Truck Thursday: 2002 Isuzu Rodeo Ain't No Mystery

It’s a fun size Truck Thursday, with something small and foreign built in the land of big and American.
The Isuzu Rodeo Sport has been out of production for 12 years now, but examples like this one pop up every once in a while for sale, and they’re usually in good shape. This one is 14 years old, but has only 141,000 miles, and doesn’t look a day over 10.
The details:

We have for sale a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport 4×4 automatic with 141,500 miles. The SUV has power windows, power locks, power mirrors, cruise and tilt. Air and heat both work heat. Asking 4900.00 or best offer.

There is something unusual about the Rodeo Sport, something strangely attractive to me. I’ve never considered myself an SUV man, but this little runabout is really getting my attention. I think it’s all the different elements that they have put into this version  over the years. culminating with this. It’s the same basic shape and design as the first Isuzu Pickup that debuted in 1987, but has aged well with the addition of molded fender flares, matching bumpers, and some meaty tires. Those, along with a short wheel base and two-door layout, give it a look almost like a toy truck, like something I got in a Happy Meal when I was a kid (I wish I still had those, by the way).
If you think you’ve seen something like this before, you might have. Some long-time readers might remember another Rodeo Sport I wrote about back in 2013. I was smitten by its good looks then, too.
When we looked at this one back in 2013, I was excited not only by the concept of a small SUV with a manual transmission, but by the fact that a cheap, fun, efficient SUV could be had with a proper body-on-frame construction. This 2002 model has an automatic, but the 4-wheel drive fun is still within reach.
What say you? Is the best part of five grand a good deal for a 14-year old miniature truck?
Bonus: the Rodeo appears to be a pretty capable off-roader. Here’s a short video of one enjoying the scenery of western Pennsylvania.

[Source: Springfield Craigslist]

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  1. Tomsk Avatar

    Ah yes, the artist formerly known as Amigo.

  2. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    Dammit. In my daily craiglisting yesterday, I came upon this Amigo:
    I totally have no use for it, but it’s a V6 5-speed 4×4. And it’s priced right around “why the hell not” money at $2k.

    1. neight428 Avatar

      Is there anything more Craigslist than a $2k Isuzu at a tattoo shop?

      1. dead_elvis Avatar

        $2700 CB750 with a coffin tank & apehangers. Ratty as hell, of course.

  3. stigshift Avatar

    Sounds about double what it’s worth.

  4. desmo Avatar

    This car is still in production in China. Its called “Jiangling Landwind x9”
    MSRP is 15.000 Euros at importers in Rotterdam/Netherlands.

  5. neight428 Avatar

    My ’86 Mustang SVO died (to me) when the tailgate mounted spare tire of an Isuzu Amigo pushed the radiator core support beyond my means to repair it (some other hoon was able to do so). While the uncontrolled momentum was indeed my own fault, I’ve never fully forgiven the Amigo, so I harbor some resentment. That said, with the issues that thing had, it was more akin to someone with a terminal illness being struck by lightning, it was probably worth $3k at the time.

  6. LEROOOY Avatar

    The Rodeo/Passport is a strange example of a car where I’m pretty sure I see more 20th-century examples than 21st-century ones. Houston has many old Rodeos and Troopers out plying the roads, I guess because here the rust is held at bay.