Thinking about a used Rodeo

I am new to this group.
I have two friends who have Rodeos. One bought because GM did not sell manual transmission SUV. I think they like it.
Second had to replace engine because it ran out of oil. They said Rodeos
were notorious for burning up engines because engines use oil fairly early in life and if you don't check it pretty often, this can happen. Is this true?
I am thinking about a Rodeo to replace my Jeep. Why:
Having tough time finding 94 or later 5-speed in the Denver CO metro area.
Wondering if a 24 valve V6 might be more powerful and better mileage than the Jeep straight 12-valve 6. I drive between 6,000 and 11,000 feet most of the time, so aspriation is a problem.
How are they for towing? Power on long hills at high elevations? Reliability?
What is high mileage for a Rodeo? Are they like most modern cars which will go 250 k miles or more?
Thanks for any answers or opinions.
Charles.
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Charles wrote:

The V6 3.2L and 3.5L engines do burn alot of oil. I do blame Isuzu for the engines that failed because of being run dry. People should check their oil and change reguarly (3,000 miles). Typically these engines will burn about 1/2qt per 3,000 miles. There have been a rare few that burned far more but I see lemons with every single car make in existance.
I own a 1999 Isuzu Amigo 4x4 (for sale BTW). I've got 53,000 on it and never once had it in for repairs. The V6 3.2L is FAST in the Amigo but is not quite as strong in the heavier Rodeo. The frame of the Rodeo is a truck frame and thus much stiffer than the Jeep Liberty. The Grand Cherokee is in my opinion a reliability hazard. I know too many with alot of problems.
If you are going to tow then buy something with a solid rear axle and not independent rear suspension. How much are you planning to tow? The Rodeo with the V6 3.2L should easily tow 3,000lbs such as a tent trailer. If you plan to tow more than that then get something with a V8. Small SUV's with V6's just do not do well with heavier loads because of lack of power and short wheel base. You might find a year old Rodeo with the 3.5L. That should tow considerably better.
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If you're talking about the newer Rodeo's with the 3.2 v6, yes, you have to keep a close eye on the oil. I've got a 94 Trooper that has the same engine in it. It's just a fact of life that when you fill up the gas, you be sure to check the oil! The local mechanic that works on our vehicles had a beautiful 98 or so Rodeo that a college girl had been driving. Apparently didn't check the oil...ran it dry. It was sitting waiting for an engine replacement. If you know to expect it and keep a check on things, it shouldn't be a problem. As I understand it, the way the engine is designed to produce more horsepower causes it to use some oil.
I don't know about the Rodeo, but we have an 18' 2400lb (empty) travel trailer we tow with the Trooper. It does a fine job with it. Struggles a little on hills, but it's not a big v8 and it also has 125k miles on it. We also have a 2002 Trooper that we normally tow it with and it does a much better job. It has the 3.5 v6, but by the book (if memory serves), only 5 more HP than the 3.2. I think the mileage is the main difference between the two. Tow rating is 5000lbs for both. Not sure when they changed it, but I know when we were shopping, the 2002/2003 Rodeo's were rated to tow 4500lbs - don't know if that was the 3.2 or the 3.5 v6 though. I hear they are putting a 3.5 direct injection v6 in some of the Rodeo's...that sounds pretty intriguing...
I can't speak too much to elevation, the biggest thing I've towed over is Afton mountain on I-64 in VA...not sure what elevation is...
Wesley

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I love my 98 Rodeo 5-speed/3.2. It's been very reliable. But expect a rough ride. towing is okay, but anything more than 3k pounds or so, probaly less than that really, I'd look for a V8. My Rodeo doesn't burn oil, but I am religious about changing it every 3000--lots of SoCal freeway traffic miles--so that might hide any consumption. I have not had one repair to date. Probably shouldn't have said that. Knock on wood. Plenty of power in the 5-speed, supposed to put out 205hp (if i remember correctly). You can find Explorers (a bit bigger than the Rodeo) with V8s and they offer a very smooth ride, but not everydody trusts Ford--after re-motoring my Cobra at 42,000 miles I am done with anything Ford, and indeed look for an import car maker first, nowadays. I get almost exactly 15 mpg, and this car has a large tank, so a good range between fills. One drawback is there are almost no performance or off-road mods available for this vehicle, like you see with Jeeps and Toyota 4x4s. I'd wish for a few more ponies and better gas mileage, but I'd definitely buy the car a second time.
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