With sales of Isuzu’s Rodeo model up by 111 percent to the end of February 2011 when compared with the same period in 2010, Isuzu Motors Ltd. seems to have started the year right. Its sales momentum has continued into 2011 from 2010, when it reported a sales increase of 104 percent over 2009. Isuzu’s strong sellers include the Rodeo Denver Max and the 2.5 liter diesel Rodeo Denver.
On sale in the United Kingdom since 2004, the Rodeo is getting an enviable reputation for longevity and product reliability among many of its toughest and most demanding customers like the farming community. The Rodeo Denver comes in either single or double cab body style and with 2.5 or 3.0 liter common rail diesel engines.
Prices range from GBP12,649 to GBP22,499 (commercial vehicle on the road). Kenyon Neads, Isuzu Marketing Director, said that word is spreading on the Rodeo’s product virtues like its long-term reliability and upbeat attitude. He added that, as a brand that specializes in pick-ups alone, understanding the specific requirements of the commercial market customer is essential to Isuzu’s success.
The Rodeo range is known for its discreet yet focused appeal. Its super-tough look displays a combination of strong road presence and car-like detailing. For the model year 2007, the double-cab Isuzu Rodeo has been wholly upgraded and now has a new look in addition to having projector-type headlamps and a new grille. There is also the new bonnet that has an intercooler intake and new bumper with the insert foglamps.
Highlighting this pick-up’s wide track is the wheel arch swage line. Enhancing this feature further are its chunky-looking extensions. Its cab design has been integrated with its load which enables it to avoid the add-on and boxy appearance most vehicles in this segment have. Just behind its cab are the rear side panels that are smoother and have contours, which in this vehicle are complemented with the rear lamps and new tailgate. This car-like and sophisticated detailing goes all through the tight panel-gaps in its body, turn indicator repeaters that have been set in the door mirrors, and the multi-element headlamps.
Improving the flowing surface treatment even further is the use of either metallic or high-gloss mica paint. High quality is felt overall and this is seen in the grab-type door handles located on the exterior and the wrap-round lights on its rear. The door handles not only have a substantial feel but they also offer light movement. This sophistication in the exterior design can also be observed on how the interior of the Rodeo was styled. Particularly there is the one-piece fascia with the soft-touch car-like surfaces on the fascia and doors. The controls are efficient and ergonomic as majority of the controls can easily be controlled.
There is also a new standard of seat comfort unlike any other seen inside a pickup. With its generous proportions, the seats in the Rodeo have been trimmed using a plush Moquette cloth, the same one on the door trims. Offering clear graphics, the three instrument dials are also electro-luminescent. On the center and the outboard found on the fascia, there are the large adjustable and circular air vents that complement the heavy and four-spoke steering with the ISUZU logo encircled on the inside of the chrome ring. All Rodeo models have been known to have proper sound-proofing for the cabin with the insulation positioned in the different critical areas of its bodyshell which also helps in increasing the refinement.
Placed in the center stack are the rotary controls that can be used easily. These controls manage the audio and sat-nav systems (if fitted), below the top air vents, ventilation and air-conditioning, and digital clock. Present as well are the selector buttons that allow for shift-on-the fly drivetrain. With this button, the driver can choose between 2WD(2H) and 4WD (4H), though it can only be engaged once speed reaches 60 mph.
The vehicle however has to be stationary when the low ratio (4L) is selected. Still, operating it is quite easy. Space in the cabin is more than generous with the front offering headroom at 1,004 mm and shoulder room at 1,450 mm. In order to make sure that majority of those who drive it are comfortable, the height of the steering wheel can be adjusted with the driver’s seat having fore/aft travel of as much as 200 mm.
Comfort is not limited to the front as the passengers in the rear seat also get to experience it. The rear doors are in fact wider compared to its rivals in the same segment and allow for it to be opened by as much as 68.5 degrees. This results in easy entry to the vehicle as well as exit. Further, the backrest of the rear seats also reclines at a greater angle and with the ample legroom, enhances comfort.