Isuzu Rodeo

The Essentials

  • Price from £15,128
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 38.2mpg
  • What is it? It's a pick-up truck, better suited to your job as a builder than doing the school run.

Great

  • Perfect for heavy work off-road
  • Big enough loadbay for all your needs
  • Tonnes of equipment as standard

Gripes

  • It's a pick-up truck
  • Minimal safety features
  • Bouncy ride
  • Drive

    Passengers won't appreciate a brisk drive on twisty country roads

  • Inside

    Rear legroom is tight, but that's the only quibble in an otherwise spacious and comfortable cabin

  • Safety

    Only has front airbags, and scored dismally in Euro NCAP crash tests

  • Reliability

    Hard wearing, as you'd expect from a pick-up truck

  • Space

    Room for five in the cabin, plus several kitchen sinks on the loadbay

  • Standard and extras

    Generous standard kit

  • What's it like to drive?

    First impressions tell you a lot, and the Isuzu Rodeo does not look like a slick city roller. Although the steering is good around town, you will feel each and every bump in the road, leaving your more delicate passengers feeling a bit green. If you use it for its intended purpose, i.e. as an off-road utility truck, a button on the dash will change the cars set-up to cope with tricky terrain.

  • What's it like inside?

    If you want to drive four friends somewhere, you can - just. Rear legroom isn't brilliant but a vehicle with a flatbed like this will rarely encounter luggage-related problems. Plus there will be few complaints with the equipment: all Rodeos come with fancy mod-cons like Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity. An immobiliser and keyless entry come on even the basic models, making it difficult for people to break in.

  • How reliable is it?

    Safety features are well below what we've come to expect from modern cars - it comes with only front airbags. As a result it scored less than two stars for adult protection in Euro NCAP crash tests, and two stars for child protection. It's solidly built and will withstand all you can throw at it and more.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Isuzu Rodeo costs about the same as a Mitsubishi L200, and will be relatively frugal to run. The best news is that if you're buying it as a company car, you can reclaim the VAT and benefit from very low tax rates.