1997 Isuzu Rodeo SUV Review | Edmunds.com

1997 Isuzu Rodeo SUV

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Isuzu Rodeo Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.6 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 120 hp @ 4600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1997 Isuzu Rodeo

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Rear leg room, rugged styling, dual airbags

  • Cons

    Dated structure, ABS is not standard, anemic 4-cylinder engine

  • What's New for 1997

    All 4WD models get a standard shift-on-the-fly transfer case, and improvements have been made to reduce noise, vibration and harshness.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (30 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

265,000+miles and still going

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Vehicle: 1996 Isuzu Rodeo

I have had my 96 Rodeo for 5 years and it has 265,122 miles on it, I have had the basic problems to fix(brakes, alternator, battery, gaskets, tires) basic wear and tear and a new clutch at about 200,000 so not too bad. I love it, I would buy another one right now but never a manual, I hate not having cruise control. The basic edition is very basic, no thrills, but will always go where you need her to go.

An amazing vehicle

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Vehicle: 1996 Isuzu Rodeo

Bought this 1996 Rodeo for my daughter in 1998 since then she has moved on to a newer car and I have taken over the rodeo. When I took over the Rodeo I resolved to not put any money into the car and I haven't. At 203,000 the car just keeps going, and going. It will run 89 mph + all day long, always starts, I have loaded in down with 200 pounds of lumber and driven 400 miles no problem. The radio sound is great, good base from the rear speakers good highs from the front speakers. A/C is still ice cold with no servicing. I'm worried now as to what I'm going to replace in with when it finally dies.

Excellent vehicle... robust & durable!

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Vehicle: 1996 Isuzu Rodeo

Low resale value makes this superb vehicle an excellent used car buy. We own a 1992 Isuzu Trooper S with the same engine. Its strength has been unbelievable, on two continents! I expect similar performance & reliability from our new (used) 1996 Isuzu Rodeo LS (4WD). For anyone who hasn't examined these Isuzu Rodeos, you're in for a pleasant surprise. Their frames are like tanks, engines over-built, and they ride smoothly & predictably over rough terrain. They tow loads like nobody's business. Example? We just towed this 4,000+ pound Isuzu Rodeo on a #2,000 trailer total weight (#6,000+) with our Isuzu Trooper for 500 miles over mountainous terrain with no problem. Superb performance.

Pretty good car

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Vehicle: 1996 Isuzu Rodeo

It has been great bought it with 75,000 miles and now have 162,000 miles on it. Only replaced alternator and starter. Everything else standard maintenance. Only in the last years have cosmetic interior issues arisen. Power windows and locks failing. Paint just now rubbing off. Over all pretty good.

Love my rodeo

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Vehicle: 1996 Isuzu Rodeo

Bought my '96 with 91K miles after much review and a short rental. I love the way this SUV handles tight with no top heavy feeling. I run Michelin tires and this always improve handling. I have replaced the alternator and starter, just normal wear and tear. Love the way the Japanese make rubber parts to last and last. At 12 years old this is still one clean and sharp truck. I would buy another in a minute and recommend to all. Truck has an odd oil reading, constantly 1 quart low but no reason? I have had my mechanic comment this is the same with all Rodeos and I have no related problems. Head gaskets haven't been super tight since purchase but they are hanging in there just fine.

I hate this car

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Vehicle: 1996 Isuzu Rodeo

I have had this car for around 1 1/2 years and it just seems to get worse and worse. At just less than 97k miles,the fuel economy is terrible. No matter how easily you drive it, it gets an unacceptable 12-14 in town and 16-17 on the freeway. A tune up didnt help and no mechanic has any reason for it. The interior is falling apart. The cigarette lighter stopped working, a riser motor had to be replaced, the power locks are starting to go out, and one of the door handles just about falls out when you pull it to open. also, it has gone through two starters in about 25k miles, left me stranded at school and camping, and the oil has to changed every few hundred miles with no sign of a leak.

Full 1997 Isuzu Rodeo Review

What's New for 1997

All 4WD models get a standard shift-on-the-fly transfer case, and improvements have been made to reduce noise, vibration and harshness.

Talk About The 1997 Rodeo

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs