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2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport Review
A talented off-road vehicle.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport is affordable, sporty, and very off-road capable. It used to be known as the Amigo until Isuzu added a few optional configurations, and it's now the Rodeo Sport. It also has the excitement of an open-top and comes in soft- or hard-top, four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive, V-6 or four-cylinder, and automatic or manual transmission. The brother of the four-door Rodeo is making a name for itself in the SUV segment in a two-door open-top version. For an attractive appearance and superior off-road capability with an affordable price tag, it's an exceptional choice in the competitive SUV segment.
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder, 3.2-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Isuzu Rodeo Sport S, Isuzu Rodeo Sport S V6
The 2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport remains unchanged with the exception of new 16-inch wheels.
The 2002 Isuzu Sport is shorter than the sibling four-door SUV and has a smaller truck chassis. It has a 96.9-inch wheelbase and measures 170.3 inches long, coming in hardtop or convertible styles with two doors. It carries on the ?go-anywhere? look of traditional Isuzu SUVs with broad fenders and all-season tires. Exterior features included are intermittent wipers, skid plates, all-season tires, painted finish bumpers, cargo tie-downs, a rear defogger, manual sunroof, and rear side-hinged doors on the S models. The V-6 models add a removable soft top; meanwhile, several colors are available to enhance the outer appearance. Both models have 16-inch steel wheels.
The 2002 Rodeo Sport offers five-passenger seating, while bucket seats are in front, and a folding bench sits in the rear. The seating space is modest for occupants in the back, and the front seats slide forward to let passengers into the back seat easily. The seats are cloth with buckets in the front and a bench seat in the rear. The rear seats fold to allow 62 cubic feet of storage and cargo room. The Rodeo also has a shorter wheelbase of 96.6 inches, which makes it very easy to maneuver around town or through the backwoods. Standard interior features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, keyless entry, front reading lights, cargo area light, folding rear seatback, front door pockets, cup holders in front and rear, dual vanity mirrors, low fuel warning, front storage console, rear ventilation ducts, and a four-speaker AM/FM stereo. The V6 model adds cruise control and a tilt steering wheel.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport is powered by a 2.2-liter four-cylinder that produces 130 horsepower as standard equipment. An optional 3.2-liter V-6 is available for the base model and comes standard on the V-6 model. It generates 205 hp and is equipped with standard anti-lock brakes as well as four-wheel drive. Both engines chose between an automatic four-speed and a manual five-speed.
The 2002 Isuzu Rodeo has a four-wheel drive, which can be switched on from the dash that shifts into the configuration. The performance and handling are excellent for off-roading, whereas it struggles a little when pavement driving. The suspension is below average considering the SUVs on the market nowadays, and the ride quality is better than previous models but still seems a bit unpleasant. When at high speeds, there is a slight shimmy and without top-of-the-line brakes, it shouldn’t be pushed to the limit.
The 2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport has no government testing, so there are no results to report concerning crash test and safety. There are several safety features included such as height-adjustable headrests for front and rear, center rear lap belt, driver airbags for driver and passenger, and child seat anchors. It also has ventilated front disc brakes, electronic brake force distribution, and ventilated rear drum brakes. The four-wheel anti-lock brake system is standard on both models.
EPA Fuel Economy
Isuzu Rodeo Sport S V6: 15/19 mpg city/highway
- Soft-top or hardtop option
- Attractive design
- Youthful appeal
- Excellent off-road ability
You Won't Like
- Sub-par handling
- Below-average suspension
- Cramped interior
- Excessive engine noise
A talented off-road vehicle.
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