2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport

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$16,100

starting MSRP

2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport
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Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

3 trims

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2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
Once known as the Amigo, the Rodeo Sport comes as a two-door hardtop or convertible. Both come with new six-spoke 16-inch wheels for 2002. The convertible has a manual removable sunroof and a folding fabric top over the rear seats and a hartop over the front seats. The hardtop model substitutes a second sunroof over the rear seats in place of the convertible’s folding top.

The Rodeo Sport uses the same engines, four-wheel-drive system and front styling as the regular Rodeo. Vehicles equipped with the Ironman Package include Isuzu’s Intelligent Suspension Control, which has a Sport/Comfort switch.

Exterior
The Sport is more than 7 inches shorter than the four-door Rodeo and is built on a shorter version of the truck chassis used for the Rodeo. The Sport rides a 96.9-inch wheelbase, is 170.3 inches long overall, stands 67.1 inches tall and measures 70.4 inches wide. Both the hardtop and convertible models have two side doors.

Corrugated styling accents the lower door panels. Broad fenders and gray “overfenders” enhance what Isuzu calls the vehicle’s performance-oriented, “go-anywhere” look. The Rodeo Sport’s box-section ladder frame has eight cross-members. Alloy wheels hold 16-inch tires.

Interior
Like the Rodeo, the Rodeo Sport seats five occupants. It has bucket seats up front and a folding three-place rear bench — though space on the bench seat is modest. The front passenger seat has a walk-in feature, which slides the seat forward when the backrest is released.

Under the Hood
A standard 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine develops 130 horsepower, and an optional 3.2-liter V-6 achieves 205 hp. Both engines are available with a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission. Part-time four-wheel drive with either engine should be used only on slippery surfaces. Antilock brakes are standard.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.4
  • Interior design 3.4
  • Performance 4.0
  • Value for the money 4.0
  • Exterior styling 4.6
  • Reliability 4.0

Most recent consumer reviews

4.0

Dependalble

Mine has 108,000 miles has a 2 inch lift I've put over 40,000 of these miles on it in the deserts around Yuma AZ hard miles. Installed an ARB air locker up front. What it doesn't have in articulation it makes up for with front locker and rear posi. Many of my friends have had lots of jeep problems but the Isuzu just keeps on ticking. Well most of the time I'm now looking for the rear anti roll bar, kind of broke it. But considering where its been...

4.7

2001 Isuzu Rodeo Sport

The Isuzu Rodeo Sport is the best vehicle I?ve ever owned. So good, in fact, that I bought two of them. Way back in late 2000, I really wanted a Jeep. I was taking regular road trips for work (I?m an efficiency/ business practices consultant) and had the dream of the open road, wind in my hair?straight Route 66 stuff. Sadly, comfort-wise, Jeeps can be a quite a beating on long trips. Go figure. In my search for a replacement, I randomly came across the newly-released Isuzu Rodeo Sport (which was just a newly-named, manned-up Amigo). I immediately loved it. It drove great, handled well, felt solid, and, with the removable sunroof and the folding soft-top, it?s like a Jeep but without the lower back injury. Fast forward to 2005: I drove it to roughly 135,000 miles without any real issues beyond having a transmission overhaul (cost about $900) at around 110,000 miles that I, likely, brought on myself via neglect. I kept up with oil changes every 5K and a few light maintenance things, but that was it. However, while I loved it, life had taught me, at that point, that vehicles tend to implode, if not explode, as they approach 150,000 miles, so I sold it to a family friend who didn?t have my reservations about high-mileage vehicles for a steal of $3500 (I paid $20 K). Fast forward to 2010: I ran into the family friend and asked about the RS. They told me that they had reached nearly 200,000 miles, with only normal upkeep costs, and had sold it to another family member for the same $3500 price (Ugh!). After talking with them, and a few years of driving an Audi and suffering the upkeep/maintenance costs of a ?high-dollar-premium-gas-only? car, I found another RS ? the exact same as my original, just a different exterior color- with shockingly low miles. Fast forward to 2014: I have now driven my second RS to 156,000. I just incurred the only costly repair I?ve had with the new one, a water pump/timing belt switch that ran me $650.

1.7

Isuzu Rodeo Not Reliable

Nothing but pricey repairs and huge depreciation. Isuzu isn't making cars anymore for a reason. Don't buy one.

See all 5 consumer reviews