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Hagerty Employee

Driven to XS: Living the weird car life with an Isuzu Stylus

If you've never seen an Isuzu Stylus, you're not alone. Just 17,754 of them-less than a month's worth of Honda Civic production at the time-were sold in America from 1990 to 1993. It ended up being Isuzu's final truly home-grown car and the last one it sold in the U.S.

I liked Isuzu's quirky cars. They had character and were fun to drive. GM seemed to leverage the Lotus connection in so many wonderful little ways.

A person I went to HS with had one of these. It was a great little car, virtually new, and she got it incredibly cheap.

Her father had an Impulse in the garage, and a Fuego Turbo. They liked quirky stuff.

Best part of their US lineup, though, was Isuzu Joe. Killer marketing. 🙂

I still miss my Isuzu I280 pick-up with the 5 speed manual. It was nothing more than a rebadged Chevy Colorado stripper but it sure got a lot of questions from onlookers.

I remember these little devils. It would be a blast to have one today. Tip of the cap to Mr. Wenzel.
Intermediate Driver

A cracked windshield would fail inspection here, thus no registration. We don't have a track, so there is nothing one could do with such a car, no matter how fun it might be to drive. Shortly put, what's the point?
Pit Crew

If you can't have fun with cars where you are, go to where you can have fun with cars...

I would definitely consider that over a beige toyota camry
Intermediate Driver

I always thought these looked like the second generation Saturn SL from behind, vs. the current 1991 generation when these were out. Odd car then, and you'll never see another one. Although the local librarian had one of these up until a few years ago. She replaced with a Lotus Elise....

Wow. That’s my kind of librarian!
Advanced Driver

Great little car. I owned a 91 Geo Storm GSi and did well in my regional autocross with it. Unfortunately, Isuzu did little to rustproof the car and the Michigan salt got to it. It was very reliable, peppy and fun to drive. One of my favorite cars.

LOL @ the curve on the equalizer. Must have been a Bose lover!
Pit Crew

I had an 1984 Isuzu I-Mark, the predecessor to the Stylus. It was the base model, with the only option being air conditioning. It had the base 4 cylinder and a 5-speed, so it wasn't fast off the line, but it was still fun to drive. I flogged that little car, and it never quit on me. I sold it with 167,000 miles on it, and it still ran like a champ and didn't burn any oil. The S-10 I bought to replace it was a dog. I wish I had kept the I-Mark.
Pit Crew

Oops, it was a 1986 model, not a 1984!

I do remember these cars, but even more memorable to me ( but probably less to the car buying public) was the 2 door Impulse version. I think it was offered for only one year in RS trim with AWD and an intercooled 16v turbo engine. Handling by Lotus as well. That was a cool little car that no one bought. Finding one is like finding hen's teeth.

Nice article, neat little car.