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1998 Isuzu Rodeo Overview
More for less. If there's one single theme that sums up the entire 1998 new model lineup, this is it--better vehicles at better prices--and the new Isuzu Rodeo is a good case point. A leader among the import nameplate sport-utilities ever since its 1990 introduction, the Rodeo has been redesigned for 1998. The new one offers more refinement in every area and it does so at a reduced price. The price for the rock bottom two-wheel-drive, four-cylinder S version of the new Rodeo has been raised $655 over the old one. But Isuzu has lowered prices an average of $500 for most of the Rodeo range when comparing comparably equipped models. Like other manufacturers, Isuzu's claims of reduced pricing involves a bit of economic sleight-of-hand in the realm of standard equipment. It's easier for the manufacturer to improve a vehicle's relative value by including more goodies than it is to actually knock a grand off the suggested retail price. And it is not easy to regard a $31,000 sport-utility as a bargain. But that as-tested price tag of $31,300 is for a loaded LS model with four-wheel drive, leather, sunroof, automatic transmission, and power everything. If you were to knock off the leather ($995) and power moonroof ($700), retaining the always useful limited slip ($250), you've reduced the price to $29,605. With a standard five-speed manual transmission--something you don't see offered by Isuzu's domestic four-door competitors--the price of a new LS 4x4, which includes four-wheel ABS as standard equipment, shrinks to $28,355. A 4x4 Isuzu S with a V6 engine starts at $23,685; a two-wheel-drive version of the same truck starts at $21,395. Even with the $2,350 preferred equipment package, you're looking at a very attractive SUV compared to comparably equipped competitors. And that's without looking at the improvements to the product, which are numerous.