The Acura SLX (the name is applicable in the USA) is an upgraded and rebadged version of the Isuzu Trooper. However, it's not a new cooperation for Honda and Isuzu (the first vehicle exchange program was announced in 1994, providing Honda with the Isuzu Rodeo). The mid-size SUV was launched by Acura in 1996. 3 years later, the SLX was discontinued by reason of its poor sales. In 2001, it was replaced by the Honda Odyssey-based Acura MDX. The SLX is 183.5 inches long, 72.4 inches wide, and 72.2 inches high; the wheelbase is 108.7 inches. The SLX has its rivals in the SUV segment, including the GMC Yukon and Lincoln Navigator as well as the Ford Expedition and more affordable Chevrolet Tahoe. Notwithstanding the SLX has never been considered as a highly competitive luxury SUV, it has its advantages.
Each and every SLX's characteristic is sure thing compared with the Trooper. Some options, like the manual transmission and several engines available in the Troopers, were omitted in the SLX. The 1996-1997 Acura SLX came with a 3.2-liter DOHC V6 engine delivering 190 horsepower, while the 1998 SLX had a 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine producing 215 hp. The fuel economy is 14 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. All SLX models came with a 4-speed automatic transmission, either in base trim or with the Premium Package. The SLX is supplied with a Borg-Warner torque-on-demand all-wheel-drive system that becomes indispensable on unpaved or slippery roads. Shifting between 2WD and 4WD can be accomplished at speeds up to 60 mph. Comparing with the Trooper, the SLX has improved on-road control, consequently its drive is softer. Meanwhile, the off-road capability of the SLX is almost equal to the Trooper's, though large bumps may cause damage of its suspension. To protect all the vital parts of the SLX, it was later equipped with skid plates. The SLX is able to haul whatever large and heavy objects, so its great advantage is rear cargo capacity. Moreover, the back door is hinged vertically which makes loading easy. The vehicle is definitely larger, taller, and wider than its competitors.
The SLX had telling underhood improvements, while its interior design with all the accessories remained almost unchanged, as opposed to the Trooper. Air conditioning, dual airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, power windows, power door locks, and a 6-speaker sound system were included as the standard SLX's equipment. Such extra options as leather upholstery, heated power front seats, an overhead console, and a power moonroof were added with the Premium Package. A newly revised instrument panel included a digital odometer and trip meter. The SLX features a more stylish look than the Isuzu Trooper – a different grille, new trims and dozens of luxury accessories and parts.
A multi-tasking SUV, the SLX burst upon the scene and held its own with a shapely answer to the burgeoning demand for larger vehicles that still delivered sensibility along with power. From a common V6 to a dual overhead cam that packed even more punch, road-weary drivers could depend on the SLX to get them where they needed to be. Stylish, comfortable, and effective, the Acura SLX made its bones by not backing down and plugging away valiantly across the contemporary landscape.
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