6th Dec 2005, 18:45

I have owned Two Rodeo's. The first: a 1992 Rodeo XS with a 5-speed and 4WD. Great SUV - fell in love with it immediately and swore that I would never get rid of it... sadly enough, it was stolen and abandoned - pretty much left for dead. It was beyond repair so I had to send it off to the bone yard and pick up another vehicle until I could get my hands on another Rodeo.

A year later I was lucky enough to find another Rodeo: 1994 Rodeo LS, 5 speed, 4WD, PW, PD, AC and Cruise Control. It was in great condition when I found it and I have kept it that way ever since.

It has about 144,000 miles on it now and only routine maintenance has been done on it. It is (in my opinion) as strong and reliable as any other truck on the market (if not more) and the ride comfort of a Ford Taurus. Inside, there is enough space for me and my four kids (one of which is 6 ft).

I have worked in a dealership and have driven many different SUV's (new and used) and I have never found another SUV to be as convenient, useful and reliable as the Rodeo. If you are looking for a solid truck with very little to worry about, then the Rodeo will be the perfect one for you.

31st Dec 2005, 03:47

I have a 1994 2WD. It has 230,000 miles. It has never left me stranded. The valve do make noise on high maileage engines. If you hear a loud rattle at anything over 100k miles, it is the timing mechanism and you should change the timing belt at the same time.

I did mine twice, but it was under $1000 both times. The body and interior hold up very nice. It is cramped for any drive over 6ft, but ample room for most passengers of any size.

Regular oil changes and air filters are a must. It seems to go through brake quickly, but overall it is a great little SUV. The 3.2 engines appears to be much more reliable than the later 3.6 version. I would opt for an older version. the small bust in power isn't worth the risk in reliability.

10th Jan 2006, 13:57

Just bought a 95 Isuzu Rodeo with 120K on it. Body had NO rust, and looked underneath with a flashlight at the dealer's, and it looked OK (you expect *some* rust underneath here in Jersey), engine and interior good. But after I brought it home, I decided to remove the surface rust from the frame, and paint it with Rustoleum to keep it in good shape. Well... I soon discovered that *underneath* the old rust protection (which peeled off), there was some SIGNIFICANT rust near the wheels. Now, I have found 2 places where it has rusted completely through the frame. One of these locations is in the front left, where the wheel support bolts to the frame. Apart from a big hole, these bolts are attached to what has now rusted away to mere sheet-metal--dangerous! I don't know if it can be fixed, and I'm not willing to spend a lot on my budget for an 11 year old vehicle. This is a MAJOR problem. My advice: Rodeos can be good depending on the year (avoid the early 90s which had GMC engines), but carefully CHECK THE FRAME FOR RUST!!! Also, the pre-98 models have to have the timing-belt changed every 60K (costs about $300 parts and labor), or you risk the engine self-destructing if the belt fails. I think it is a good vehicle, but if you can, don't buy one that has been through Northern winters because the road salt kills them.

10th Aug 2010, 23:02

I have had this wonderful rhino of a car for 5 years, has had need of maintenance, timing belt, clutch, which isn't cheap, but has never left me stranded anywhere. It has 144k on it now, and is still going strong. The minor annoyances, like the rear window not staying open, are easily fixed with a trip to the junkyard.

It has the classic Isuzu tick in the engine, but synthetic oil and a can of engine restore when changing the oil calms it right down. When it starts ticking, it's generally time for an oil change.

We had a 3 foot snowfall within months of buying it and this beast was one of the few on the road. The 16" wheels and low stance are unstoppable. We take it off road up in the mountains, and it does as well there as it does in town in 3' snowfalls. You'll get my Rodeo when you pry my cold dead fingers off the steering wheel!