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1999 Isuzu Rodeo

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1999 Isuzu Rodeo Review

Convenience and toughness in one.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1999 Isuzu Rodeo is a midsize SUV manufactured by Japan-based Isuzu motors. The history of this vehicle can be traced back to 1989, when the vehicle was first launched in Japan as the Isuzu Wizard. It would be introduced in the North American market soon after during the second quarter of 1989 as a three-door Isuzu Amigo. It was only in 1990 that the company launched the five-door SUV called the Rodeo. The car was produced for only two model years, 1991 and 1992, until it made a comeback last year with a second-generation model.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 3.2-liter V-6, 2.2-liter I-4
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Isuzu Rodeo S, Isuzu Rodeo LS, Isuzu Rodeo LSE

What's New

The 1999 Isuzu Rodeo gets some minor changes in its list of standard and optional equipment. The preferred equipment package from the S model year has been made standard for LS model. The standard equipment on the LS model is made standard for a newly-launched trim level, the Rodeo LSE. This model will get a power moon roof and leather upholstery as a standard. The four-wheel-drive versions of the 1999 Isuzu Rodeo LSE have an outside-mounted spare tire, but it is also offered as a free option in other models. All models of the Rodeo with a V-6 engine under the hood have a tilt steering wheel.


The 1999 Isuzu Rodeo differs from the Amigo when it comes to its rear-mounted spare tire, larger fender flares, and 16-inch wheels. It has a wheelbase of 106.4 inches.


The 1999 Isuzu Rodeo's interior space is greater than that of the previous generation. Although there is a shortage of legroom at the rear, overall passenger room is good all around. The driver’s seat is not height adjustable, which is a feature present in most other SUVs, but the seat has been positioned so well that most people would have no problem with it. The firm and supportive seats at the front and rear are surprisingly comfortable and earn high marks for the SUV. On the other hand, the climate and audio system controls are recessed and a little out of reach for the driver. Moreover, the stereo controls are small and difficult to distinguish. Apart from these problems, the dashboard looks and feels great.

The step-in height for the 1999 Isuzu Rodeo is lower than most other midsize SUVs, so entry and exit is a lot easier for the Rodeo than for its rivals. The rear door in particular allows passengers to enter with relative ease, although it could have been improved with a wider opening angle. The low cowl and hood line provide excellent forward visibility, but the optional spare tire is an obstacle for the driver’s rear visibility. The new side-opening tailgate also has a confusing opening system that requires two hands, which is quite a nuisance.

Performance & Handling

The 1999 Isuzu Rodeo may be fitted with a 2.2-liter straight-four engine or a 3.2-liter V-6 engine, depending on the model. The straight-four engine deliver 130 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque, while the V-6 engine delivers 205 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque. Both engines could be mated to a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. The suspension for the 1999 Isuzu Rodeo provides a stable and smooth ride with little bouncing and pitching, even though small bumps and irregularities cause an unpleasantly choppy ride. Large bumps and potholes are also not absorbed as well as expected, and the ride quality tends to become very harsh at such times. The four-cylinder engine is underpowered, but the lack of power is manageable with a manual transmission being used. The V-6 engine is much livelier than the straight-four engine and its previous version, and offers plenty of passing power and brisk acceleration. The automatic transmission works well with this engine for smooth and prompt gearshifts.


The 1999 Isuzu Rodeo received four out five stars in terms of driver and passenger safety during frontal impact collision tests conducted by the NHTSA.

EPA Fuel Economy

Isuzu Rodeo: 15/19 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Stylish interior
  • Roomy back seat
  • Rugged exterior

You Won't Like

  • Numb steering
  • Poor placement of some controls

Sum Up

Convenience and toughness in one.

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