Spotted in China: first generation Isuzu Rodeo

Published on October 8, 2015 by W.E. Ning


A very clean Isuzu Rodeo SUV, Spotted in China in central Beijing. The good vehicle looked almost as clean as new and was in a very good overall shape. No rot or rust in sight and nothing seemed to be broken. Alloys are period original.


Roof rails, side bars, and spare wheel cover were popular factory options. Darkened windows likely an after-market job. The Isuzu Rodeo was the North American variant of the Isuzu Wizard. In other markets of the world it was also known as the Opel Frontera, Vauxhall Frontera, Holden Frontera, Chevrolet Frontera, Isuzu Cameo, Isuzu Vega, Isuzu Frontier, and Chevrolet Rodeo.


The first generation was manufactured from 1989 until 2002 in various factories in Japan, Egypt, Thailand, the U.K., and the U.S.. The various variants were available with an endless variety of engines, including 2.3/2.4/2.6/3.1/3.2 petrol and 2.5/2.8/3.0/3.1 diesel. The North American Rodeo was available a 2.3 liter four and a 2.6 liter four.


This particular example in Beijing has the 2.6 under the bonnet, good for an output of 120hp. Gearbox was the GM-sourced four-speed automatic, sending power to all four wheels.


The Rodeo was never officially sold in China so how this U.S.-market car ended up in the Chinese capital is a mystery. Tires looked rather old and in urgent need of a replacement. Exhaust pipe was a bit rusty.


It is also a Rover and a RX300.


And a Land Cruiser Prado 4×4 Special Edition. But first of all: an Isuzu in Beijing.


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  1. CM- October 8, 2015 Reply

    Wow an original Rodeo! Not one of the many Chinese knockoffs, but an original Rodeo!

    1. Tycho de Feijter- October 8, 2015 Reply

      Yes it is REAL!!!

  2. AJHS320- October 9, 2015 Reply

    A bit off topic, but do you ever seen cars with foreign license plates in China? If yes would you ever write an article about them?

    1. Tycho de Feijter- October 9, 2015 Reply

      I live in Beijing and I never see any car with foreign license plates here. I know there are a lot of cars with Russian plates in the border areas in the northeast, if I ever go there I will surely lookout for those. You can also find Mongolian license plates in the border areas of Inner Mongolia, and then further west and south it depends on China’s relations with the specific neighboring country. No Indian plates around the border I guess…

      1. AJHS320- October 9, 2015 Reply

        Ah alright, I live in Greece and I’ve seen plates from all over the world, from Nigeria to Iran.

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