2010 Isuzu Crosswind Sportivo review

By Sharleen Banzon
Isuzu Crosswind Sportivo Top Gear Philippines Car Review

The Isuzu Crosswind is a very curious model. On the one hand, if I hadn't bothered tracing its physical evolution these past few years via photos on the Internet, I'd have been hard pressed to note the differences between this current-model, top-of-the-line Sportivo automatic variant and, say, its 2004 FX-converted counterparts I'd chased after on Philcoa as a college junior who couldn't afford a week's worth of fuel for her gas-guzzling, hand-me-down ride.

On the other hand, you can't say Isuzu has been lacking in updates to this AUV, as its upgrade history may be likened to the sheer number of times Facebook fanatics feel compelled to change their status messages each day. I don't think there's any cosmetic or entertainment feature the Japanese carmaker isn't beyond putting on succeeding year models. Like I said, curious.

The formula upon which the Isuzu Crosswind is based still holds. The 2.5-liter SOHC in-line-four diesel lump powering it is around after all this time because of its durability--it will probably outlast any other component of the vehicle. The 85 horses and 189 Newton-meters of torque delivered to the rear wheels by a four-speed automatic gearbox counts for a lot of frustrating moments especially when overtaking, but you're bound to get to your destination, anyway, and with patience to spare if you keep in mind that despite the "Sportivo" moniker, the Crosswind's strong suit is utilitarian work.

This seven-seater rides precariously on a double-wishbone-front, rigid-axle-rear setup, and rolls on 235/70 tires wrapped around 15-inch alloys. The lack of feel through the steering wheel makes it seem like you're rowing a boat than driving a car at times. Breaking traction at the rear is discomfortingly easy, as I unwittingly discovered while driving on a wet stretch of road with a fine dusting of sand. Pulling out of the spin and slowing down, however, demonstrated that the brakes work perfectly fine.

Moving on to the Sportivo's cosmetic changes, I can't help wondering if it's a hip-hop video they'd used as a design reference given all the chrome adorning the vehicle, from the grille, the headlamp treatment, the power-folding side-view mirrors with turn-signal repeaters, the taillights, and the alloys. Inside, it's a schizophrenic mix of old and new: the dated gauge cluster gets a nice blue backlight, for instance, and the steering wheel is incorporated with control buttons for the head unit. As usual, the JVC head unit has mind-boggling controls, but the touch-screen, proximity--sensing panel can elicit some ooohs and aaahs from your passengers.

Meanwhile, the bruises I sustained on my right elbow is a testament to how the plastic surfaces covering the black-beige interior look much softer to the touch than they actually are, as I kept on resting my arm on the center console's cover thinking it was really padded. Another thing lacking in padding is the driver's seat, which could use more bolsters for lumbar and lateral support. They're still the best perches in the cabin, though--the second-row occupants might have seven-inch LCD monitors and those on the third row finally get headrests, but good luck to them when the car goes over potholes and speed bumps.

Whether its P1.21-million tag befits the Isuzu Crosswind Sportivo depends on the prospective buyer's tastes and intended use for the vehicle. Other main competitors in this segment are priced comparatively lower, while at the same time delivering more--and I'm not talking about piling on the chrome and the LCD monitors.

This car ain't broke, not at all. What it's suffering from is a datedness that mere upgrades to the sheet metal and interior won't reverse. This coming turn of the decade, it would better benefit from a complete overhaul.


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Filter comments by:
  • maranello_5775 Oct 29 2009 @ 02:53pm
    if only it has a CRDI engine...
  • ianmitsulancer Oct 30 2009 @ 08:22am
    if it ain't broke, add something like the CRDi engine, Airbags and ABS to go with our times!
  • myk384 Nov 01 2009 @ 09:56pm
    it's getting long in the tooth.
  • feeter Nov 03 2009 @ 09:15pm
    same old SUV for 1.2M, oh no!
  • gerbo Nov 08 2009 @ 12:35am
    unfortunately, the biggest update is the price.
  • ur-zababa Nov 12 2009 @ 06:12pm
    i agree sa mga sinasabi nyo pero sa tingin ko ito yung looks na you wont mind seeing 20 years after. what i mean is it has a classic look....just like the toyota corolla 98'. it has a basic foundations of the SUV that we have known regardless of its creature comforts.
  • hydraulicz73 Nov 19 2009 @ 11:26pm
    I own a 2001 XTO Isuzu Crosswind. I can say that it was really good when it first came out in 2001. But for their new models, Fuel consumption became stronger and for putting bigger wheels on the new crosswind, they should have increased the engine size and having a new design for the engine will be needed because Isuzu engines are really noisy!
  • arville Feb 23 2010 @ 03:17am
    Beautiful engine needs/deserves beautiful body. =)
  • mts Oct 28 2010 @ 08:38pm
    Well, this will do well for a family car. Set aside the pride. Ayun na nga eh, sadam says: Pros - reliability, durability, and longevity meaning less maintenance cost.. Kung hindi kayo nagko-costing, it means may money for maintenance or the power to buy for replacement just in case. So, if money is not a problem, Audi Q7 is another choice. ^_^ (Actually lotsa choice for lotsa bread) hehe
  • ayiewafoo Dec 28 2010 @ 12:34pm
    isuzu is the best diesel engine compared to all others, the toyota diesel units are being recalled for the problem in their engine, mitsubishi's diesel engine is not 100% perfect also... but i agree, that the sportivo should have an upgrade with its appearance and a new diesel technology should be put under its hood... furthermore, i just want to rebut the statement that the interior was bad, in my own experience sportivo is much more comfortable than riding a montero... try it and you will see the difference... plus the sportivo is equipped with GPS, its fully loaded kaya wala ka ng idadagdag!
  • NJAVIC Feb 28 2011 @ 07:33pm
    If you want your car shine plate it with Chrome or Buff your alloys.
  • Merckinz Mar 19 2011 @ 07:29pm
    Ang maganda lang sa Crosswind ay yung Jeepney-like Accessories na nagpapa-attract sa mga tao.Yung mga Chrome Bits. Atsaka yung GPS Navi nya atsaka yung LCD Monitor sa HeadRest. Pero wala syang AirBag, ABS, at iba pang Safety Features
  • janjalaniv Oct 18 2011 @ 08:23pm
    Dear Isuzu,

    Welcome to 2010! Nakaka-hilo na yang puro face lift.

    Truly yours,
    2002 Isuzu Crosswind owner

  • mondragon Jan 05 2012 @ 09:14pm
    tama lng pure direct injection cgro crosswind para unique cla.. tried and tested durability nman yan.heavy duty na tunay compare sa iba.. ms mahal maintenance pg crdi.. kya lng tlg lamang toyota at mitsubishi sa sales kc ms mura cla ng konti..tama lng din na leaf springs kc khit sportivo hauler pdin... at designed sya dun.. ung montero/fortuner/land cruiser/nissan patrol pang light-medium family luxury outing lng mga yan..e ung crosswind khit xuv o sportivo yn, bka 3yrs from now pwd na pampasada. o db ms may pakinabang hehe....
  • dmaxred18 Jan 23 2012 @ 09:17am
    Isuzu Crosswind Sportivo on the mix!!!
  • dmaxred18 Jan 23 2012 @ 09:54am
    Tingnan lang natin after 50 yrs. from now, only Isuzu vehicles esp. isuzu crosswind will be on hte road!,. patatagan lng ng makina, panalo na ISUZU!
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