Compact SUV; Built in Japan
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,600 – $4,800*

2000 Isuzu Amigo 2-door wagon

2000 Isuzu Amigo 2-door convertible

2000 Isuzu Amigo interior

2001 Isuzu Rodeo Sport 2-door wagon

1998 Isuzu Amigo 2-door convertible

  • Acceleration (V6)
  • Cargo room
  • Acceleration (4-cyl)
  • Entry/exit
  • Noise
  • Ride

Though far from perfect, the Amigo is more substantial than some small SUVs and more refined than a Wrangler. Otherwise, a moderate price might be its biggest advantage.


Isuzu revived the compact Amigo, last seen in 1994, in a fresh form for the 1998 model year. Available with either rear-drive or 4-wheel drive, Amigo shared its basic design with the larger Isuzu Rodeo 4-door sport utility wagon, but wore a shorter 2-door body. The semi-convertible body had a folding soft top over the back seat, as well as a pop-up sunroof. Two engines were available: a 4-cylinder and a V6. The 2.2-liter dual-overhead-cam 4-cylinder produced 130 horsepower, versus 205 hp for the twin-cam 3.2-liter V6. Five-speed manual shift was standard, with a 4-speed automatic transmission optional for Amigos with the V6 engine. Like Rodeo’s 4WD system, the Amigo’s setup was not intended for use on dry pavement, but it included pushbutton shift-on-the-fly between 2WD and 4WD, along with separate low-range gearing. Four-wheel antilock braking was standard.

Yearly Updates

1999 Amigo
A new hardtop wagon with a pop-up sunroof over the rear seat and a heated rear window joined the original semi-convertible. Cruise control was no longer available.
2000 Amigo
A restyled nose and tail appeared on 2000 Amigos, and V6 models came with standard cruise control. Adjustable shock absorbers became optional, and the 4WD 4-cylinder manual-shift soft-top model was dropped.
A new Ironman package, named for Isuzu’s sponsorship of the Ironman triathlon competition, became available for V6 models with the Preferred Equipment package. Intelligent Suspension Control was optional on V6 Ironman Amigos, allowing the driver to choose sport or normal shock damping via a dashboard switch.
Previously optional, 16-inch wheels replaced the original 15-inchers as standard equipment. Fender flares were a new option, and the spare tire now wore a standard plastic/vinyl cover.
2001 Rodeo Sport
Isuzu renamed its Amigo the Rodeo Sport for 2001, intending to reposition the compact model as a sportier, off-road-oriented version of its larger–and more popular–4-door Rodeo. Both engines now were available with either a manual or automatic transmission. The Preferred Equipment package added a rear cargo tray, and V6 models gained 2-speed variable intermittent wipers.
2002 Rodeo Sport
For 2002, the Ironman and SE packages are dropped along with their adjustable shock absorbers.
2003 Rodeo Sport
No changes were evident for ’03.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Isuzu’s 2.2-liter 4-cylinder dual-overhead-cam engine made 130 horsepower, teaming only with 5-speed manual shift. The dual-cam 3.2-liter V6 produced 205 horsepower, offered with either a manual transmission or 4-speed automatic. For 2001, an automatic transmission was available with either engine.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.2/134
Engine HP 130
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 144
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.2/193
Engine HP 205
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 214
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic

Road Test

Amigos cannot match the class-leading compact sport utility vehicles, but they do have a few pluses. True low-range gearing makes the 4-wheel-drive version capable of off-road excursions, like the Jeep Wrangler, which is beyond the capacity of a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. Performance is clearly superior with the V6 engine, which delivers far more power than the 4-cylinder. A test V6 Amigo 4×4 with the 5-speed manual gearbox was able to accelerate to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, and averaged 17.3 mpg–both good figures for a compact SUV. A V6 model with automatic fared almost as well in gas mileage, averaging 16.9 mpg. Ride and handling are passable, but not exceptional. Small bumps are easily absorbed by the Amigo’s big tires, but a stiff suspension and short wheelbase translate to bouncing and bounding over wavy pavement, potholes, and frost heaves. Ironman editions with Intelligent Suspension Control improve the Amigo’s ride control, without adding much additional harshness. Space in front is adequate, but passengers face a high step-up into the interior. In addition, the rear seat is tough to reach and not very spacious for adults. Putting the vinyl soft-top up or down is a tedious chore, too.


Model Tested: 2000 Isuzu Amigo V6

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 4
Fuel Economy - 3
Ride Quality - 2
Steering/Handling - 3
Quietness - 2


Controls/Materials - 4
Room/Comfort Front - 4
Room/Comfort Rear - 2
Cargo Room - 6


Value - 3

Total: 33


2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
96.9 170.3 71.4 67.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
62.5 17.7 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.9 37.3 42.1 33.3
2-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
96.9 170.3 71.4 67.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
62.5 17.7 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.9 37.3 42.1 33.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Description: The antilock brake system may malfunction. Isuzu conducted a campaign to replace the ABS electronic control unit. (1998)
Engine stalling
Description: Engine may stall or fail to start because of a poor electrical ground. Isuzu was recalling vehicles to replace the engine ground wire harness. (1998)
Fuel gauge
Description: A faulty fuel level sending unit prevents the fuel gauge from reading full. It is recalled for replacement. (1998)
Rough idle
Description: High/erratic idle on the 3.2-liter V6 may be due to one or more of the following: bad electrical ground, debris in power steering pressure switch, leaking manifold gasket. (1998-2000)
Steering noise
Description: A rubbing noise from the steering wheel is caused by the coil assembly for the air bag. It must be replaced. (1998)
Description: The rear wheels may vibrate because they are not properly centered on the hubs. A centering ring is available. (1998-2000)
Description: The rubber pad on the accelerator pedal may fall off. A revised pad is available under warranty. (1998-99)

Recall History

1998-99 Amigo/Rodeo Sport
Description: On certain vehicles, paint was applied unevenly on rear axles; could result in loosening of nut and detachment of bolt, causing separation of lower link from rear axle.
2001 Amigo/Rodeo Sport
Description: Incorrect rubber material may have been used for outer layer of fuel return hoses, which could ultimately crack and cause fuel leakage.
2001-2002 Amigo/Rodeo Sport
Description: Vehicles in certain states may have corrosion around the forward mounting-point bracket for the left or right rear-suspension lower link, which may detach from the frame and affect handling.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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