Isuzu Rodeo History and Cylinder Heads

Categories: Cylinder Head Tips

The Isuzu Rodeo is considered a hidden gem in the used car market, following the discontinuation of this vehicle back in 2004. This midsize SUV was manufactured from 1988 to 2004 and was a great option for anyone looking for a reliable and sturdy vehicle. Today we’re going to discover the history of the Isuzu Rodeo and why this vehicle was discontinued. We’ll also look at how cylinder head replacement can help to extend the life of this vehicle and save you money instead of buying a new car.


Isuzu Rodeo History

The Isuzu Rodeo was manufactured by the Japanese company Isuzu from 1988 to 2004. The company used the Rodeo title on two different vehicles: a midsize SUV in North America and a compact pickup truck for the Japanese market. Before the introduction of the Isuzu Rodeo, this name had been used for the Japanese version of the Isuzu Faster back in 1978.

In the US, the Isuzu Rodeo was created for the 1991 model year and offered a five-door SUV which was marketed as the Isuzu Wizard in Japan. The second generation of the vehicle was launched in 1998, and the company offered the Rodeo Sport as a three-door version in the 2001 model year. Both of the vehicles ceased manufacturing in 2004. The Rodeo SUV can only be purchased on the used car market today.


Why was the Isuzu Rodeo Discontinued?

The Isuzu Rodeo was discontinued for a variety of reasons. The primary reason was to reduce the number of SUVs in the company’s line up. Isuzu was hoping to compete more strongly within the American SUV market with fewer models. However, the company went on to stop selling vehicles in the United States on January 31, 2009. With weak sales in the previous years and a lack of replacements for some of the most popular models, they withdrew from the U.S. market.


North America Sales History for the Isuzu Rodeo

Sales for the Isuzu Rodeo started in 1998 with 59,000 units in the year. They remained around this figure for the next three years, with a significant drop to 32,000 units in 2002. As the vehicle was getting to the later stages of its life, we saw a large decrease in sales, with just 16,000 units sold in both 2003 and 2004 before its discontinuation.


What are the Engine Specs for an Isuzu Rodeo?

The Isuzu Rodeo came with either a 3.2 L V6 engine or a 3.5L V6 engine. Some versions of the Rodeo used engines made by General Motors, but you’ll want to check the exact engine specs for the vehicle you are purchasing when shopping for an Isuzu Rodeo on the used vehicle market.


Driver Reviews – Isuzu Rodeo

The Isuzu Rodeo was a well-respected SUV in the United States market, especially during the first four years of its life. It receives high reliability ratings and has low maintenance and running costs and excellent fuel economy. It is an ideal vehicle for outdoor adventures. With large alloy wheels and thick bumpers, it’s a sturdy vehicle with excellent performance. The more recent models could tow up to 4,500 kg, making it perfect for off-road travel and professional use. With seating for up to five people, it’s also a good family car. With so many uses for this SUV, it’s a very versatile option that still serves families and individuals to this day.


Common Problems with the Isuzu Rodeo

While reviews are mainly favorable for the Isuzu Rodeo, you’ll find there were some issues over the years with the car. Engine failure, airbag failure, and suspension corrosion were the most common complaints we heard about the Rodeo. Engine issues impacted nearly every model year, but the 2002 model was particularly noted for having issues in this area. The engine consumes a lot of motor oil, and the lack of lubrication often leads to permanent damage. If you hear knocking sounds on the engine when the car is running, then there’s a good chance that this is the cause of the issue.

Some vehicles in the 2000 model year were recalled due to air bag faults, which can be extremely dangerous in the case of an emergency. Of course, replacing cylinder heads became a more common maintenance requirement as the years passed.


Replacing Isuzu Rodeo Cylinder Heads

Buying a new car is something that many of us can’t afford to do without a fair amount of notice. For that reason, you’ll want to look at ways to extend the life of your Isuzu Rodeo without spending a fortune. By replacing the cylinder heads in your vehicle, you can avoid buying a new car as this upgrade will help to keep the engine in good condition for years to come.

When it comes to replacing the cylinder heads on your Isuzu Rodeo, you can either take it to a mechanic or try to DIY the job at home. You’ll likely find that a cylinder head replacement will set you back about $2,000 to $3,000 depending on the cost of the parts and labor, but this investment is still much cheaper than buying a new vehicle altogether.

The Isuzu Rodeo can still be found on the used vehicle market today, but with so limited numbers of later models sold, it can be harder to find. As a very reliable car, many of these vehicles are still in good condition today. By replacing the cylinder head, you can work to save yourself money while extending the life of your Rodeo. We encourage you to consider this option if you’ve enjoyed driving the Rodeo for many years and want to keep it on the road for as long as you can.


Buy Isuzu Rodeo Cylinder Heads from Clearwater Cylinder

If you are the owner of a Isuzu Rodeo looking to extend the life of your vehicle, then you have found the right website. Contact us today to purchase new or refurbished Rodeo cylinder heads. Locating the casting number on your Isuzu Rodeo engine or existing cylinder head will help us to more quickly identify the compatible cylinder head(s) for your specific Isuzu Rodeo.


Online Purchase Links


  • Purchase 2 heads with no core


  • Rebuild 1 Rodeo cylinder head (core required)