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2002 Isuzu Rodeo

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2002 Isuzu Rodeo Review

Small but worthy.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2002 Isuzu Rodeo is an SUV that offers a big warranty and streamlined styling. It hopes to attract buyers seeking more appealing and inexpensive vehicles. But even though the automaker provides a great warranty, this may not be enough help for an SUV outpaced by more competent and fresher vehicles.

The Range

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

What's New

The 2002 Isuzu Rodeo receives an upgrade on option packages and the Intelligent Suspension Control (ISC).


The 2002 Isuzu Rodeo sits on a 106.4-inch wheelbase with a total length of 177.6 inches. Some folks say it's small for an SUV and too mainstream, but its consumers actually prefer its modest design. Standard features include skid plates, a rear defogger, painted finish bumpers, all-season tires, 16-inch wheels, cargo tie-downs, intermittent wipers, and one rear wiper on all models. The LSE adds privacy glass, a roof rack, matching full-size spare tire, a power glass sunroof, alloy wheels, and the lower-levels wear steel wheels.


The 2002 Isuzu Rodeo provides three trim levels: the LSE, LS, and S. The LS models have anti-lock brake systems and underbody skid plates. Buyers wanting more luxury will like the high-end LSE with an in-dash CD changer, power moonroof, and leather seats. It has leather upholstery in the upper-level trims and velour materials in the two lower-level models. Seating for five is comfortable in bucket seats and a rear bench that has a 60/40 split and three-occupant capacity. Legroom is spacious as well as headroom, but the front seats are lacking in thigh, lateral, and lumbar support in the base model.

Some of the base standard features include a four-speaker AM/FM stereo system, front reading lights, rear ventilation ducts, front door pockets, cargo area lights, speed-proportional power steering, and front power outlets. The LS adds air-conditioning, cruise control, power doors, power locks, power mirrors, cup holders for rear and front, tilt steering wheel, and an eight-speaker stereo system with a six-disc CD player. The upper-level LSE adds an abundant amount of leather and wood trim throughout. It has a leather steering wheel, wood trim on doors and dash, heated mirrors, floor mats, dual vanity mirrors, and lumbar support for the driver’s seat.

Performance & Handling

The 2002 Isuzu Rodeo comes with either a 2.2-liter four-cylinder that produces 130 horsepower or a 3.2-liter V-6 that makes 205 hp. Four-wheel or rear-wheel drive is available, while the engine comes matched with an automatic four-speed with ?winter? and ?power? driving modes. The base model S has the four-cylinder engine variety, while the rest use the V-6. Two transmission choices include a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. Intelligent Suspension Control is an electronic ride control that comes with the optional Ironman Package and automatically adjusts the suspension firmness to the proper amount needed. There are 17 settings included for suspension adjustments in the system and is an acceptable off-road performer, but clearly outpaced by other SUVs.


The 2002 Isuzu Rodeo comes with safety features, which include child seat anchors, center rear lap belt, electronic brake force distribution, height-adjustable headrests in front and rear, child safety rear door locks, and a four-wheel anti-lock brake system. The safety testing performed by the government resulted in excellent ratings for side-impact crashes in front and rear with passenger protection. It receives four stars in passenger protection and three stars for rollover and driver protection.

EPA Fuel Economy

Isuzu Rodeo S: 17/21 mpg city/highway
Isuzu Rodeo LS: 15/20 mpg city/highway
Isuzu Rodeo LSE: 15/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powertrain warranty is excellent
  • Stylish interior

You Won't Like

  • Wobbly suspension
  • Interior materials seem cheaply made
  • Front seats are uncomfortable
  • Build quality is questionable

Sum Up

Small but worthy.

If You Like This Vehicle

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