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The best thing about the Isuzu Crosswind Sportivo is that it’s a dependable performer; Isuzu’s diesel engines have always been noted for their sheer reliability, if a bit underpowered. [firstpara] And such is the case with the Sportivo’s 4JA-1 2.5 liter SOHC in-line four diesel engine that produces an output of 85 horsepower and 189 Nm of torque. Day in and day out, the Sportivo starts giddily in the morning, ready to plod through the daily traffic, and take you to wherever you need to go. Just don’t expect to win an impromptu highway race, should you feel slighted by that jerkass driver that cut you off a second ago. It’s a horse that’s really more suited for pulling cargo rather than galloping in the open road.

Isuzu also promised that the Sportivo’s Flex Ride suspension system (double-wishbone-front, rigid-axle-rear setup) should be able to give you a comfortable, durable ride. To be honest, that might only be true if its tires and 15-inch alloys are running on pristine layers of asphalt.

Otherwise, the ride feels stiff, if only passable. Along with the diesel engine’s noise, the Sportivo doesn’t exactly make you feel like a king. We know it’s supposed to be a simple utility vehicle, and we like the LCD TVs mounted for passengers in the back, and the flashy grille, headlamps, and power-folding side-view mirrors. but for 1.2 million pesos, can’t Isuzu include at least an ABS braking system or airbags?

Likewise, the Sportivo’s exterior isn’t really all that exciting. They’ve chromed and blinged out the car’s bumpers, but aside from those shiny changes, there hasn’t been a lot of evolution in terms of its overall profile. When the original Crosswind was released earlier in the decade, it was a more eye-catching alternative to the offerings from Toyota and Mitsubishi. But those two carmakers have moved on with new cars for the AUV market, while Isuzu continues to forge on with—yawwn— the Crosswind.

The Sportivo could have been so much more, but right now, Isuzu should reserve the “Sportivo” for something more, oh we dont know, sporty and fresh?

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WORDS BY: GELO GONZALES

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