Ahead Of Its Time: 2001 Isuzu VehiCROSS

Crossover SUVs are the most popular segment of vehicles among the general public, and it’s somewhat of a shame – these appliances are often operated in an absent-minded manner, but even worse, they lack any type of character. Even though it was a limited-production model, this 2001 Isuzu VehiCROSS that is here on eBay proves that small SUVs don’t have to be boring.

This VehiCROSS is available in La Jolla, California with just 91,000 miles on the odometer. The seller notes that they purchase cars as an investment, and sought out a very well maintained and nice driving example such as this one, stating; “I feel that the Vehicross is going to increase in value so I sought one out and purchased this car from a Toyota Dealership who had it on their lot as a trade in and had gone through it and provided maintenance.”

Everything inside the cabin appears to be in decent shape, with functions such as air conditioning, heating, windows, mirrors and radio all in working condition. An interesting feature of the SUV is the factory Recaro seats, though they have do have some minor cracking.

This unique SUV shared a platform with Isuzu’s Trooper and packs a 3.5-liter V6 engine under the hood, which pairs to an automatic transmission and a BorgWarner full-time 4-wheel-drive system. The power steering, transmission, both differentials, and transfer case all received new fluid at 63,000 miles, while the engine received a timing belt just before reaching 87,000.

There are some minor blemishes on the exterior, such as minor dents and scratches, but one should expect that from a vehicle of this nature. Also, since the SUV was previously in Illinois, there was some surface rust that has already received treating and coating.

One of the most interesting things about the VehiCROSS is the spare tire location. See those four dials? Once you unlock those, the spare hides inside of that spot.

The Buy it Now price for this unique Isuzu is $8,955, and if the asking price is met, a handful of extra parts are also included, such as new shocks and an audio system. When it first hit the scene, the VehiCROSS confused some people and definitely angered others. However, when comparing it today’s bland batch of crossovers, the VehiCROSS could easily go down in history as a collector’s item, due to its unique styling and actual off-road capabilities. Could you see yourself owning this Isuzu, or would you pass on the VehiCROSS?


  1. BeeMoe

    Sooo… if I’m searching for investment grade vehicles, I probably wouldn’t buy an odd duck with blemishes and rust. Could be a fun ‘truck’ for what it is though.

    Like 2
    • Wekilled

      I own a heavily modified 1999 that I drive Wa to Ca to Georgia then shipped it to Germany when stationed there. Not everyone loves the VX, but if you do it’s a match!

  2. Vegaman Dan

    I don’t dislike this for a fun driver.

    Like 6
  3. Magstar67

    That thing is Illinois crusty underneath! I don’t think spraying black paint on it is going to help much!

    Like 4
  4. healeydays

    Back when they were new I was in the market for a SUV and my local Nissan-Isuzu dealer had the Pathfinder I was looking for on the lot and I bought it. As I was waiting for them to prep the truck, I saw a VehiCROSS just being off loaded at the dealership. I asked my salesguy if I could take it for a test drive and he was insistent that I just bought the Pathfinder, why take this for a test drive. Well I told him I might change my mind and he fell for it, put a plate on it and away I went. That test drive ended up being around 45 minutes and that thing was a blast to drive. Why didn’t I buy it? Isuzu didn’t have the best reputation at the time and dealers were starting to disappear and it was an odd looking duck.

    It ended up I stuck with the Pathfinders for a couple purchases before I headed over to BMW and the X3. Do I wonder how the VehiCROSS would have been long term, yup. Do I think I made a mistake? Nope…

    Like 4
  5. Coventrycat

    Investment it ain’t

    Like 2
  6. Fred H

    I own a 1999 Vehicross. It was number 327 of the first 500 to come over. It has been a great SUV to me no troubles. It has 136k on it. I bought it in 2012 from the original owner.

    Like 6
  7. Mountainwoodie

    @Healeydays..my lesser half has wrecked two X3’s in the last five years! So now she drives an 07 328 wagon ! LOL Almost toasted that too but luckily it was only a front control arm as she took a 5 mph speed hump at at least 25 mph.

    I always thought these were an interesting Blade Runner-ish looking body. I dont think it will ever be collectible but what do I know as people pay 100k for VW busses I bought for a grand.

    I might be in at three grand for this though just for grins, but it has a slushbox so…….

    Like 3
  8. Ian C

    Ah yes. The ol’ Vehi-Catfish. Or was it Vehi-Carp? Front end could pass for either one I guess.

    • Bluetec320 Bluetec 320 Member

      I think it has a serpentine look. Never really liked it.

  9. edh

    I thought these were kind of cool. Not a fan of the color. My daughter needs a first car, I’d go as high as $2K for this.

  10. sir mike

    Still ugly after all these years.Our dealership had one when new…finally sold it at auction when nobody wanted it.

    Like 1
  11. h5mind

    I tried to get into the back seat of one of these when they were new and it was a very tight squeeze. Storage space behind the seats is also very limited. As far as paying twice Kelly Book price for this rig, no thanks.

  12. Brian Scott

    I vividly remember seeing these for the first time! It closely resembled the concept car, and was incredibly outre compared to everything else. They never sold, but then again, name an Isuzu that did? Maybe the Trooper. So you have an I-Mark tuned by Lotus, still in the wrapper? You rock. My bold prediction is that in the not-too-distant future, crossovers will fall out of fashion. Why? What killed the minivan, which really is ideal for most families (spacious, decent handling & fuel efficiency etc.), if not the fact that people were embarrassed to be seen in one. I’d take a minivan image any day, 2019, versus a crossover. Back in the day I had 3 of them, but today you wouldn’t catch me comatose in one (okay, maybe a Macan GTS).

  13. Lance Nord

    I have always loved this vehicle! If I wasn’t such a big guy, I would have already owned one. I thought it would be a great first vehicle for my daughter, but I only had sons.

    Like 2
  14. ChallengerChick

    I loved these goofy things and wanted one in the worst way! However, they only made 6k of them, 4,200 for the US/1,800 for Japan, and they were all automatic which I won’t own. I was so bummed when I found that out.


    Why does everyone these days think that every vehicle needs black wheels?

    Like 2
    • Rod444

      Preach it bro! Chrome wheels rock. Black reminds me of steel winter rims or police cruiser wheels. Boring and kinda ugly.

    • Anthony

      Black is the new chrome. Like gold neck chains, rings and those chrome spinner wheels that kept spinning when the car, any car was stopped. Old school is cool but old.

  16. Rick

    Is this what is considered “Barn Find” ??

  17. Earl Blood

    I’ve had two of these over the past 10 years and they are a blast to drive. Not for anyone that doesn’t want to spend time on regular maintenance or want’s to be left alone at a gas pump. My first was the Dragon Green Mica and my current one is Proton Yellow like the one pictured. I tried an Xterra Pro-4X but sold that and went back to the VehiCROSS…it’s just too much fun.

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