Known as the Rodeo when wearing an Isuzu badge, this midsize SUV also is sold in similar form at Honda dealerships as the Passport. The two vehicles are nearly identical, except for minor appearance and equipment differences. Both are built in Lafayette, Ind., at an Isuzu plant thats shared with Subaru.
New 16-inch alloy wheels go on Isuzus traditionally styled midsize four-door SUV for 2002, again offered in S, LS and LSE trims. A Preferred Equipment Package is available for the S, and a Comfort Package is offered for the LS. A Special Edition package for the LS includes 18-inch tires and Iron Gray lower body trim. An optional Ironman Package on the LS adds 18-inch gray metallic alloy wheels, a painted rear roof spoiler, four-way power drivers seat, tubular side steps and privacy glass.
Stretching to 177.6 inches long overall, the four-door Rodeo rides a 106.4-inch wheelbase and is about 69 inches tall and 70.4 inches wide. At the rear, its tailgate swings open to the left. The back window swings up separately and must be opened before the tailgate. The Rodeos spare tire mounts inside on the base S model but may be stowed underneath the rear of the vehicle on 4WD versions.
The Rodeo seats five occupants, using two front buckets and a three-place, 60/40-split rear bench that folds to produce additional cargo room. A cassette stereo is standard. Moving up to the LS adds a six-speaker sound system, air conditioning, keyless entry, and power windows, locks and mirrors. Leather upholstery goes into the top-of-the-line LSE, which also has a CD changer, power sunroof and fog lights.
Under the Hood
Either a 130-horsepower, 2.2-liter four-cylinder or a 205-hp, 3.2-liter V-6 engine may be installed. Rear-wheel and four-wheel drive are available. The base S model with 2WD uses the four-cylinder engine, while other models get the V-6. All are available with either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission. The Ironman Package includes electronic ride control, called Intelligent Suspension Control, which adjusts suspension firmness to one of 17 settings. Antilock brakes are standard.