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Isuzu Rodeo



  • I have a 1998 Rodeo, and all I can say is that it's one of the most cheaply built vehicles I have ever owned.

    Since day one, there have been little issues -- so many days spent in the service dept. at Isuzu's dealership.

    This leads me to a discussion, I'm NOT bashing the Rodeo (i don't mind mine so much anyways) -- what do you all consider when you compare the Rodeo with the superior (in terms of build quality) Pathfinder, and perhaps a Jeep or something?

    Actually, forget the Jeep, just consider the Pathfinder and other japanese built SUV's.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Were the first year of the re-design. If you look at 99s, 00s, and 01s they are far better quality-wise. I had a '97 which was the last of the previous generation. 120K miles and it NEVER saw the dealer for anything. Oil changes ever 3K miles, 1 set of tires, 2 sets of brake pads.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    An update from the editors at Edmunds (not me!)

    "We recommend taking a close look at some of the other small SUVs on the market and going on a few test drives before settling for this warmed-over Amigo."


    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    can also be seen here:

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • Hello Everyone,
    I am in the market for a new SUV. Have been considering Rodeo, Tribute, Escape, Exterra, and vehicles $20k to $25K. I really like the rodeo, and I hear Isuzu is running a special this month 0 down and 0% interest for 60 months. This sounds to good to be true? I am wondering if this means the dealers are not going to come down off of their sticker prices? Also, had been quoted around $23,500 for 2001 LS 2WD in Louisiana. I really would like to get a 4WD and wanted some advice on a good price for an LS 4WD and advice on the 0% interest, or at least what loop holes to look out for? Thank you for the help.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    post this over in the owner's club area, they'll give you tons of info.

  • To reiterate, I own a '98 Rodeo, and I'm pretty satisfied with it. There are definitely things I wish the Dealer could fix, but they just don't know how.

    Edmund's just bashed the heck outta the new Rodeo Sport. Most of the symptoms they spoke of I can totally relate to in my '98. I don't like the braking at all on the Rodeo. They still haven't fixed that ABS problem which can be very deadly if it occurs at the wrong time! I hope you are all aware of this, and have test-driven your Rodeo and slammed on the brakes over bumps and in wet conditions -- ugh, what a nightmare. Plus, the stopping power and the brake fade is another problem -- you really have to MASH on the brakes to get this puppy to stop sometimes. Another thing is the suspension, it is way too mushy, and the nose-dive upon sudden braking is ridiculous. Not to mention, after you drive the car for about 20K miles, you may, as many Rodeo owners do, begin to hear all these squeeks and squawks and shudders from the cheaply fit interior dash and paneling and the underbody. Ugh. I know this isn't a forum for my grievances, and I do love the responsiveness of the engine, the smooth transmission .. and the good looks .. and it's 4-wheel drive performance, but...

    For those of you who own recent model Rodeos, how do you like the brakes, and do you notice a low-end "thud" from the drive-train as you come to a slow stop and then as you slowly accelerate from a stop?

    Also, check our .. under the Rodeo owner's forum.
  • dchoppdchopp Posts: 256
    I have a 96 Rodeo with 98000 miles and has been back to the Dealer once for a recall on the wheel lugs. Overall its been a very good vehicle and recommended it to my daughter who bought a 2000. I just came back from the Cleveland Auto Show where I sat in every SUV and Truck.Looks don't matter to me anymore. Since I drive from the inside, the layout is most important, comfortable seats with lots of leg room both front and rear with ample cargo room. When judging a vehicle I always ask myself. Would you and your passengers be comfortable in a cross country trip? The auto show results are in. For the money, and the answere to my question , the Rodeo is hard to beat.Even the more expensive ones didn't have the room as the Rodeo.I am 58 years young and have owned many vehicles and one thing I have learned is this.THERE IS NO PERFECT VEHICLE. They are used for transportation people. Good luck in your Search for that Perfect Vehicle. I prefer to use my time doing other things.
  • robertr5robertr5 Posts: 1
    I am very interested in buying a Rodeo; however after test driving one yesterday I was disappointed in the amount of wind noise while on the freeway. Can anyone comment about this. Are they all this noisey?
  • I would have to agree with you -- the Rodeo is -- on paper -- the best bang for the proverbial "buck," and I complement your notion that there is no perfect vehicle -- but some, as you have to agree at the age of 58, are better than others. Truth-be-told.

  • I don't mind the wind noise so much -- I have a '98 and I don't think it's that bad. On very windy days, while racing perpendicular to the cross-winds, the car can be excessively noisy, but nothing too extreme that one couldn't tolerate it. In fact, the car tracks very well in crosswinds, I thought.
  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    My wife and I are really satisfied with our rodeo.
    answering a few questions:
    wind noise, yeah a little bit, about as much as my '94 accord.
    if you have excessive wind noise move the crossbar on roof rack back a couple of inches.

    I like the brakes, the abs works decent enough, although I would have picked a better tire than the oem bridgestones.

    No thud from the tranny, but one of the ones I test drove did have a thud.

    I really like the push-button 4x4, it made it through 18" of snow without complaining.

    Price/options: ls, 4x4 auto,6 disc, hood protector (lexan), alloy rims, luggage mat and net, no sunroof. tire on the rear door.
    paid $24,6 with my financing.
    Current deals in the northeast, 0.0% financing for 60 mon.
    took delivery in october '00, have no problems.
  • dchoppdchopp Posts: 256
    At the auto show, I see The 2001 Rodeo's have a push button 4 by 4 switch and they also have a lever. Does the switch merely engage the front hubs? On by 96 I just push the lever forward and that engages the front hubs and also activates the transfer case to supply power to the front wheels.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is for 4wd Hi, the lever is for 4wd Lo.

    On the Axiom, there is pushbutton or actually a rotating knob that does TOD/4wd Hi, and 4wd Lo and 2wd. No levers at all.

  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    I'm finishing up my search for s sport suv, and I'm down to almost no choices left. Granted, I'm looking for a good engine with manual transmission, but is that too much to ask for? As it seems, Isuzu doesnt really have a Rodeo sport with V6 and manual tranny, but it can be built for me. Of course, only with soft top, which I dont really want at this point. Does anyone have bad experiences driving around in a soft top Rodeo Sport/Amigo (such as flapping at high speed on highway, total lack of security since I heard windows can be unzipped from outside, leaks in rain, etc)? Does anyone know how much and is it possible to talk a dealer into building a hard top V6 with manual transmission, or how much/is it possible to replace a soft top with a hard top.
  • If you badly need a V6 with manual, you might consider the 4 door model since it is a standard feature. Pricewise, you might be able to have then at invoice price at 0 down and 0 interest. Just wait until the introduction of the new AXIOM, and the other models will be offered at great great bargain.
  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    why the manual tranny?
    I personally like a manual tranny, my accord is a stick. I am very pleased with the automatic in the rodeo. It's very smooth and shifts where it needs to be. The overdrive works very well. I would reconsider the need for the manual. The towing capacity for the automatic is 4500lbs 'out of the box'.
  • laureatelaureate Posts: 4
    I am considering buying a 2001 4wd Rodeo, but at looking at posts here and on other sites, it seems like the Rodeo ABS is horribly unsafe. Has this and other problems been fixed in 2001?

  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    Some feel that the abs doesn't work as well as it should. Try the abs yourself, get a test drive from a dealership and find a parking lot with some sand. Give it a whirl. I have a 2000 rodeo ls 4x4 and haven't had an issue with it. Yes, as will increase your stopping distances when the traction is lost at the tire(s). But that is what is it supposed to do. What would you rather have, the abs turn on, with the vehicle going straight, still able to maneuver, or have a tire lock up and possibly spin the vehicle out of control?
    If the abs turns on, push the pedal harder.
    When I bought my '94 accord (new) it has abs. It was the first vehicle that I had owned with abs. At first it took a bit getting use to it. In snow, the origonal tires (michelin xt4) would not stop the car. I switched to studded snow tires, and the car stops, just short of launching me through the windshield.
    If the rodeo has a problem, there would be a recall. Remember the GM recall about 2 years ago for the abs? (mainly jimmy's and blazers)
    Hope this helps.
  • radmdradmd Posts: 4
    I need some advice as to whether this is a good deal or not. I would appreciate any input. I've just put a refundable deposit down on a 2000 Rodeo LS 4wd demo with the Ironman package from a dealer with 5,512 miles on it. In addition to the Ironman edition package, it has the audio upgrade w/ 6-CD changer, power moonroof, cargo mat, 16" Aluminum Wheels/Locks, and Tube side steps. According to my calculations, including freight, the subtotal on the invoice including options is $26,543. If you add the other dealer costs on the invoice faxed to me of $418 for the advertising fund, and $301 for something designated as the "floor plan," the total invoice is $27,262, not including the holdback. Also, leather seats were placed for a customer who subsequently did not get approved for financing. They tell me that the installation of the leather seats and door trim cost $1400. They probably paid around $1200. So including the cost of the leather, the true dealer cost would be $28,462. Now it's hard to get true figures for a brand new 2000 model, since you can't really use edmunds used car figures, as this car has never been titled, as it is a demo, but the figures I used for the price of the options was from an invoice that was faxed to me that included the dealer cost column on a similar Ironman Rodeo.

    So as far as I can tell the true dealer cost is $28,462 with the holdback subtracted, but I was able to talk them to letting me have it for $28,100 plus a $200 "dealer prep" charge, while still allowing me to use the 0% financing. Am I missing something here? Did I miscalculate their cost? Should I have been able to negotiate cheaper?

    Even though it seems like it's within their dealer cost, it seems steep for a Rodeo LS even with these options, but the Ironman package is exceedingly more difficult to find anymore, and I feel pretty lucky to have found this one in the black color I wanted. So should I get it? Any input would be appreciated.
  • jbkennedyjbkennedy Posts: 70
    Does anyone own or have test-driven a 2.2L 4 cylinder Rodeo? Is the power sufficient?
  • drmpdrmp Posts: 187
    Try 2001 Honda Passport EX (with leather) for 26 grands. It doesn't have the intelligent suspension but reviews about intelligent susp is not that great. There are many aftermaket shock upgrades for just about a hundred dollar with much better ride quality. I used Monroe matic shocks with very comfortable ride.

    Honda drivetrain warranty is NOT 10 years but feedbacks reveals that ISUZU gives their customers a run-around when they deserved warranty coverage and the aftersale services were mostly horrible.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    is still 120K miles warranty. Isuzu does do some run-around, but it's mostly the dealers which IMHO you can get a good dealer or bad dealer for Honda or Isuzu, the only differences I've seen is when you move from average cars to Lexus, BMW, Caddy etc. then the service is better.

  • bperry4bperry4 Posts: 1
    I'm seriously considering buying a 01 Rodeo S. I'm not sure about the options however. Does anyone have opinions on the alloy wheels as steel? How about the stereo - I'm thinking after market rather than $575 for the "comfort package" which includes the ad player. Any comments are appreciated.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The steel rims actually look decent.

  • radmdradmd Posts: 4
    drmp - Thanks for the input. I managed to get their invoice with the dealer cost column, and including the leather, $28,300 is really their actual costwith the holdback subtracted, no more or less. But you're right it does seem steep for a 2000 demo. I may end up buying a 2001 Black LSE with the gold package and cargo tray, instead. After calling around, the best price I could find was $29,900 with the 0% financing. That price only leaves $500 profit for them coming out of their holdback.

    Will I need to put Monroe Matic shocks on if it has the intelligent suspension system, or can I even do that?

    Also, what can I do before buying that can assure me that the warranty will be honored. Someone had suggested getting it in writing that they will fix any rattles, squeeks, or excessive wind noise before agreeing to buy it. That seemed like a good idea. What else should I be wary of, or try to ask for before buying?
  • jbkennedyjbkennedy Posts: 70
    I pulled up Edmund's TMV on a Rodeo LS 2wd and it's $1,000 below invoice!! What am I missing here? Is it really possible to purchase a Rodeo for $1,000 below invoice and get 0.0% financing for 60 months to boot?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You can't have both. Not to mention that the TMV is pretty inaccurate.

  • drmpdrmp Posts: 187
    The intelligent susp have number of sensors that are linked to the shocks. Therefore, it's useless to get the intel. susp option if you plan to replace the shocks.

    I have tried the intelligent susp. on a short trip and the ride is evidently SOFTER on bumps and dips while eliminating too much bouncing and brake dives and axcess tendency to lean when cornering compared to the OEM shocks.

    However, reviews on it indicated that it's too soft and bouncy (?) on really rough trails.

    The monroe matic that I used is not as soft on big bumps than the intel. susp but aside from that, the difference are not obvious to me (IMHO).

    I still think, you'll be happy with the intel. susp because it's very comfortable especially on long drives.

    I don't have answers to your other questions.
  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    Get the '01 lse instead of the '00. You'd be doing them a favor if you bought the '00. For pretty much the same money, you'd know where the first 5k miles are going to be.
    The isuzu web site is pretty good on stating what isuzu covers under warrantee. (actually I think it is the only car manufacturer that puts that stuff in English).
    I have had no problems with my '00 rodeo (except for the ce light when the gas cap wasn't tightened).
    If the dealership really wanted to get the '00 off the books, they would wheel and deal. Offer them $18k and see if the throw you out.
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