In case you haven’t noticed, everybody and their brother has an SUV today. Okay, that might be somewhat of an exaggeration, but still, pretty close. However, as hard as it might be to believe, it hasn’t always been that way. Back in the early 90’s, owning an SUV was a novelty, and the competition was not that strong. Sure, there were the Jeeps, and sure, there were the Ford Bronco’s and Chevy Suburban’s, but after that there wasn’t much to choose from.
Then along came the Isuzu Rodeo! The Rodeo was a nice midsized SUV with great room for five passengers and a very comfortable ride, and it was an instant success. In fact, it quickly became the best-selling import SUV, as Americans loved its size and handling and off-road capabilities.
After that a familiar problem in the automotive industry occurred. Every automaker suddenly wanted to build an SUV, and that included those tough competitors Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, and suddenly the cute and affordable Rodeo was looking rather shabby in comparison.
The Rodeo tried to hang in there against the competition, but by the year 2000, when they made over 200 changes to it, the writing was on the wall, and any further changes appeared to just be desperation. The Rodeo was discontinued by 2001, but it still remains today a viable option for a second car capable of giving you great off-road experiences and at the same time a comfortable ride.
Powered by a 2.2-liter inline-4 engine with 129 horsepower, or a 3.2-liter V6 with 205 horsepower, The Rodeo was a reliable performer. A four-speed automatic was optional and a five-speed manual transmission was standard on this great little performer.
The 2000 model includes aggressive new styling, better suspension, sunroof, alloy wheels, cruise control, leather upholstery and a six-speaker stereo system, but in the end it just wasn’t enough to take on the big boy competition.
Again, and we cannot say this enough, if you find a used Rodeo you would be well-advised to pick it up for a second vehicle. It is a great performer and you will not be disappointed in it. Used parts are not a problem; stop by most salvage yards like All Import and you will find a Rodeo waiting for you. Saving money on replacement parts, especially on your secondhand car, just makes good sense.
The Isuzu Rodeo and All Import Auto Parts: a perfect match in the auto world.