1997 Isuzu Rodeo L 3.2 from North America


Great midsize SUV!


Terrible quality on the shock absorbers.

Mild belt squeal at start up even after installing new belts.

Windshield washer nozzles clogged and broke apart when attempting to change them.

General Comments:

Bought and installed Bilstein shocks and they improved the ride comfort and handling 110%. Regular aerosol can of belt dressing cured the squeal at start up.

Aftermarket nozzles were better quality and installed a lot easier.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st December, 2003

1997 Isuzu Rodeo LS 3.2L from North America


It's a rugged, good looking, SUV


The blower motor stopped working. Called the dealer and found that there is a tech bulletin that identifies a hole that allows moisture from the AC to leak into the blower motor area. The moisture eventually hits the capacitor which shots out. The hole needs to be filled to prevent the same problem from recurring.

Transmission is a sealed unit and can only be changed by the dealer. I tow a boat and change my fluid often so it's about double the cost of a Speedy Lube or other volume chain.

General Comments:

My previous vehicle was a 1994 4X4 4 Runner with auto trans. and a 3.0L V-6. It couldn't get out of it's own way and gas mileage was terrible. It allowed less road noise than the Rodeo.

The Rodeo is much quicker than the 4 Runner and gets much better gas mileage. It can also tow more. I find it much more fun to drive.

Adults are comfortable in the Rodeo. Couldn't get in the rear seat of the 4 Runner.

I live in NH. Don't understand why anyone would buy a 4600 pound vehicle like the Rodeo with a 4 cylinder engine.

Don't understand why anyone would want a 2 wheel drive SUV or truck. Buy a station wagon and get the better gas mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2003

10th Jan 2004, 10:04

After much searching, I discovered the rattling that comes from behind the air bag is actually the hose that runs from the windshield washer reservoir to the spray nozzles in front of the window.

The wind beats them against the underside of the hood.

Securing them fixes the problem.

When driving, it sounds like for all of the world that it comes from within your glovebox.

1997 Isuzu Rodeo S 3.2 V6 from North America


I could not sell this SUV


Starter failed at 70,000 miles.

The alternator failed at about 80,000 miles.

A few rear window defogger lines have failed over the course of time.

General Comments:

Driven from Washington state to Florida twice, no failures.

Drives with confidence.

Provides durable and outstanding performance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th July, 2003

1997 Isuzu Rodeo LS V6 2WD from North America


A good little SUV


Alternator has gone out 3 times in 3 years for some unidentifiable reason.

3 of the 4 power windows do not work properly.

Dashboard lights have gone out, making it impossible to read guages at night.

General Comments:

The truck drives better than other SUVs I've driven, probably because it is built a little smaller.

Windy conditions make driving more difficult.

Towing is a breeze up to about 5,000 lbs. After that, the engine isn't too happy.

The back seats fold down to allow ample cargo space.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2003

29th Apr 2004, 19:34

The 1997 Isuzu Rodeo is extremely reliable and get a 8/10 rating from me. However, I also have problem with the dashboard lights that went out completely and there is definitely an alternator problem that puzzle even the technicians. Overall a great little SUV.

Loxley Duffus


19th Jun 2004, 10:40

I own a 1997 Rodeo LS and I am also starting to have dashboard light problems. The dashboard lights have not totally gone out, just a small corner near the speedometer.

I also wanted to comment on the alternator. I am also on my third alternator. I think it's because where it sits below the engine and close to the ground. My thoughts are because of where the alternator is positioned, it is more susceptible to the elements on the road.

But I have to say that it's an all around good SUV and because I am an artist I can transport my 3'x5' canvases with no problem in the Rodeo.

Isuzu owner from Chicago.

11th Aug 2004, 11:05

I too wanted to comment on my 1996 Isuzu Rodeo LS.

I love this vehicle it is very dependable, but I have replaced my dashboard lights and also need to replace my blower motor after 3 years. Over all I am completely satisfied with my 2wd SUV and would recommend it to any one.

Kimer Laster Jr.

Baltimore, Maryland.

29th Sep 2004, 16:13

I have a 1997 Rodeo LS 4x4. I also have had problems with the dashboard lights going out. Including the ones around the shifter. I replaced all bulbs (working or not) myself with GE longlife bulbs. (took about an hour). I haven't had any other problems of any kind. Another note: I also have a sealed transmission. I went to my local parts store and bought a liquid transfer pump so I can change my transmission fluid and filters myself. Cost was about $15 Saves about $100 a year.

11th Nov 2006, 09:57

I had a '96 Rodeo and I'm sorry I traded it in for a mid-size car. It was very dependable and fun to drive. I had all the same problems with the dashboard lights, alternators and one window. Another problem I had was with the lug nuts. They wouldn't come off, even for the mechanic. They all broke off and had to be replaced. Then the hub caps began to rattle LOUDLY. None of this was very expensive. In all, it was a great SUV and I will probably buy another.