Isuzu Rodeo



Behind the wheel

The new Rodeo is built in Thailand, and we flew all the way there only to discover that while Isuzu had a 3.0-litre automatic double-cab 4x4 and a 2.5-litre manual double-cab 4x2 for us to sample, no 2.5-litre manual double-cab 4x4 was on offer.

Driving what was available however gave us a fair idea of how the model destined to be shipped to Britain is likely to behave.

On the plus side, the steering is responsive, contributing to safe and predictable handling.

Unlike so many other pick-ups the solidly constructed Rodeo does not bounce around all over the place when lightly laden and the manual gearbox offers a smooth, user-friendly gearchange.

The 2.5-litre offers ample performance, but the levels of wind noise and road roar we experienced when driving the 4x2 double cab needed to be better-controlled.

They were lower in the 4x4, which is encouraging.

Off-road the level of suspension articulation offered by the 4x4 made tackling rutted, boulder-strewn tracks a breeze.

You can select either two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive at speeds of up to 60mph, and either a high- or a low-ratio set of gears when in 4x4 mode.

There’s a reasonable amount of storage space in the cab, including a bin between the front seats with a lidded tray built into the lid, and more room in the back of the double-cab than you might expect.

It seems a pity though that the occupant of the rear centre seat has to rely solely on a lap belt and is not protected by a headrest.

If the driver suddenly slams on the brakes, then the hapless passenger is likely to smack the back of his or her head on the rear window.


Like its predecessor, the latest Rodeo is an impressive piece of kit that looks more than capable of tackling a lot of hard work.

If it has a disadvantage, it is that Isuzu is not as well known as Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan, Ford and Mazda; and they all offer rival products.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.