The Isuzu VehiCross Is A Bizarre SUV The World Forgot

Under 6000 of these weird Isuzu SUVs were made, and as Doug DeMuro discovers, there are plenty of quirks to discover...

Remind me later

I must admit, before watching this video, I’d never heard of the Isuzu VehiCross, and neither can I recall seeing one IRL. There’s a good reason for that: they were only ever sold in Japan and the US, and in small numbers: just 5958 were built.

That’s not to say it was a flop: the VehiCross was a kinda/sorta halo car for Isuzu that stayed reasonably close to the concept that spawned it, and production was supposed to be limited.

It was manufactured in an usual way too, with its weirdly-shaped body panels stamped out using a ceramic die. Compared to a more conventional cast iron die, the ceramic equivalents can be made for fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time, meaning Isuzu was able to make its concept a reality surprisingly quickly. The downside is ceramic dies wear out more quickly, but that wasn’t a problem given the VehiCross’ intended volumes.

Isuzu - The Isuzu VehiCross Is A Bizarre SUV The World Forgot - Japanese

The example Doug DeMuro is checking out here happens to be the final one made, and as you’d expect, it has plenty of weird touches. Chief among which is the enclosed spare wheel holder: the whole back end of the car seems to have been designed around it, from the low step of the boot aperture to the curved rear windscreen - complete with curved heater elements.

It’s a willfully bonkers car, this…