Bought this in 2002 after reading many reviews and talking to a few different owners.
I've had this vehicle for 9 years and other than normal wear and tear repairs, have not had any issues.
still getting 23 mpg on the highway; about 19 city.
As long as the routine maintenance is kept up, this vehicle has been a gem.
Every vehicle line has its lemons. Our Rodeo SE has been a solid and reliable all-round truck. I have been the only owner from 12 km and have beat it around in the snow and through the bush a lot. This year we picked up a 2700 lb (loaded) tent trailer for it to haul. After hauling the trailer fully loaded up a 12-15% minimum highway grade for about 40km, it didn't falter once. In fact it performed very well. Changing all fluids at the regular service intervals helps keep it going. If you are concerned about mileage, change your fuel filter. It's a $12 part and only takes 15- 20mins. Mine is changed yearly due to local delivery of poor fuel quality. Its like driving a new truck every year.
My parents bought my Isuzu Rodeo new in 2002 from the dealership. I inherited it when it hit 200,000 miles in 2010 (my mom commutes and we did a lot of road trips.) This little SUV has gone through Canyonlands National Park, back roading in Idaho, and has been an every day commuter since 2002. The 4 wheel drive has been excellent throughout the mountain west, and has been used as my vehicle to ski mountains since 2010. It currently has 262,000 miles on it, and while it's lost some power, and the check engine light is on, it seems to just keep on trucking. We treat it with a little more respect now - it doesn't go off roading as often, and I typically keep it in the Salt Lake valley. We have never had any serious maitenance- just a wheel bearing at 230,000 miles. For the cost, it has been probably the best value vehicle my husband I will ever own (and my parents for that matter). I keep saying it's time to get a new car, but it's just the little Rodeo that could... It looks like we will keep it until the end (who knows, it could have 40,000 more miles in it?!)
We bought this SUV new after an issue with a used car we bought from the same dealer. While it wasn't our first choice for SUV I had owned a 1984 Isuzu PU with a diesel engine one of the first in the country and had great service with it. This is my wife's primary vehicle and while it avg 18mpg around town it will get 25mpg on hwy trips. It's heavy even for the V6 and autotrans accounts for less MPG. Only problem was the transmission had to be replaced at 60K due to a known factory defect. This was covered by the long warranty. Only other issue now will be the cost to replace the timing belt. Important to note this vehicle was supplied to HONDA and sold as the PILOT prior to them making one.