From the July 1991 concern of Automotive and Driver.
Is it truthful to say that the typical American does not know a lot about Isuzu?
If that’s the case, too unhealthy for the typical American, as a result of the new-for-1991 Isuzu Rodeo exhibits that there is much more to this Japanese firm than only a humorous, lying spokesman named Joe. Briefly, the Rodeo is a sport-utility automobile (SUV) that undoubtedly deserves your consideration.
We cannot wade too deeply into the Rodeo’s background right here. However let’s hit a number of of the highlights.
The Rodeo is constructed on the joint Isuzu-Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana. It is out there as a five-door wagon solely, which Isuzu defends by noting that, even given a alternative, the overwhelming majority of SUV patrons go for fashions with 4 facet doorways anyway. (These patrons who insist on having a sportier Rodeo can go for its stubby sibling, the two-door Amigo.) The Rodeo rides on a 108.7-inch wheelbase, which is lengthy for this class; however at 176.4 inches total, it is compact on the surface. There are two engines (a 2.6-liter 4 or a 3.1-liter V-6), two transmissions, two- or four-wheel drive, and three trim ranges. Our check automobile was a top-of-the-line Rodeo LS, outfitted with the six-cylinder engine, a four-speed computerized transmission, and four-wheel drive.
Spend a couple of minutes behind the wheel of the Rodeo and also you rapidly turn into impressed by how civilized it’s. The steering is gentle, the cabin is quiet at excessivemethod cruise, and the trip verges on plush. The driving place is great—whereas another SUVs on this class have the driving force’s seat planted deep down under the instrument panel and the door sills, the Rodeo’s helm sits excessive and luxuryready. Additionally notable is the convenience of entry and exit—you possibly can soar aboard the Rodeo with out worrying about smacking your knee on a touch edge or catching your foot on a excessive rocker panel.
Cockpit options embrace a comprehensive and well-grouped array of analog gauges, tasteful supplies, and plenty of room for heads and legs. The cabin is not as trendy as some within the class, however now we have no complaints about the way it works. There’s room for 5 within the Rodeo LS (which will get entrance buckets as a substitute of the bottom mannequin’s bench). The rear seat—cut up on the LS—could be folded flat to type a big rear load flooring.
Spend a number of extra minutes behind the wheel and also you additionally be taught that the Rodeo is not any five-door Humorous Automotive. The V-6 is nice for simply 120 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque, so the 4027-pound Rodeo wants 14.7 seconds of heavy respiratory to get to 60 mph. That mentioned, the Rodeo strikes at its personal tempo happily—like a marathoner who can go the distance however is not within the sprints. Fitted with entrance discs, rear drums, and a regular rear-wheel anti-lock system, the Rodeo stopped from 70 mph in 234 ft—which is on the lengthy facet even for an SUV.
Judging by the reception our black check automobile acquired on the road, Isuzu has scored a success with the Rodeo’s styling. “Hey, man, awesome-looking truck,” was simply one in all a slew of comparable comments. “All proper! Cool! That is the brand new Chevrolet Blazer, proper?” beamed the teller on the Taco Bell window. “You bought it,” we mentioned again to maintain him smiling and nodding, and we managed on exiting to keep away from knocking over a Fotomat kiosk.
Little question contributing to our check Rodeo’s head-turning energy had been its wheels, snazzy and glossy drilled alloys carrying beefy raised-letter 225/75R-15 tires.
The bottom Rodeo LS ($18,898) comes commonplace with every thing from a leather-based-wrapped steering wheel to intermittent wipers and a four-speaker AM/FM/cassette system with 80 watts of energy. Our check LS was plumped up with such options as energy home windows, cruise management, air-con, and a sunroof—which raised the out-the-door sticker to $21,348. Patrons who need extra can tack on a compact-disc participant; patrons who need much less can transfer all the way down to the Rodeo XS or S fashions, the latter of which begins—in four-cylinder, two-wheel-drive type—at simply $12,818.
So who cares if the typical American is aware of nothing about this gifted and tempting sport-utility machine? The important factor is, now you do.
1991 Isuzu Rodeo LS
Automobile Kind: front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 5-door wagon
Base/As Examined: $18,898/$21,348
V-6, iron block and heads, direct gas injection
Displacement: 191 in3, 3135 cm3
Energy: 120 hp @ 4400 rpm
Wheelbase: 108.7 in
Size: 176.4 in
Curb Weight: 4027 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 14.7 sec
1/4-Mile: 20.0 sec @ 67 mph
Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 14.5 sec
Prime Velocity: 89 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 234 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.68 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Noticed: 15 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Metropolis: 15 mpg