1999 Isuzu Amigo

1999 Isuzu Amigo
Well, the name sounds friendly enough, Amigo, but with an available 3.2L 205-HP V6, this little guy can quickly become the neighborhood bully. Compare this power plant to that of the Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4, or the Chevy Tracker and the Isuzu Amigo has given the competition a good ole’ butt whoopin’. The 1999 Isuzu Amigo is a far cry from the first Amigo introduced to the U.S. in the late 1980’s. Isuzu has created this power packed little sport-ute by using the same great power plant found in the Amigo’s older brother the Rodeo. With this much power and a curb weight just over 3700 lbs., the Amigo can rush to sixty miles an hour in just under 8 seconds. While the new Amigo shines with the new power plant, the interior accommodations have been upgraded as well.

The interior of the 1999 Amigo is available with all of the essential amenities. Power windows, power locks, and air conditioning are available in all trim models. The dash is well organized and all switches and knobs are within easy reach. The available 6-disc in-dash CD changer fitted in our test vehicle was a lifesaver on long freeway excursions. The instrument cluster is well organized and houses all the necessary gauges to monitor the potent power plant. The front seats offer great lumbar support, supportive side bolsters, and enough adjustment for even our jumbo testers. The rear seating area is by no means enormous, but in comparison to other two door sport utilities in its class has ample space for two adults. New for 1999 is an available hard top and dual sun roofs. The hard top adds a bit of refinement for those seeking a small sport utility without the noise of a soft-top. The available hard top also makes the new Amigo more appealing to those not living in year round sunshine. Both the front and rear sunroofs are removable and Isuzu has included storage bags and lash down points in the rear of the vehicle for them when removed. Another feature that many outdoor enthusiasts will find handy is the auxiliary power outlet located in the rear storage area. Our test vehicle was also equipped with remote keyless entry and electric side view mirrors.

Driving impressions
1999 Isuzu Amigo On the road the 1999 Isuzu Amigo really shines with the new power plant, making highway passing a breeze. The Rack and pinion variable assist steering provides just the right amount of feedback at all speeds to make the driver feel in complete control. Its small size and car like handling make the Amigo a great point and shoot traffic machine. The Amigo shows slight signs of under steer during high speed cornering, but a slight lift from the throttle puts the little Amigo back in place. Our vehicle was equipped with a push button winter start and power shift transmission modes. The winter start feature allows the driver to take off from a stop with out wheel spin in slippery conditions. Putting the transmission in power shift mode lets the engine rev higher between shifts and really crispens the throttle response. Combining the Power shift mode and the tight limited slip differential installed in our test vehicle meant that care had to be taken leaving stoplights after a rainstorm. Yes, it does turn a few heads when you spin the tires away from a stoplight in a 1999 Amigo! Off road the 1999 Isuzu Amigo will continue to impress. Off the shelf with independent double-wishbone control arms, torsion bars, and gas filled shocks, the front suspension will swallow up all but the largest bumps. The rear suspension consists of a 5-link design with coil springs, stabilizer bar and direct, double-acting gas-filled shock absorbers. While wheel travel is not immense, the limited slip differential kept the Amigo climbing even when a tire lost contact with the ground. The Amigo felt very balanced and controlled in slow speed off-roading, but got a little out of shape during high-speed washboard road testing. A quick lift of the right foot put the Amigo back in line. The V6 engine really shines off road making great usable torque for controlled hill climbs. With a little practice, and careful driving the Amigo can go places other sport utilities in its class can only dream of.


NOTE: All ratings on a scale of 1 to 4 with flat tires equal to a half.




On-Road Performance

The Amigo is quick and responsive and very car like. The V6 makes this vehicle a joy to drive.

Off-Road Performance

Very good low range gearing and lots of V6 torque make easy work of the steepest hill climbs. A very tight limited slip differential allows the Amigo go were others in its class fear to tread.


Handling and power are well matched making the Amigo easy to whip through traffic. Really puts the “sport” in sport utility.


Ample leg and head room for even the largest testers. More room than many of the other vehicles in its class.


The short wheel base and wide stance make the Amigo look very aggressive.

Price in comparison to related vehicles

Fully loaded and with the V6, the Amigo is a better value than the RAV4 and Honda CRV.

Editors Notes

If you are looking for a fun to drive, extremely capable sport utility and you only need 2 doors then the Amigo is the vehicle for you. Don’t waste your time with the 4 cylinder, the V6 is worth every extra penny…JC

Engines & Fuel Economy

 Available Engines & Transmissions: 4X4 Models
Engines S 4WD Soft Top S V6 4WD Soft Top S V6 4WD Hard Top
2.2L 130-hp I4 Standard Not Available Not Available
3.2L 205-hp V6 Not Available Standard Standard
5-Speed Manual Overdrive Standard Standard Not Available
4-Speed Automatic Overdrive Not Available Optional Standard
 Fuel Economy (city / hwy): 4WD-PT
  2.2L 130-hp I4 3.2L 205-hp V6
5-Speed Manual Overdrive 20 / 23 18 / 21
4-Speed Automatic Overdrive N/A 17 / 21
 Engine Specifications
  2.2L 130-hp I4 3.2L 205-hp V6
Horsepower 130 @ 5200 RPM 205 @ 5400 RPM
Torque (lb-ft) 144 @ 4000 RPM 214 @ 3000 RPM
Displacement (cc) 2198 3165
Bore X Stroke (in.) 3.39 X 3.72 3.68 X 3.03
Compression Ratio 9.6:1 9.1:1
Fuel Type Gas Gas
Fuel System SEFI SEFI

Specifications & Warranties

 4WD-PT Models
Exterior Dimensions S 4WD Soft Top S V6 4WD Soft Top S V6 4WD Hard Top
Curb Weight – Automatic (lb.) 3535 3620 No Data
Curb Weight – Manual (lb.) No Data 3684 3714
Wheelbase (in.) 96.9 96.9 96.9
Track FR (in.) 59.6 59.6 59.6
Track RR (in.) 59.8 59.8 59.8
Length (in.) 167.8 167.8 167.8
Width (in.) 70.4 70.4 70.4
Height (in.) 66.6 66.6 66.6
Ground Clearance (in.) 7.9 7.9 7.9
Interior Dimensions S 4WD Soft Top S V6 4WD Soft Top S V6 4WD Hard Top
Standard Seating 5 5 5
Optional Seating N/A N/A N/A
Headroom – front (in.) 38.9 38.9 38.9
Headroom – rear (in.) 37.3 37.3 37.3
Legroom – front (in.) 42.1 42.1 42.1
Legroom – rear (in.) 33.3 33.3 33.3
Hip Room – front (in.) 51.8 51.8 51.8
Hip Room – rear (in.) 48 48 48
Shoulder Room – front (in.) 56.3 56.3 56.3
Shoulder Room – rear (in.) 55.7 55.7 55.7
Payload & Towing S 4WD Soft Top S V6 4WD Soft Top S V6 4WD Hard Top
EPA Passenger Volume (cu. ft.) No Data No Data No Data
Standard Towing (lb.) 2500 4500 4500
Maximum Towing (lb.) 2500 4500 4500
Standard Payload (lb.) 1067 982 888
Maximum Payload (lb.) 1067 982 888
EPA Cargo Volume (cu. ft.) No Data No Data No Data
Maximum GVWR (lb.) 4650 4650 4650
Steering & Suspension S 4WD Soft Top S V6 4WD Soft Top S V6 4WD Hard Top
Turning Diameter (left) 34.1 34.1 34.1
Turning Diameter (right) 34.1 34.1 34.1
Steering Type Rack & Pinion Rack & Pinion Rack & Pinion
Front Suspension Independent Independent Independent
Rear Suspension Live Axle Live Axle Live Axle
Tires 235/75R15 235/75R15 235/75R15



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