What Changed for 2008:
- i-290 towing capacity increased to 2200 pounds (manual transmission)/3200 pounds (automatic transmission)
- i-370 towing capacity increased to 5500 pounds
- i-370 gets additional standard and optional equipment
- Integrated tow hitch and wiring harness now optional on i370
- LS package discontinued on i-290
- Luxury package discontinued on i-370 4x2 extended cab
and GM have had a long partnership in the development and production of vehicles and diesel engines. As a result, Isuzu's pickup truck is the Japanese automaker's version of the Chevrolet Colorado
. The Isuzu I-series pickups were launched as 2006 models; the lineup consists of the i-290 4x2 extended cab, i-370 4x2 extended cab, and i-370 4x2 and 4x4 crew cabs. The 2008 version sees a host of changes, including a 37.5-percent increase in towing capacity for the i-370. The i-370 also gets fog lights, a sliding rear window and leather-wrapped steering wheel as standard, while head curtain air bags, locking rear differential, traction control and a 6-disc CD changer are added to the option list.Model Lineup
The 2008 Isuzu I-series is offered in i-290 and i-370 models. The i-290 is offered as a single, basic extended cab model, with a vinyl bench seat, manual windows and locks, rubber flooring, AM/FM radio, alloy wheels, air conditioning, and cruise control. A Preferred Equipment package adds cloth seats, carpeted flooring, sideways-facing rear jump seats, and a CD/MP3 player. The i-370 Extended Cab includes all the equipment in the i-290 Preferred Equipment package plus a bigger engine, bucket seats, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, and sliding rear window. A 6-disc CD changer, traction control, side curtain air bags, integrated trailer hitch, and locking rear differential are optional. The i-370 Crew Cab adds a rear bench seat and side curtain air bags, with an optional Comfort package consisting of power-adjustable leather seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a 6-disc CD changer.Powertrain
The 2008 Isuzu i-290 models are powered by a 2.9-liter 4-cylinder engine that develops 185 hp at 5600 rpm and 190 lb.-ft. of torque at 2800 rpm. EPA fuel economy estimates are 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway for both 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmissions. The i-290 comes exclusively with rear-wheel drive (RWD).
The i-370 is powered by a 3.7-liter, inline 5-cylinder engine that produces 242 hp at 5600 rpm and 242 lb.-ft. of torque at 4600 rpm. This engine comes with a 4-speed automatic transmission and a choice of RWD or 4-wheel-drive (4WD), though the latter is only available with the crew cab. (RWD crew cab models have a raised suspension that gives them a 4x4 look.) EPA fuel economy estimates are 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway for RWD models, 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway for the 4WD.Safety
The 2008 Isuzu I-series comes standard with front air bags and anti-lock brakes; side curtain air bags are optional. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA
) crash tests, extended cab models scored 4 out of 5 stars for frontal impact, while crew cabs scored a perfect 5 stars. Side-impact ratings were 4 stars for front-row passengers and 5 stars for crew cab rear-seat passengers. (No rating was given for the extended cab's back seat.) The rollover rating was 4 stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS
) subjected the I-series to its frontal crash test only, and gave it the highest-possible rating of "Good."Technology
All 2008 Isuzu models get a new engine management computer, which features a 32-bit processor, 32MB of flash memory and 128k of RAM. The controller monitors more than 100 functions, including the engine's electronic throttle, variable exhaust-valve timing, spark timing, and cruise control. Isuzu points out that the unit is more than 50 times faster than the first engine control computers introduced in the 1970s.