What's New for the 2004 Isuzu Axiom? A new 3.5-liter direct injection gasoline V6 engine making 250 horsepower and 246 lb.-ft. of torque is standard in the 2004 Isuzu Axiom. Isuzu drops the “power” button from the automatic transmission, standard cassette player, rear assist grip coat hook, rear door tweeters and rear seat strap but adds chrome trim and a larger Isuzu badge to the exterior. Three new colors also debut for 2004.
Advantages of the 2004 Isuzu Axiom:
Powerful direct-injection V6 engine
Comfortable rear seat
Quality interior materials
Impressive powertrain warranty and roadside assistance program
Objections to the 2004 Isuzu Axiom:
Poor ride quality
Uncomfortable front seats
Disastrous control layout and operation
Editor's Advice: The Isuzu Axiom, star car of the Spy Kids series of lighthearted adventure flicks and Isuzu’s last-ditch effort to save a dying brand in the U.S., has not captured the attention of an American populace infatuated with sport-utility vehicles. With a stout ladder-frame and mid-sized vehicle architecture donated by the flawed Isuzu Rodeo, the Axiom seemed doomed from the start. Isuzu has styled the Axiom nicely, patterning it after handsome concept vehicles that had wowed critics and consumers on the nation’s auto show circuit, but execution relies too heavily on parts sharing with the Rodeo. An electronically adjustable active suspension system aims to provide a softer ride quality, but the Axiom’s sturdy body-on-frame roots are hard to disguise. The front seats are mounted low and don’t offer enough rearward seat track travel, making the Isuzu Axiom uncomfortable for taller people. Designers went for a futuristic theme with the instrument panel by tacking a giant plastic module to the Rodeo’s dashboard, installing a large but mostly useless display screen and bundling climate and audio controls into a single, jumbled mess of a control panel in the center stack. This year, a direct injection V6 debuts which is purported to improve efficiency, but during a blessedly brief drive we averaged just 17.1 mpg. Aside from its unique appearance and impressive powertrain warranty, there is little reason to consider the 2004 Isuzu Axiom over far better vehicles in this size and price class.
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