1997 Isuzu Rodeo LX 3.2 V6 from North America


Such a great value - purchase one now!


Electric window cables have broken, but easy to replace. Purchase on eBay.

Heater fan motor burned out twice, but again, easy to replace.

General Comments:

Reliable. Great value.

The four wheel drive is excellent.

The cloth interior has held up exceptionally well.

From day one the fuel gauge seldom rose to the top after a fill up, but went to half level quickly, then runs forever on empty until the low fuel light comes on.

I have a receiver on it and have towed a utility trailer many miles. Hauled kayaks in the summer and skis on the roof in the winter.

The spare tire cover on the rear tail gate has been replaced three times.

The engine is solid. Develops a lifter tick when the oil is dirty or low. Goes away most of the time with an oil change and oil fill up beyond full. Uses one quart of oil doing 80 MPH between San Francisco and Tahoe and back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th September, 2015

1997 Isuzu Rodeo S/LS 3.2 V6 SOHC from North America


Old faithful


6 years after my last post regarding this truck; still own it. Now has 197k miles, everything still original.

Currently on it's 4th set of tires, I believe.

Fantastic truck.

Inside/outside of truck still looks less than 30k miles old; truck has aged really well. It has never been garaged, burgundy in color, and live in the snowbelt.

No rust, no fading, seats are still in superb condition.

Only complaint is the gasket on the adaptive pan on the transmission keeps leaking.

General Comments:

Truck is starting to show some age in suspension handling; replaced ball joints a few years back.

Shocks were replaced this year.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th May, 2010

5th Nov 2015, 07:55

That's so awesome. I have one with 180,000 miles and still trucking. Leaks a bit of oil, but it's very reliable. I just do routine maintenance and keep the oil changed. It's good to know someone else has had good luck with their Rodeo. ☺

1997 Isuzu Rodeo S 3.2L from North America


A very reliable, good, tough little SUV


Dashboard lights have gone out recently.

Power window regulators (both front windows) have gone out. Easy DIY for about $140 per window.

Usual stuff like brakes, tires, timing belt/water pump combo replaced at 120K.

I also put in a new alternator at 120K. Replaced one battery.

Bad threads on wheel studs. Metal seems to be too soft. Had these stripped by a tire place after a tire rotation. They replaced the studs since they used too much torque on the wrench.

General Comments:

I have a 1997 Isuzu Rodeo 4WD 3.2L, manual with 160K. Overall a good, reliable SUV. Not the most comfortable ride, but will handle off-road as well as anything you throw under it. Back seat leg-room is best in its class for sure!! I am 6'4" an I can fit in it comfortably.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2008

1997 Isuzu Rodeo from North America


Fun SUV, adequate power, roomy and money-hungry!


O2 sensor.

Ball joints.

Fuel tank sensor (?).

Timing belt.

General Comments:

I absolutely loved this little money trap. Bought @ 100k miles, and immediately put $1500 back into it.

After that, oil changes were regular. The 'tapping' engine was annoying and I never quite got used to it. The V6 engine give the machine the pickup it needs and it has good interior room for a 6-footers in the front and back... at the same time.

Really fun to drive!

Averaged close to 20 miles per gallon. Not bad, but generally made it a neglected vehicle, compared to my 30-ish mile per gallon sedan.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd January, 2008

1st Apr 2008, 22:13

I also have a 1997 Isuzu rodeo. I have been so worried about the pinging or "ticking" noise in the engine. I am sorry that a lot of other owners of this vehicle have the same problem, but also relieved that it is not a serious engine problem. I love my Rodeo also and would most certainly purchase another. I have not had any major issues with my car other than normal upkeep. I would love to know if anyone out there has any solution to the ticking or is it just something we will have to deal with.

2nd May 2008, 05:23

Full Synthetic 5w-40 took care of my "tick". Keeping the oil level correct is important. When I hear the tick for a second it's like an indicator to add a 1/4 qt of oil (about every 700 miles). Low oil almost ALWAYS=VALVE TICK in ANY newer vehicle.

11th Jun 2013, 13:19


Mine ticked for 8 years. Got tired of it and changed my oil; using Mobil One 0W-30. Believe it or not, the ticking completely stopped within 50 miles of driving!


26th Aug 2013, 07:46

RE: The proverbial 97 Rodeo ticking

I may be lucky and this may not work for anyone else BUT:

My Rodeo had 170,000 miles and I tolerated the ticking for years. I always changed my Mobil One 5W30 synthetic oil every every 3-4 thousand miles -- no exceptions.

I got 'fed up' with the ticking and remembered someone mentioning changing over to Mobil One 0W-30 oil. I did and the ticking STOPPED in less than one hundred miles of driving. My mileage increased from about 14 to about 16 MPG in all-around driving. Sounds impossible, but it did.

I contacted the Mobil One people via e-mail and asked whether I should continue using the 0W-30 synthetic or switch back to the 5W-30 -- Mobil suggested sticking with the 0W-30 Synthetic.

I'm NOT a mechanic and cannot explain the above, BUT it worked for me.

ChemoniePilot in Tallahassee, Florida

5th Nov 2015, 08:01

Mine has 180,000 miles, and I use the synthetic Castrol and the motor doesn't make any noises that are out of the ordinary.