What is it?
Ssangyong has been a peripheral figure in the world of car manufacturing since its inauguration in 1954. However, its fortunes turned around in 2004 when SAIC, the company that also resurrected MG Rover from the ashes, bought a 49% stake in it. Since then, the Ssangyong range has been updated and extended, and it appears to be finding some form with the recently launched Tivoli.
Now, the range-topping Turismo has been revised for 2016 and given a new 176bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine (in place of the old 2.0-litre) with either a six-speed manual or a Mercedes-Benz sourced seven-speed automatic gearbox, and selectable four-wheel drive as well. However, there is an elephant in the room, and it's no metaphorical one; the Turismo is massive. It’s not only 131mm longer than a Range Rover, it is also taller and 85kg heavier, registering a portly 2245kg kerb weight.
The Turismo has been on sale in the UK since 2013. It replaced the unpopular Rodius, a car considered by some as one of the ugliest of all time. The Turismo is certainly an improvement, if still unlikely to win many beauty pageants. From the back, it could be mistaken for a Ford Galaxy, but the side profile is very metal heavy so the wheels look lost, and from the front, well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
However, the real selling point of this car is its price - it undercuts equivalent rivals by many thousands of pounds. Here we're testing the range-topping ELX, which gets the aforementioned auto 'box and four-wheel drive as standard. It also comes with front heated seats, cruise control, parking sensors and 17in alloy wheels. The optional touch-screen sat nav had been added to our test car.