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1997 Isuzu Rodeo Review
Rugged yet practical.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The Isuzu Rodeo is a rugged, off road-oriented sport utility vehicle (SUV) that focuses primarily on performance rather than comfort. However, despite the emphasis on off-road design, it's still practical enough that it can be used as a day-to-day vehicle. It does not quite perform as well as the more expensive Isuzu Trooper. However, it is more practical than most off road-oriented SUVs with a similar price tag and is designed for performance while minimizing price. Rather than cutting performance options, Isuzu mostly cuts comfort options to keep the price down. Even the better-appointed LS model does not have many accessories inside the vehicle. However, the Rodeo does boast a fairly powerful engine, solid braking, a rugged build, and solid maneuverability.
The 1997 Isuzu Rodeo is best suited for drivers that expect a mix of roadway and off-road driving, and they don't mind trading comfort for a lower price. Drivers willing to pay more money are more likely to go for the Isuzu Trooper, since it performs very similarly to the Rodeo but offers a more comfortable interior. The Rodeo’s main advantage is the lower price without losing out on off-road performance.
Engines: 2.6-liter six-cylinder, 3.2-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Isuzu Rodeo S, Isuzu Rodeo LS
The 1997 Isuzu Rodeo receives no major changes. However, the Rodeo has some minor refinements to improve functionality.
The 1997 Isuzu Rodeo is a midsize SUV, measuring in at 176.5 inches long with a wheel base of 108.7 inches. It is a four-door body SUV with a brush guard and roof rack that are available as options. The Rodeo LS also can get running boards as an option.
The 1997 Isuzu Rodeo has very minimal interior features on the base S; it doesn't come with any major standard features, and options include air-conditioning, AM/FM radio, cassette player, and CD player. The upscale LS, however, gets such standard features as air-conditioning, cruise control, power windows, power locks, leather trim steering wheel, AM/FM radio, and a cassette player as standard equipment. Optional features include a moonroof, keyless entry, anti-theft system, CD player, and CD changer.
Performance & Handling
The 1997 Isuzu Rodeo is better suited as an off-road vehicle but still has decent roadway capabilities. When driving off-road, it has enough power and traction to get through most terrain. Roadway performance is average for an SUV, and it has enough power to get decent acceleration. Maneuverability is good enough that driving is not awkward. Although better-handling SUVs are on roadways, the performance is still good for an off-road model.
The 1997 Isuzu Rodeo gets a driver airbag and rear-wheel anti-lock brakes as standard. Dual-front airbags are available as an optional feature on both models. Meanwhile, the four-wheel anti-lock brakes are available as an optional feature on the Rodeo LS.
EPA Fuel Economy
Isuzu Rodeo, four-speed automatic, four-wheel drive: 14/17 mpg city/highway
Isuzu Rodeo, five-speed manual, four-wheel drive: 15/17 mpg city/highway
- Spacious interior
- Rugged build
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
- Weak accessories offering
- Four-wheel anti-lock brakes only available on upper-end model
Rugged yet practical.
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