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 SUV persisted here for several years until it was discontinued in the early 2000s, but the automaker sold funky two-door body styles in other markets and is now a legal import. one of the cars car and bid.
While our version was titled the rather mundane ‘Rodeo’, the SUV was known as ‘MU’ or Mysterious Utility. This version for the Japanese market comes with a 2.8-liter turbodiesel and a 5-speed manual transmission. It has about 121,000 miles on it and looks in decent shape. Interestingly, his two-door MU has almost a Mitsubishi Pajero Evo vibe, with its beefy fender flares and trimmed raised body.
Surprisingly, the auction statement that this SUV is largely unmodified is accurate, as the only upgrades include a new stereo and funky gold wheels. Mysterious gathered some comments, mostly from curious observers asking questions about vehicles they’d never seen before. I was wondering if the Mysterious’s top is removable, but unfortunately it isn’t. One commentator pointed out that a hardtop is likely the best choice for a 31-year-old imported SUV because the top doesn’t age well.
Many JDM cars from this era are very difficult to import and can be just as expensive, but the Mysterious sold for just $3,500 midway through the auction. It also has all the hallmarks of being a radwood-ready bargain.The bright red paintwork and gold accents give it just enough sparkle, and the diesel engine version is still produced in China, so parts are hard to find. It may be reasonable to some extent.