where you live.

What's New for 2007

The seven-passenger model is no more and OnStar is no longer available. On the bright side, a tire pressure monitoring system and machine-finished alloy wheels are now standard.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

On the road, you'll find the Ascender feels controlled and agile. A five-link rear suspension keeps the rear end from bouncing around on rough and broken pavement, and the shock absorber settings deliver a car-like ride that does not suffer once you move off-road. Four-wheel-drive models feature an automatically-engaged system, which can be left in the automatic mode during normal highway driving, or shifted into four-high or four-low when traversing deep snow, loose sand or off-road trails. The sturdy in-line six-cylinder engine makes a hardy 291 horsepower, providing the Ascender with more-than-adequate response in the areas of acceleration and passing, even when fully loaded.

Favorite Features

7-year/75,000 Mile Powertrain Warranty
The Ascender's 7/75 powertrain warranty is one of the best in the business and is over twice as long as the warranties offered on either the Chevrolet TrailBlazer or GMC Envoy.

Adjustable Foot Pedals
The optional power-adjustable foot pedals (part of the Luxury Package) make finding a comfortable driving position a breeze.

Vehicle Details

Interior

The Ascender's instrument panel is modern and fresh, with neat semicircular air ducts on the center stack and tasteful wood grain appliques surrounding the radio and heating controls. Upgraded models feature steering wheel-mounted touch controls for the audio and cruise control functions, allowing you to keep your hands on the wheel while making adjustments. Color choices inside are limited to gray or beige, but the plastics have a nice heavy texture and generally fit together well.

Exterior

The Ascender is a solid-looking SUV with a purposeful front-end design and handsome sheet metal all around. It has a number of thoughtful conveniences, like the right-side mirror that tilts down when the transmission is placed into reverse, or the puddle lamps built into the bottom halves of the outside mirrors to illuminate the ground alongside the vehicle.

Notable Standard Equipment

The base Ascender includes a four-speed automatic transmission, power windows, dual-zone manual air conditioning with rear-seat controls, engine immobilizer, three 12-volt power outlets, fog lights, two-tone paint, tilt wheel, AM/FM stereo with CD and rear wiper/washer.

Notable Optional Equipment

Options include dual power mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, luggage rack with crossbars, full-time four-wheel drive, power adjustable foot pedals, head-curtain airbags, leather seats, eight-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, Bose audio and cruise control.

Under the Hood

The 4.2-liter in-line six is all the Ascender needs, unless you want to tow something really big, in which case a V8-powered SUV might make a better choice. The 4.2-liter engine is surprisingly smooth and quiet, generating terrific low-end torque and good fuel economy.

4.2-liter in-line 6
291 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
277 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (2WD), 15/21 (4WD)

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Pricing Notes

The five-passenger Ascender S with two-wheel drive has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $26,694, and the four-wheel-drive model is $28,694. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows the typical transaction for the Ascender is between $1,000 and $1,500 over dealer invoice. The Fair Purchase Price changes with market conditions, so be sure to check the figure before you begin negotiations. As for resale, the Ascender is projected to have a less-than-average residual value, on par with the GMC Envoy Denali and Chevrolet TrailBlazer, but below the Toyota 4Runner, Honda Pilot and Dodge Durango.

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