THE Isuzu Rodeo holds a special place in the hearts of rad car fans, as it was the basis for another beloved off-roader, the original Honda passport. The five-door Isuzu The SUV lasted here for several years before being discontinued in the early 2000s, but the automaker sold funky two-door body styles in other markets, and one of the now-legal imports made its way to Cars and Auctions.
Although our version has the somewhat banal “Rodeotitle, the SUV was known as “MU” or Mysterious Utility. This Japanese market version comes with a 2.8-liter turbodiesel and a five-speed manual transmission. This one has about 121,000 miles and seems in good shape. Interestingly, the two-door MU has almost a Mitsubishi Pajero Evo atmosphere, with its beefy fender flares and cropped and raised bodywork.
Surprisingly, the auctionThe statement that the SUV is barely modified is accurate, as its only upgrades include a new stereo and those funky gold wheels. The Mysterious attracted several comments, mostly from curious observers asking about a vehicle they’ve never seen. We were wondering if the top of the Mystérieuse was removable, which is unfortunately not the case. Some versions, including the Isuzu Amigo, which we got, came with a removable soft top. One reviewer noted that the tops don’t age well, so the hardtop is probably the best choice for a 31-year-old import SUV.
Although many JDM vehicles from this era are sometimes extremely difficult to import and just as expensive, the Mysterious sits at just $3,500 halfway through its auction. It also has all the features to be a bargain for Radwood. Bright red paint and gold accents give it just enough flash, and versions of the diesel engine are still in production in Chinaso it might be somewhat reasonable to find parts.