1998 Isuzu Rodeo Consumer Review: My "Beater with a heater"

1998 Isuzu Rodeo - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

66 Total Reviews

LS 4dr SUV (3.2L V6 4-speed Automatic)

6 of 7 people found this review helpful
My "Beater with a heater"
By quagmire86 on


1998 Isuzu Rodeo LS 4dr SUV


I bought this rig that ran but had an overheating problem.
Previous owner said the water pump was bad.
I paid $600 for it cuz it was in poor shape.
I replaced the water pump and timing belt but it still overheated.
Common problem with the Rodeo (3.2L)V6 were bad head gaskets. Since it was a project vehicle, I had time to work on it.
I spent many weeks going from head to tail repairing/replacing issues with it.
The SUV is somewhat unrefined (due to age) but I love driving it.
Major issues with this car is the frame rusts out from rear axle back and is a recall/safety issue.
I love my Rodeo and though I don't "Off-Road" with it, it is great even with 206,000 miles on it.
Love it!

I ended up giving the truck to my step-daughter since she needed a vehicle and I try to provide. I didn't need the truck but it was hard to let it go since it was so fun to drive. Sure, it is somewhat "Unrefined"...but that is what I found endearing. The suspension/ride was not soft or overly-pleasant but it was built on a truck frame. The seats probably weren't meant for comfort on a long trip but it was enjoyable around town and short trips. The 3.2 liter engine was powerful and at no time did I find it anemic. If Isuzu would have sprung for the higher quality steel (frame rusting is an issue with these) and forecasted the market better, they could still be a player in the SUV market. Honestly, I miss my Rodeo. I am still searching for one that I can resurrect and enjoy.

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