Truck Rewind: the 2003 Isuzu Axiom XST Concept – Unfortunate Diction

The Isuzu Axiom XST Concept was based on the short-lived ’04-’06 (and unfortunately named) Isuzu Axiom.

Built at the Lafayette, Indiana plant, the Isuzu Axiom was a small SUV built on the platform, and served as a replacement for the Isuzu Rodeo. Sales were never good and after a two year run, it disappeared. During that time, Italdesign’s California arm, Italdesign California (IDC) used the Axiom to fabricate a few concepts – including the Isuzu Axiom XST Concept.

isuzu axiom rodeo suv
Isuzu SUV

At first glance, the Isuzu Axiom XST Concept simply looks like a regular Axiom with the rear 1/3 of the roof and upper rear pillars cut off. This look was, in both look and function, similar to the Chevrolet Avalanche and Subaru Baja. It has a rear bulkhead section that, like the Subaru Baja, can be lowered and opened creating a longer cargo area.

At the time, Subaru and Isuzu had a partnership with General Motors. This may be the reason that the Subaru Baja and Isuzu Axiom XST Concept were only permitted to have a small opening for bed cargo as opposed to a completely collapsing mid-gate/rear bulkhead like the Chevrolet Avalanche.

While the regular Isuzu Axiom was designed to compete against car-based SUVs/Crossovers like the Toyota Highlander, it had a truck frame that could allow it to work like a pickup truck. Unfortunately, the production version never came. While it may not have saved Isuzu in North America, it may have increased sales and given the company an opportunity to rename it.

By the way, the Axiom name was submitted by Dr. Hakan Urey from Redmond, Washington. Its was part of a contest held by Isuzu to name their new vehicle. He won an Axiom for coming up with the unfortunate name and possibly aided in the demise of the brand in the United States. Axiom means, “a statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true.”

Here is another interesting pickup truck that Chevrolet is working on together with the U.S. military – Chevy Colorado ZH2.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.