1999 Holden Rodeo 2wd Spacecab LX 3.2 V6 from Australia and New Zealand
Very happy, though startled by the fuel consumption
Petrol consumption was a bit startling after a small hatchback on LPG. I consistently got 15 litres per 100km for about 6 tanks around Sydney, down the coast and around Melbourne. On LPG I am getting about 21 to 22 litres per 100km. I recently spoke to a couple of tradesmen with two Rodeo dual cabs the same model, one petrol, one LPG, and their figures around Melbourne were identical to mine above.
I have a Flexiglas Challenge brand canopy which was fitted to the car when new. The gas struts on the rear tailgate have faded and need replacing. Flexiglass quote $43 each for new ones - hardly a disaster! The side lift windows' struts are fine.
The wiring for the interior light and brake light in the canopy is downright amateurish. If you have a canopy fitted to any ute, have a good look at the wiring before you pay for it!
I am a mechanical engineer.
I was employed by Holden as a student in 1993-4.
I have not worked in the car industry since 1997.
I have no financial interest in the car industry.
The seats are excellent. Dashboard and interior generally is much more car like than the alternative Japanese utes of the same age.
The steering and general feel is far superior to the equivalent Hilux, but it's not a Falcon or Commodore. Manual models have a very light clutch and a reasonable gearbox (I drove a lot of Rodeos looking for this one).
The standard headlights (rectangular, not the flush fitting ones) were pretty miserable, but I am fussy about lights and was coming from a car with twin headlights and two sets of driving lights, so 120 Watts after 800 Watts. Most if not all the Japanese utes have single headlights.
High power globes, relays and 2 pairs of driving lights have resolved this issue to my complete satisfaction.
The heater produces useful heat within 1km on frosty mornings.
The V6 auto is extraordinarily quick; it's certainly got more power than tyres or handling when empty! It's great with a load and a heavy trailer.
When the motor is stone cold, the auto gearbox changes up very late. This nearly put me off automatic Rodeos before I finally drove one far enough to warm it up properly, when it promptly started changing smoothly and sensibly. It's all part of the engine management warming the motor quickly for reduced emissions. Don't be put off by it.
The Manchester brand bracketed LPG tank which fits under the rear of the car is only 64 litres. I believe the APA brand bracket tank is smaller.
It is not enough. I am looking at fitting a second tank, either a 900 x 330 (56l LPG, 70l water) or 900 x 285 APA tank behind it.
Needless to say I had it converted about 5 minutes before Little Johnny announced his $2000 LPG subsidy.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th September, 2006
5th Feb 2007, 07:40
The cars we know in Australia as the TF model (1989 to 1996 and 1997 to 2002) Holden Rodeo were sold under several different names in other markets. In most markets the name Rodeo refers to what we call a Frontera.
If you're researching Rodeo utes, look for the following: Isuzu Pickup (US), Isuzu TF pickup (lots of places), Vauxhall Brava (UK), Opel Campo (Germany), Isuzu KB (South Africa) or Chevrolet LUV (South America). Many of these markets have the 2.5 litre version of the Australian models 2.8 diesel. Also common are the 2.3 and 2.6 litres Isuzu fours used here to 1997 and the 2.2 Family II four used here after 1998 in base models.
Regarding my own car:
At 90,000km I've had no problems.
As I planned, I put an APA B90 (nominally 900mm long x 330mm diam, 70/56 litre) LPG tank under the rear behind the Manchester tank. It is a very tight fit, partly because it's actually more like 930mm long and depends on the curve of the tank ends to clear the chassis rails, 900mm apart.
If you fit one, make sure you mount it low enough to clear the chassis rails, but high enough for legal ground clearance - there's not much wiggle room! A B86 (nominally 860x330) would allow the tank to be mounted slightly higher. Anything smaller in diameter ends up having to be shorter (under 900 actual length) to fit between the chassis rails, and is just too small to bother.
Diameter is good, it's not quite up against the number plate panel, there is room to get the valve chest covers off (just!), and with a rear step bumper/towbar, the rear clearance is over 200mm as required and the ground clearance is above the line from bumper to tyre tangent as required.
1st Jul 2014, 02:25
I've still got my Rodeo at 240,000km. I replaced the alternator 3-1/2 years ago at 185,000km and the auto transmission recently. Other than those, it is ageing reasonably gracefully. I now tow a 1600kg trailer regularly, which it handles very well.
1st Oct 2015, 14:55
At 260,000km I've burnt a couple of inlet valves, one on each head unfortunately; I should have been checking the valve clearances more often. Fixing it would cost somewhere round $3k. For that I'd want to be sure I'd get another 30000km, but there are other issues now; the front suspension has got sloppy (shot ball joints) in the last year, the rear leaf spring bushes are shot and the EFI fuel pump has turned up its toes. I think the time has come for another low mileage 5 year old ute.
I've had my money's worth over 9-1/2 years and 185,000km; the fuel consumption was a shock early on, but on LPG the cost per km was always comparable with my father's Camry of the same age, and the range with two tanks was great.
I spent $2500 on a rebuilt auto transmission 15 months ago, which got me another 25,000km. I got my money's worth; about $16,000 depreciation and $2500 transmission for 185,000km works out to 10c/km depreciation and non-routine major repairs.