Hello Liberty, Hello Ascender

Well, I picked up a new vehicle today. New to me, 2005 model. It cost me just about what the insurance is paying for the poor Envoy that was totaled.

2005.isuzu.ascender.20021978-300x189The vehicle I bought is an Isuzu Ascender, which almost nobody has even heard of. I hadn’t. Isuzu doesn’t even sell vehicles in the U.S. anymore. So why would I take a chance on a lame-duck used vehicle?

Simple. It’s just a rebranded Chevy Trailblazer/GMC Envoy. If you don’t look at the badging on the truck, you’d swear it was an Envoy. Inside, it’s almost identical to the 2003 Envoy I had and the trim details on the outside, that I think are “different,” I’m not so sure they’re not just due to the 2005 model year as much as the different name.

Some minor details – again just as likely to be model year variations, or not – no OnStar. Boo Hoo. I didn’t want it anyway and never used it in the old Envoy. It would have been expensive to update anyway, as it was the old analog cellular system. And there is a weird ignition interlock that you need to use to start the truck. You can’t just turn the key. I’m not going to give it away, because it’s kind of a neat security feature, but even the dealer had never heard of it before.

Liberty for all...

My wife bought a Jeep Liberty last week. We decided we needed another vehicle NOW, rather than keep using the rental we had picked up the day after the accident. I looked at a couple of Trailblazer/Envoy replacements, but didn’t really find quite what I was looking for. But she saw the Liberty and liked it. I have to admit, I like it too. It’s a bit smaller than the Envoy was, and I really like having a roomy vehicle these days, but it will get her to and from work in the wilds of Northern Niagara County no matter how nasty the weather gets. I like not having to worry about that too.

We only got one key and remote with the Liberty. We found out that it’s a high-security key with some kind of chip in it that needs to be programmed. you can’t just cut a new blank and go. A locksmith can do it, but they have to have both keys to make another. With one key you have to go to a dealer. So I stopped at the local Jeep dealer to get the key made. It cost $100. I bought another remote online for $30. The dealer took the vehicle information and a recall notice popped up. Guess, what, we got free lower ball joints. All I had to do was wait an hour and a half.

So, I killed time by looking at used cars. That’s how I found the Ascender.

So, we are now at three cars. Plus Albert’s, that makes four in the driveway. I don’t know if they will fit. But it will be nice to have my own vehicle and be able to go where I want when I want again.

Posted in Family, News, Raves
One comment on “Hello Liberty, Hello Ascender
  1. Wikipedia calls the Ascender (and all the GMT 360 platform) “one of the most rebadged GM products with six different marques represented.”

    GMT 360

    * 2002-2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    * 2002-2009 GMC Envoy
    * 2002-2004 Oldsmobile Bravada
    * 2003-2007 Isuzu Ascender
    * 2004-2007 Buick Rainier
    * 2005-2009 Saab 9-7X

    Which is exactly why I wasn’t surprised to find an Isuzu Envoy-clone. I knew there was a Olds and Buick version, but the Saab was a surprise too.

    Of course, GM and Saab have had a long-standing business relationship as well. They’re not alone by any means with Isuzu, Toyota, Suzuki, Daewoo and more in recent years. And not to mention all the world-wide permutations of GM brands like Holden, Opel, Vauxhaul, etc.

    You begin to see the auto industry is quite inbred. It’s nearly impossible to cry wolf over buying “American” anymore.

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