Isuzu Philippines Corporation surprised everyone, AUV cynics included, with the launch of the 2005 Crosswind Sportivo.

Boasting a more aggressive front fascia via redesigned headlamps and round foglamps, the new Isuzu Crosswind is the true testament of its maturity, a trait expected from the king of diesel AUVs. New 15" alloy wheels to the tune of bling-bling cap off the overall refreshing package. A first in the AUV market, the Sportivo also gets chrome side mirror trims with LED turn signal lamps.

Aside from the facelifted front end, the 2005 Crosswind also gets a slightly revised suspension system. Aptly dubbed as the FlexRide, this new setup promises to deliver better ride comfort.

For the top-end Sportivo variant, the seating configuration is revised to accommodate seven passengers in full comfort. Front seats are replaced with two bucket style seats, complete with sliding and reclining adjustments. Rearmost seats are now front-facing as well. In-car entertainment is also upgraded with a JVC DVD/VCD/MP3 capable head unit augmented by two 5.6" monitors mounted on the front seat headrests. Interior appointments such as the lever type hand brake and center console complete with cup holders are instrumental to that SUV experience.

Mechanical features are still carried on from its predecessor, as the tried and tested 4JA1 2.5 direct injection diesel engine still assumes power duties. Rated at 81 Hp and 167 Nm for the naturally-aspirated variant and with 85 hp and 185 Nm for the low-charge turbo variant, the Crosswind's truck-based engine is sure to deliver competent acceleration with stingy fuel consumption. Just like before, the non-turbo power plant is dedicated to the 5-speed manual transmission and the turbocharged one is home to the 4-speed automatic transmission.

Even with bleak forecasts for the AUV industry evident, Isuzu still has high hopes of making it big on the industry where it first started as the underdog but now is the pioneer. With more than a century of diesel engine tradition at its helm, they are confident that the virtue of reliability, durability, and solid performance is carried over to every Crosswind variant. They have braved almost every road condition that this country offers, and have conquered every fuel consumption exercise. With the 2005 Crosswind Sportivo, one could achieve the aforementioned but with an added bonus: that aggressive styling that would truly make heads turn.

The 2005 Sportivo is priced at PHP 1.085M for the automatic variant and PHP 1.020M for the manual transmission. The Crosswind XUVi is pegged at PHP 995,000 (M/T) and PHP 1.060M (A/T). The XUV is at PHP 940,000 (M/T) and PHP 995,000 (A/T). The now all-power XT is at PHP 790,000 (M/T only), while the base model XL is at PHP 720,000.