I have put 50K hard miles on my Rodeo in less than 3 yrs. bringing the total miles upto 160,000.Twice a week I drive 130 miles over three different high elevation mountain passes.I have always felt safe and never gotten stuck.I have made a few minor repairs(brake pads twice, alternator,EGR,fuel pump and I had to disconnect the horn ) and now it appears that the computer may be going out.Sometimes it dies immediately after starting up, idles roughly, & there is a minor delay in the acceleration.The Check Engine light comes on, but it will not give the code reader a code.This sucks, but I am more than happy to put in the time and $ to fix it.
I've had over 20 cars including high end (such as MB S600, etc). This car has outlived every single one, and I'm sure it will outlive military tanks! Recently I had to sell it, which I didn't want to do, at the time the car had about 280K miles and was still running strong. Loaned the vehicle to a friend who abused it for a couple of years, and still the car NEVER had ANY problems. The VERY FEW things that I had to fix were minor.
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.
My 98 has about 200k ... my check engine light is on due to two sensors needing to be replace both costing $200-$300 but other than that, there is virtually nothing else wrong with the car......since I've had it (2.5yrs) I've had to change the breaks, timing belt, spark plugs/tune up.. very satisfied