Rodeo is somewhat of a dinosaur next to the other SUVs here, most of which have
enjoyed a thorough redo since this iteration of the Rodeo first hit the road.
But an aging design does not a bad SUV make. To the contrary, the reasonably attractive
Rodeo does have certain distinctions in this class, not the least of which is
its extremely attractive pricing (which ranges from under $20K to a bit over $30K).
That under-$20K-variety of Rodeo is not a terribly pleasant truck to spend time
in, with its crank windows and anemic 130-hp four-cylinder engine. At least even
the base Rodeo can be ordered with the optional 205-hp V-6, which also brings
cruise control and tilt steering along with it, while still keeping the price
in the low $20K range.
features and power accessories are available in the Rodeo's higher trim levels,
the LS and the LSE, both of which come standard with the V-6 engine and significantly
more comfortable interiors. The Rodeo's econo-car dashboard ergonomics become
livable when it's equipped with some of its better options, most notable the LS's
6-disc in-dash CD player. If you splurge for the LSE, you'll actually find yourself
in a pretty nice truck, equipped as it is with leather seats, a power moonroof,
an amplifier and alloy wheels. Making it truly worthwhile to spend the extra dough
for the LSE is its invaluable Intelligent Suspension Control, which allows the
driver to vary suspension firmness to deliver either a cushy ride or firm, tight
handling, depending on her preference.
(particularly for those who like to park their SUVs in compact parking spots)
is the fact that despite the Rodeo's being a whopping 14 inches shorter and four
inches narrower than a Chevy Trailblazer, it has more maximum cargo space.