I am IRONMAN: 1999 Isuzu VehiCROSS Ironman Edition – SOLD!
July 8th Update: We just heard from the seller Steve (see comment below) that his rare Isuzu Ironman VehiCross just sold and now has a new caretaker!
Some cars were simply ahead of their time and the Isuzu VehiCROSS we came across a few days ago here on Craigslist in Edison, New Jersey is is arguably the first compact SUV to fall under that category. The current caretaker of this 1999 Ironman edition is currently asking $6,500. The NADA Guides Online Valuation Tool currently lists their “Low, “Average”, and “High” retail value range for these quirky SUVs as $2,675, $4,275, and $6,375, respectively so the private seller currently feels he can charge a premium for the limited edition example even though he notes both the “ABS” and “Check Engine” lights are currently on. If you dare to be different and are serious about purchasing this rare compact SUV, you can start the conversation by e-mailing the seller here.
The Isuzu VehiCROSS is a compact SUV from Isuzu. Produced from 1997 through 2001 (Japanese market 1997–1999; US market 1999–2001), it shares many of its components with the Trooper, including both its 3.2 L and 3.5 L V6 engine that produces 215 bhp (160 kW; 218 PS) at 5400 rpm and 230 lb⋅ft (312 N⋅m) at 3000 rpm of torque. The vehicle also features the Torque on Demand (TOD) 4-wheel-drive system produced by BorgWarner. It is a small, sporty 2-door crossover vehicle with aggressive external styling, including short overhangs, an aggressive forward stance, titanium “teeth” in the grille, a black hood-insert, and black plastic cladding over the entire lower half of the vehicle. The US VehiCROSS came equipped with 16″ polished wheels in 1999 and 18″ chrome wheels during the remainder of production. The Japanese version came equipped with 16″ alloys with chrome center caps.
The VehiCROSS combined a computer-controlled AWD system for on-road driving and a low-gear 4WD system for off-road driving. The Japanese version offered a 2WD non TOD or 4WD TOD option. The US-only constant 4WD TOD, with 12 independent sensors for detecting wheel spin and capable of redirecting power to the wheels with the most traction, gives the VehiCROSS a high level of traction on wet and icy roads. It also has a high level of performance for its height. While possessing on-road nimbleness, its body-on-frame truck construction, suspension and 4WD gearing make it very capable off-road.
Wildly different when launched, the styling of the VehiCROSS has actually aged well. If you’re looking for an attention getter at a Cars & Coffee or RADwood event, don’t plan to daily drive this SUV, and can do your own work on the vehicle once you source parts, this might be the vehicle for you. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“This 1999 Vehicross is an Ironman Edition (one of only 420 made for the US market) in original Victory White paint. The body is in very good shape with only minor paint dings which were touched up. The body cladding is in great shape as well with all the button head fasteners in place. The front hood Ironman insert has been repainted satin black with the ‘IRONMAN’ logo in silver and stainless steel allen head fasteners holding it down (replacing the glued on fasteners from the factory). The interior is original except for a Pioneer stereo in place of the factory one with the special edition Ironman themed Recaro red and black leather seats front and rear. The rear are like new and the front have some wear but no rips or holes. Carpeting is in decent shape but does show wear under the floor mats. The dash has no cracks in the padding and is also in excellent shape. The center console arm rest does have wear from people resting their elbow on it while driving but replacement covers are available on ebay. The wheels were upgraded to M/T Aluminum 8 hole wheels with BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A KO2’s (245/75R16) all around. Underneath the exhaust was replaced 2 years ago with all new parts and the brakes were replaced as well as all front wheel bearings. There is no looseness in the suspension and the original shocks still work. Also, out back there is a class III trailer hitch installed with tail light connector. The original drivetrain with a 4 speed automatic and 3.5L V6 engine works well and has 165,222 miles on the odometer. The engine is in decent shape and runs well and the timing belt was replaced with a new Gates belt but the Check Engine light is on. Also of note, the ABS light does come on at times and other times is off. The brakes work fine though when the light is on the Antilock braking feature does not pulse. Also, there is a new Champion battery under the hood. Don’t pass up a chance to own one of the first crossover SUVs that started the trend! The Vehicross was ahead of it’s time when it was released and it’s styling still attracts attention wherever it goes! Being it’s one of the limited edition Ironman models it’s even more rare than the base model.“
Do you have a VehiCROSS story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!