"All vehicles have their little issues... This SUV is not an exception, but it's common issues are very minor. With this year Rodeo, the most common issues include fuel sender unit failure (around $100 to have replaced; $20 for the part if you can swap it out yourself), and EGR issues (usually just need to clean the system out well, and it's very easy to do, but worst case, a new EGR valve is under $200 and resides on top of the engine- SUPER easy replacement).
The EGR issues can usually be avoided by running 89 octane or better fuel and keeping the oil changed regularly. Also keep an eye on your PCV valve, and if it gets gunked up, replace it (a $10 part). Use of fuel system and air intake system cleaners also helps a great deal to keep the EGR system working smoothly.
It is normal for this vehicle to consume oil (Isuzu claims consumption of 1 qt every 1000 miles is within spec), but this can be dramatically reduced by running a high-detergent oil such as Chevron Delo 400 or Shell Rotella 15/40 (I recommend the Delo 400, as it has a lower Parafin content).
This SUV gets pretty good gas mileage for a 3.2L v6 with 190 hp, and plenty of torque for towing. Interior is quite spacious, and a well-designed dash and console. The ground clearance is awesome, and it handles pretty good too. After tuning her up a bit, the performance is really impressive for a vehicle of this weight (4170 lbs).
I opted for the manual transmission because when you buy a used car with an automatic (especially Fords), you are really asking for trouble. Most people don't drive them or care for them properly, and I simply try to avoid AT's altogether after spending $3000 to rebuild the one in my old Toyota P/U.
Other less common issues include wheel bearing problems (get them repacked when you replace your tires, or about every 20-30k miles and you will be trouble free here) and noisy AC units (mine works quiet and cold, though). All and all, this is a reliable rig with good performance and not a lot of issues. I would recommend this year make and model to anyone who is looking for a well-rounded utility vehicle under $5000. Thanks for reading, and good luck finding your new vehicle!"
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