Just about every automotive manufacturer produces a sport-utility vehicle today. But back in the early 1990s, there was only a sprinkling of truck-based, off-road vehicles to whet the appetites of those trendsetters who were ahead of their time in appreciating elevated seating heights and macho styling. The Isuzu Rodeo was one of these pioneers; a midsize SUV with ample room for five passengers and a comfy ride. Compared to more rough-and-tumble models from Jeep or Chevy, the Rodeo was much easier to live with on a day-to-day basis, and it quickly became a best-selling import SUV.
For the second-generation Rodeo, Isuzu concentrated on weight reduction, noise deadening, passenger comfort and improved on-road driving dynamics that all made the Rodeo a more livable daily driver. Thanks to a generous warranty, it was initially one of our top choices in the segment, but quickly found itself outclassed by newer competitors despite some minor updates.
Although a well-maintained used Isuzu Rodeo should satisfy shoppers on a tight budget, those willing to spend a bit more would be better served by more refined SUVs such as the Nissan Pathfinder or Toyota 4Runner.