Sold exclusively in the United States, the Isuzu Hombre was part of General Motors’ second generation S-Series vehicles—a lineup comprised of several compact pickup trucks and SUVs that were introduced to the market during the early 80s. During the late 70s, compact pickup trucks became extremely popular in the American market. However, this segment was dominated by foreign automakers, especially those from Asia. As a response to this emerging market, the big three American car makers at that time—Jeep, General Motors, and Ford—came up with their own versions of compact pickups. For General Motors, the result of this effort was a series of different kinds of compact trucks and one of them was the Hombre. Here’s a quick look at the history of the Isuzu Hombre, from its roots in the S-Series to its short run.
1972: The first compact truck
At the beginning of the 1970s, General Motors already released its first compact pickup truck in the form of the Chevrolet LUV. This vehicle was basically a rebadged Isuzu KB. However, with the Arab oil embargo in 1973, GM decided to produce its compact pickup trucks in the United States using G-body as the platform.
1982-1993: First generation
It was not until 1982 when General Motors released its very own Chevrolet S10. This vehicle was also released as the GMC S15, which was basically a twin model of the S10 save for several minor components and features. A year after, SUV versions of the S10 and S15 were also released in the market as the Chevrolet S10 Blazer and GMC S15 Jimmy. These vehicles were powered by inline-four or V6 engines and they were available in both manual and automatic transmissions. All these pickups and SUVs were manufactured in several locations across America—in Moraine, Ohio; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Pontiac, Michigan. They were also built based on the GMT325 platform and were in production until 1993.
1994-2004: Second generation
The first generation of S-series vehicles released several special edition models from time to time. However, most of these were discontinued when the second generation of S-Series pickup trucks came out in 1994. The most noticeable change in the new generation was their new engine. With the 2.8 L Iron Duke four-cylinder V6 engine out of the picture, the 2.4 L Vortec V6 and the 2.2 L four-cylinder engines were introduced.
1996: Isuzu Hombre
In 1996, Isuzu rebadged the second generation of the Brazilian-released Chevrolet S-10 to produce the Hombre. Consequently, the Hombre shared the same front grille, fenders, and truck bed sheet metal with the S10 from Brazil. The Isuzu Hombre was solely released in the American market and it offered a limited range of equipments to its buyers. This model was short-lived, however, and it lasted for only four years until 2000. It was replaced six years after with the Isuzu i Series.