The SsangYong Turismo is the kind of car to give new meaning to the phrase ‘a lot of metal for the money’. The artist formerly known as ‘Rodius’, this giant seven-seater is MPV, load-lugger and 4x4 all rolled into a package that is seriously cheap.
A fully loaded example will cost you less than a high-end Volkswagen Golf – and yet it’s longer than most large executive saloons, has the ground clearance to match many medium-sized SUVs, and even comes with a low-range transfer ‘box. An entry-level one will cost you only £19,250.
Now under the auspices of Indian car-industry power Mahindra, SsangYong has had a chequered recent corporate history, but its brand identity remains the same: this is Korea’s 4x4 specialist.
The Rexton SUV is probably its best-known export in the UK, followed by the smaller Ssangyong Korando, but expansion plans are moving along, and the most impressive Ssangyong to date is the Ssangyong Tivoli crossover, launched in 2015.
The manufacturer has taken the decision to drop the ‘Rodius’ name for this generation, understandably given that the outgoing car’s styling earned it a reputation as one of the most unfortunate-looking new cars on the road. The new version, however, is something of a dramatic improvement. It is still too large and high-sided a car to ever look attractive, but more conventional window and light treatments now at least make it look normal.