The Isuzu Ascender, a mid-sized/full-sized, seven-seater SUV manufactured by General Motors for Isuzu. It was launched in 2003 and was essentially a rebadged GMC Envoy. The Ascender was launched as a replacement for the Japanese-built Isuzu Trooper. In 2005, a short, five-seater version was introduced to replace both Rodeo and Axiom. In 2005, Displacement of Demand (DOD) V8 engine was added in the range. Isuzu was once involved in offering Japanese-built cars, trucks and SUVs in American market, but the Ascender marked as the last and only passenger vehicle before the launch of other slow-selling Isuzu i-Series pickup trucks, manufactured by General Motors in North America. As was announced earlier by Isuzu, Ascender never offered in Canada.
The Ascender was the only mid-sized SUV out of other six that was not really a GM branded product as Isuzu was partly possessed by General Motors until 2006. After the introduction of 2006 model year, the seven-seater Ascender was discontinued. Majority of the reviews warned the customers of small dealer network to claim warranty repairs, while the Kelley Blue Book suggested a low resale value of just like Trailblazer. Despite all this, Isuzu offered their customers a seven year/75,000 mile powertrain warranty as well as certain factory incentives.
On June, 2008, the Ascender was called off from production as a part of Isuzu’s departure from the United States. The Ascender as well as its related GMC Envoy was taken over by the 2010 GMC Terrain which was built on GM Theta platform. The seven-seater versions of both vehicles were replaced by the 2007 GMC Acadia that was built on GM Lambda platform.
As for engine, three different engines were used for both the vehicles at different production times, i.e. LL8 4.2-L (256 cubic inch) I6 offered from 2003 to 2008; the 5300 5.3-L (323 cubic inch) V8 engine was used between 2003 and 2004, while the 5300 5.3-L (323 cubic inch) V8 with Displacement on Demand was offered in the models from 2003 to 2007.