This has been a comfortable, fun-to-drive, reliable car that gets decent mileage for a small SUV. I spend $400-500/year on preventive maintenance (tires, brakes, hoses, belts, fluids, etc.) and it's rare that anything actually breaks. I have a very knowledgeable shop owner with talented techs that maintain it for me and don't drive much more than 5000 miles/year. Both of those factors help with reliability. Other Rodeo owners have had less pleasant experiences. Most like driving the car, but wish it had fewer repair issues.
I have bought my Rodeo with 40 mi on it from the dealer. It caught my eye right away, the beautiful blue green color, the top rack, brush guard, roller step ups, brush guards on back lights and steel 16 inch wheels. The leather interior is gray and the tortise shell, with a moon/sunroof (I always wanted), fake wood with 6 cd changer, gave it such a luxurious feel. But the cargo size and 60/40 seats are what let you know this is a rugged truck. I LOVE MY RODEO! I let my son have it at 135K miles because he needed a vehicle but told him to bring it back when he was ready to get his own car. two years later he returned my baby with a few bumps and a much needed paint job and an armrest. I had it restored and it looks just like it came off the assembly line! As for mechanical repairs: It is at 150k now and the only repairs have been normal maintenance, oil changes,transmission oil a few years ago, timing belt, 1 tune-up, water pump/pvc replaced at 125k, brakes 3 times and ac compressor@ 110mi I think it was the shop effed it up, (I just needed freeon and two days later it didn't work). I did have the ball joints, and shocks replaced last year. That's it. I LOVE MY RODEO! Motor purrs and drives smooth again (but it's still a truck) and the leather is still holding up. I did wear out the original carpet pads though.
Its all around amazing.. I however bought mine used it had like 230**** on it but in a year ive had it , it was defiantly well worth the $1800 I paid for it.iced I'm the 2nd owner it now has 260**** on it and still very very strong suv only thing ive got to due now it get trans serviced but for the he** ive put her threw well lets just say the BEST ive owned.....
Year: 1999 Rodeo 2wd Engine: 3.2L V6, Manual Transmission Mileage: 326207 Any major problems: None
I bought Her reluctantly brand new with only 40 miles on Her. I had just started a new job (which turned out to be my career), college and my son was 3 at the time. My dad told me I should get a more reliable vehicle and he picked it out and said he would help with the down payment if I got it. I hated it. Did not want a stick shift although I did want an SUV. So I bought it.
It turned out to be the best purchase of my life. Watched my son grow up from his car seat to the driver seat in Her, and She carried my second son home from the hospital when he was born in 06.
I kept Her up pretty faithfully with my oil changes and tune ups. I have to do a better job with flushing and replacing coolant and transmission fluids; I have done that at about 2x. But NO MAJOR PROBLEMS. Just got a new catalytic converter in 2013 costed me $600 just to pass smog. Other than that I did most of the work myself starter 2x, alternator once, fuel pump, and brakes once (just the front never had to do the back ones yet). Had the AC compressor replaced a couple times, after this summer it may need it again. The fuel gauge had been broken for years but just replaced the fuel pump a couple months ago and it is working now.
I have used Her as a commuter from Sacramento to the SF bay area for 6 years. She is still my commuter but now I only work 30 miles away from home.
Thought She was a goner a few days ago; all of a sudden She started smoking on my way to work and heard noise coming from the engine. I was sad. But turned out to be a broken Idler pulley. Got her back on the road the next day. She is still going strong, feels like I can get another 300k miles out of Her!
I bought my '99 Rodeo in 2000 with exactly 30k miles on it. I am now at almost 350k miles. This is my 2nd Rodeo. At 100k miles, I had to replace the clutch for $1100. That is probably my biggest complaint about the Rodeo. GM built the engine, and clearly they wanted to insure repair costs were ridiculously high. Even to change the thermostat requires removing the manifold pushing the cost at a shop to over $150. On most cars, replacing an $7 thermostat takes all of 5 min and a screwdriver. I also had the rear diff assy replaced at about 150k miles. Bought one used for $500, been fine ever since. My Rodey blows 4Runners, etc away going up I-70 to the mountains every weekend.
At the time, it was the most power in it's class.
5 spd tranny - never had a problem, and far outperforms any auto tranny I've driven still.
DIN sized dash mount for stereo - don't be stuck with the overpriced, low quality manufacturers junk.
My friends & family still can't believe the miles I've got out of this old truck and it still looks good.
Change the oil regularly, the O2 sensors, wash & wax, and you too can get 300,000 or more miles out of these Rodeos.
It amazes me that Isuzu couldn't keep up with the competition on creature comforts that sell.
Great, reliable vehicles in my opinion.
Don't tie the sunroof option to automatic transmissions.
Forget the 6 disc CD player, they never work for long.
Fuel gauge clearly has a problem, find a new supplier.
More comfortable seats would make long, multi day drives easier.
Move the engine thermostat to where the average DIY mechanic can replace such a mundane part, and put a cabin air filter in.
None of these will happen since Isuzu no longer sells vehicles in the U.S.