Isuzu is a world leader in the design and manufacture of diesel engines with major engine factories as far apart as Poland and the USA.
Indeed, General Motors selected Isuzu to be its ‘centre of excellence’ in all issues diesel. Isuzu supplies large engines for GM trucks and smaller passenger-car units for Opel/Vauxhall models and also Saab and Renault.
So it is no surprise that the Rodeo’s new 3.0 litre direct-injection Diesel Turbo is not only the largest available in the UK pick-up market but arguably the best.
Producing a substantial 130.5 PS at 3,800 rpm and running on an 18.3:1 compression ratio, the unit has ample power to keep up with most road cars.
And with either 206.5 lb.ft of torque in manual form or 216.8 lb.ft as an automatic – both at only 1,600 rpm – the Rodeo has the pulling power to haul heavy trailers and keep engine revs down for added refinement and fuel economy.
With a bore and stroke of 95.4 mm x 104.9 mm, this 2,999 cc four cylinder unit combines well-proven, low-stress overhead valve technology with an advanced high-pressure electronically-controlled fuel-injection pump matched to an intercooler and turbocharger.
Designed for a long life and minimum maintenance – service intervals are a class-leading 12,000 miles – the new engine is not related to the common-rail 3.0 litre 16 valve DOHC unit fitted to the Trooper 4x4.
Top speed for the Rodeo Denver automatic is an unbeatable 99 mph with the lower-geared manual reaching 96 mph.
Fuel economy is a remarkable 25.7/34.9 and 30.7 mpg on the Urban/Extra Urban and Combined Cycles for the Denver manual and 24.4/32.5 and 28.8 mpg in automatic form.
Smaller Brother, Similar Qualities
Revised for the new Rodeo and closely related to the new 3.0 litre, the 2.5 litre diesel is also direct-injection with overhead valves, four cylinders and an 18.5:1 compression ratio.
Like its larger brother, the Rodeo’s 2.5 litre meets the strict new Euro4 emission standards and produces 100.6 PS at 3,800 rpm and a beefy 166.7 lb.ft of torque at 2,000 rpm.
The bore and stroke are 93 x 92 mm for a capacity of 2,499 cc and the fuel-injection system is also by a high-pressure electronically-controlled pump matched to the intercooler and turbocharger.
Again, service intervals are a class-leading 12,000 miles and fuel economy is a car-like 29.7/38.7 and 34.9 mpg on the Urban/Extra Urban and Combined cycles.
Top speed for the Rodeo 4x2 Single or Double Cab is an identical 93 mph – more than sufficient for high-speed motorway use. Refinement gains a major boost thanks to extensive sound-deadening in critical areas.