Launched at the 2006 Paris motor show and soon to be replaced by a new model called D-max, Isuzu’s Rodeo pick-up has gained an enviable reputation as a sturdy workhorse.
Made in Thailand, it went on sale on this side of the Channel in March 2007, initially solely in four-door double cab guise with selectable four-wheel drive. A 4×2 two-door single cab was subsequently added to the, somewhat restricted, line-up. Customers can choose from two diesel engines: a 2.5-litre developing 136hp or a 3.0-litre generating 163hp. The latter is not available in the 4×2.
A five-manual gearbox comes as standard and the 3.0-litre can be ordered with an optional four-speed automatic. The 4×2 can cope with a 1235kg payload while the double cab’s payload capacity ranges from 1010kg to 1075kg depending on which version you pick.
Some of the variants that have been marketed – the Rodeo Denver Max LE for example – are laden with just about every goodie imaginable.
The Rodeo handles well for a big pick-up, with four-wheel drive where fitted simple to switch to, and the 3.0-litre offers ample performance.
For those contemplating buying a used Rodeo, the first thing you should do is check the electric windows work, advises the Used Van Expert website. A switch problem may mean the driver’s window in particular will refuse to operate. If so, the switch may need replacing, so try to get £150 knocked off the pick-up’s asking price.
Once you’ve checked the windows, take a close look at the ignition key barrel. Ensure it holds the keys tightly, that it is not loose and that it does not move about while the pick-up is in motion. If it falls down in any of these areas it will need changing and the vendor should be asked to cut the price by £300.
If test-driving a 2.5-litre model, make sure it does not pump out excessive smoke when you first fire up the engine, and see if the truck accelerates sluggishly and appears to be down on power when on the move. If that’s the case, a faulty injector pump is probably the culprit. A defect that seems to hit Rodeos 120,000-150,000 miles in, it justifies a £280 price discount.
Check the engine does not hesitate every so often, does not run hot and does not cause the exhaust to belch black smoke whenever you accelerate hard. If it manifests any of these faults there’s probably a problem with the exhaust gas recirculation valve; Used Van Expert suggests the price should be reduced by £150.
Ensure that four-wheel drive and the low-range set of 4×4 gears can be engaged as easily as they should be. Find any reluctance or a lot of noise and vibration, then the 4×4 system could need attention, and that may involve replacing the electric motor that controls the transfer box. Get the price cut by at least £500, and ideally by closer to £1000, because any repairs are likely to be expensive.
Next, if possible, turn on all the vehicle’s electrical devices (the headlights, radio, booster fan for the heating/ventilation system etc) and let the engine idle for 15 minutes. Should the devices begin to run out of energy and the engine subsequently stalls and was in fact quite difficult to start in the first place, then you’re looking at a new alternator. That justifies insisting on a £600 discount.
Rodeos can give their front brakes a hard time, warns Used Van Expert. Examine the discs for any signs of corrosion, when they are cool feel for a pronounced lip on the outer edge, and listen for squeaking as you slow down or bounce over a speed bumps. Find any of the above and odds are you will need to swap the discs and pads so you need the vendor to take a £150 hit.
New Rodeos sold through Isuzu’s UK dealer network are covered by a three-year/60,000-mile warranty that may, if still in force, address some of the defects mentioned above.

Prices at auction

Auctioneer Manheim recently disposed of a double-cab 2.5-litre, 2009 on a 58-plate, which had clocked up a whopping 174,000 miles, for £7700. One that dated back to the same year, but was on an 09-plate and had covered 15,000 miles, sold for £11,600. A slightly older example of the same model – 2007 on a 57-plate and with 82,000 miles to its name – was sold for £7500. A virtually new 2011 3.0-litre double-cab with zero miles recorded and on an 11-plate went for £14,300, says auction firm Manheim.

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