2003 Isuzu Rodeo SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Isuzu Rodeo SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Isuzu Rodeo Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.2 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 205 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Isuzu Rodeo

  • Even Honda finally got rid of its version of the Rodeo this year. Pick it only if you have a soft spot in your heart for Isuzu.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Stylish exterior, great powertrain warranty.

  • Cons

    Cheap interior pieces, flaccid suspension, uncomfortable front seats, questionable build quality.

  • What's New for 2003

    Rodeo receives no major changes for the 2003 model year.

Full 2003 Isuzu Rodeo Review

What's New for 2003

Rodeo receives no major changes for the 2003 model year.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Great suv

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Vehicle: 2003 Isuzu Rodeo S V6 Rwd 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 4A)

I bought this car new in 2003 for my wife. Having owned a 1994 Rodeo with 180,000 with no problems I knew this was the way to go and I wasn't let down. Our 03 rodeo now has 130,000 miles and still drives like new. We've performed regular oil changes and had a new timing belt installed at 70,000 miles. (not because it was giving us problems, that's just what you do at $70,000 miles) but that's it! This car has never been in the shop. This car is so inexpensive to own and maintain. You simply can't beat a rodeo!

Blown engine

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Vehicle: 2003 Isuzu Rodeo S V6 Rwd 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 4A)

Bought this vehicle brand new at the dealership. I got 13-15mph from day 1, no matter how I drove it. About 3 months ago, the low oil light came on. I immediately pulled over, checked the level, and added 4 quarts to bring it to full. For a 5 quart engine, to warn with only 1 quart in the engine is just a little too little. Since that day, I checked the engine every time I started it up for the day and had the oil pan gasket replaced. The engine started making a rapping noise on the day the oil got that low. Since then it has gotten worse and worse. The mechanic told me that it was just the lifters making a little noise. Yesterday the engine seized while driving. Not happy!

*warning* blown crank shaft in

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Vehicle: 2003 Isuzu Rodeo S V6 4WD 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 5M)

My rodeo never could keep oil in engine. Did not leak on driveway and even tho routine oil changes were performed, the engine light did NOT come on to warn about low oil in between routine changes. Crank shaft in engine blew and beautiful well built vehicle dead. Would have kept this truck forever, but ended up being a nightmare to own.

Dependable, economical

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Vehicle: 2003 Isuzu Rodeo S Rwd 4dr SUV (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I've owned my Rodeo since late 2002, using it as a work vehicle. Overall, it's been a dependable work truck with good gas mileage and plenty of ground clearance. So far, I've put 104,000 miles on it with few problems. It's easy to work on, but hasn't needed much repair so far.

Homeowner, fisherman, hobbyist

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Vehicle: 2003 Isuzu Rodeo S V6 Rwd 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 4A)

Very dependable. Great rear bumper is a 6 inch wide rest, a shelf or a seat when tailgate is open (like no other SUV has). Also, because back window lifts up separate from the tailgate, I can carry 12 ft long pipes and lumber just extending 2 feet out the back window while it is nearly all the way down. The seats lay down as a flat surface unlike most SUVs that leave the passenger seats at an angle when folded downward. CONS: I notice that the paint chips at each rock dent (lacks flexibility) then quickly rusts underneath. Tires squeal in tight turns even at idle speed. What other compact SUV is built to tow over 4000 pounds? It pulls a 17' fiberglass boat easily on road or in & out of ramps.

Outstanding suv

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Vehicle: 2003 Isuzu Rodeo S V6 4WD 4dr SUV (3.2L 6cyl 5M)

Excellent SUV - 100K miles, and still going strong. A little shy on leg room for a tall person, but otherwise comfortable. Very reliable, have had a couple of problems getting the starter to engage in hot weather - dealer not able to fix. mileage is about 18.5 on hwy, could be better. However, other traits make up for this. Very good in snow and ice. Highly recommended.

Talk About The 2003 Rodeo

2003 Isuzu Rodeo Discussions See all Started By

It's unfortunate Edmunds got such a lemon for a tester. I've been following various isuzu boards/forums for several years now, and I've NEVER seen such issues with a 1998+ rodeo. I've seen ZERO repo...

Found the sales figures and YTD - May 2004 Isuzu has sold 11,928 vs. 11,680 in 2003 (Rodeo, Axiom & Ascender). So, they are kind of holding their own right now...but 7736 of these were Rodeo's thi...

Axiom is based on the Rodeo platform, with the Trooper drivetrain (3.5L V6 and TOD system; I'm not sure about the transmission)...

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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