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My four year SUV search is over. by An MSN Autos Consumer on 02/21/2005. Trim: 2003 Isuzu Rodeo Sport S V6 4WD Hard Top, Owned less than 1 year.
Pros: This is a true 4wd truck that is comparable to a Jeep Wrangler in off road ability. In MY tests, 250 miles, faster and better gas milliage than Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute and Jeep Liberity. Sturdy ride with plenty of natural light through the two sun roofs. Drove over 1000 miles with not a bit of back pain or numb legs. Super smooth power band. Removable top. Auto trans has power and winter modes. Very good radio (cruddy speakers can eaisly be replaced). Excellent exterior looks. The only ugly small SUV out there is the CRV. DANA 44 rear end (super tuff).
Cons: Some of the buttons are hard to view. Ex rear wiper, rear wiper sqirter, rear defrost. Cruise controls are hidden by stearing wheel. They could easily stick out more. This takes your eyes off the road. Rear storage could be better. Doors seem thin and tinny. Road noise is just a little too much for a comfortable long hall without the radio on. You can only find these used.
Overall review: Neither a pro or a con I must mention the interior. It is not as modern of a look, inside, as the other small SUV: Liberity, Rav 4, Escape/Tribute and CRV. Not as well laid out either. You do though, get more room. The wrap around stuff makes me feel cramped not my style. This truly feels like a truck and the interior complements the feel. My millage test was brief but was 20MPG @ ~75MPH +/- 5MPH. With windy cold conditions. Ride quality is sturdy truck feel. Not like a car with big tires like the others. Compare it to a Jeep Wrangler but just a touch softer. IMO the best ride feel.
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