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Isuzu History


Isuzu make some of the toughest 4×4 vehicles around, including trucks.  However, they have made numerous cars too, perhaps most notable the Isuzu Piazza, a fast 1980s 2-dr sports car.

All current Isuzu vehicles are made in Japan, and Isuzu has assembly and manufacturing plants in Fujisawa, Tochigi and Hokkaidō areas.  The name Isuzu is a name used for a Japanese river. Isuzu’s birth occurred way back in the early 1900s, whereupon, in 1918, a heavy engineering company merged with the Tokyo Gas and Electric Company.  This joint merger took on a signed agreement that, together, they would build and sell Wolseley cars in the Far East.  In 1922, the first Japanese Wolseley was made.

Come 1929, the company began to build its own cars; and one of the names used for their cars was Isuzu.  The company formally became Isuzu Motors in 1949.

After World War II, a great demand for a wide variety of work trucks in Japan’s reconstruction work ensured that Isuzu Motors had plenty of work to busy themselves with.  Ever since this need for trucks, Isuzu have always been a big manufacturer of trucks for all manner of jobs.  Isuzu trucks are known globally for being rugged, strong workhorses.

During the 1980s, Isuzu made a very reliable small sedan and wagon called the Isuzu Gemini.  This was hugely popular, and the fact that there are still numbers of these cars running about today says a lot for their build quality.  The only thing about these vehicles is that their light weight makes them a little vulnerable car accidents.

Also designed and manufactured by Isuzu in the eighties and early nineties was the beautiful looking Piazza.  This was a two-door hatch that had design lines created by Giorgetto Giugiaro, and its appearance is a particular favourite of mine.  In April 1984, a 132 kW, four-cylinder engine with 251 Nm of torque powered the RWD Piazza.  This was a car that was capable of reaching over 200 km/h and accelerating from 0-100 km/h in well under 10 seconds.

During the eighties and nineties, and into the early stages of the new millennium, Isuzu built the very popular Bighorn and Trooper models.  There are still plenty of decent versions of these available in good condition sold on the second-hand market.

More recently, Isuzu are still big makers of trucks and 4×4 vehicles, and Isuzu don’t currently make cars for outside of Japan.  At the time of writing, brand new 4×2 and 4×4 utes are available for the new car-buyer.  These are known as the excellent Isuzu D-MAX utes.  They are large and comfortable utes with rugged and durable underpinnings.  The very modern Isuzu MU-X 4×4 is the SUV version of the D-MAX.

You’ll be impressed with the levels of power, equipment and comfort in both the MU-X and D-MAX. Take a look at Private Fleet’s reviews on Isuzu’s new models.