The Holden Rodeo was basically a rebadged version of the Isuzu Rodeo and was sold between 2003 and 2007.
Except for some minor exterior differences the Holden Rodeo looked identical with its Japanese twin. The same platform was also used to build the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado.
The Holden Rodeo was offered in a wide range of versions including single, double and extended cabs, and also two and four wheel drive models.
The truck was fairly practical and coped great with many arduous jobs. Though, the Holden Rodeo had to deal with a pretty strong competition which affected its sales charts.
The vehicle has a minimum payload of 1054 kg with a maximum towing capacity of 2000 kg or 3000 kg, depending on the engine.
The only exterior difference between Isuzu’s Rodeo and Holden’s Rodeo is the radiator grille which is unique for every model. The rest of the body lines are identical.
The grille is flanked by the same vertical headlights that can be found at its sibling and gave the truck a pretty unique look, setting it apart from its rivals.
The all road character of the vehicle is betrayed by its 205 mm ground clearance and the big 17 inch wheels.
The front bumper shares the same rugged design language with the rest of the body and it’s fitted with a pair of circular headlights and a pretty small air intake.
Both front and rear wheel arches are slightly oversized, giving the vehicle a purposeful stance, while the hood is slightly raked improving the aerodynamics and the front road visibility. The contour lines of the hood converge towards the grille and there is also an aggressive air dam mounted directly on to the hood which constantly sends fresh air to the engine bay.
The single cab’s load bed measures 2270 mm, while the double cab’s floor is 1380 mm long.
The interior environment is reasonable, but don’t expect to high class plastics or materials, as you won’t find any. The poor refinement found inside enhances the rugged feel of the truck, but the build quality is decent and the cab looks like it won’t fall into pieces after a few harsh missions.
The dash looks pretty basic, but we like the metallic finish of the center console and we also find it pretty practical with every control put at it the right place.
The driver and front passenger have plenty of head and leg room, but the Crew Cab’s rear seats are a bit cramped and offer only limited leg-room.
The front bucket seats offer proper back support, but we can’t say the same thing about lateral support. Though, you’ll still be able to find a decent driving position thanks to the useful adjustments available.
Unlike other vehicles in this class, the Rodeo comes without a second gearstick for engaging the low ratio or 4WD modes. What you get instead are three easy to use buttons which permits you to select every drive mode wanted.
The road visibility is part of the first class and the lateral mirrors manage to keep all blind spots to minimum.
Engines and performance
The engines lineup included a 3.0 liter VCDi four cylinder common rail turbo diesel, a 3.6 liter Alloytec V6 and a 2.4 liter four cylinder unit.
The 3.0 intercooled direct-injection was slightly tweaked in 2007 when the power was increased with 25 percent and torque with 29 percent. After the changes the turbo diesel continued to meet the Euro 4 emission norms and the fuel economy was also improved from 8.6 liter to 8.4 liters per 100 km.
The maximum power is now rated at 88 kW achieved at 3600 rpm with a maximum torque of 333 Nm at 1600 rpm.
The new diesel is mated with a new five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission and both deliver decent performances.
The petrol units remained unchanged with the 3.6 liter V6 delivering 57kW at 5300rpm and peak torque of 313Nm at 2800rpm, while the 2.4 liter churns out 92kW at 4800rpm.
Ride and handling
Up front the Rodeo uses a torsion bar suspension system, while at the back it gets a basic leaf spring configuration. As it was expected, the ride is more on the stiff side and the hard suspension will transfer most of the road bumps directly in your spine. When loaded however things will slightly improve.
The Rodeo isn’t too agile around the city, as it feels pretty big and heavy on tight streets. Off road driving is reasonable but is a definitely a half step behind the segment leaders from Toyota or Nissan.
The Holden Rodeo was starting to show its age and Holden took the right decision to replace it in 2007. The cabin was pretty dated and wasn’t as refined as other models in its class, while the equipments list was also pretty poor.
Though, the truck was reliable and well built. The engines, were at par with what you’d usually found in this segment and the truck had also a pretty generous payload capacity.
On the other hand, the engines are pretty weak and can’t beat the strong performances found at some of the rivals. The ride and handling aren’t great either and price wasn’t working in its advantage.