Review: SsangYong Turismo

Review: SsangYong Turismo
Review: SsangYong Turismo

A great deal of space for not a great deal of money. Is that a good deal?

In our vehicles, particularly if we’re thinking of family transport, there is one quality we need as much as want. We want and need space almost as much as Captain T Kirk pursuing the final frontier. Well, if that’s the primary concern then you ought to look at this massive SsangYong MPV, with the Turismo being a replacement for the Rodius.

This is a very large MPV but the only engine on offer is a 2.2-litre diesel with 178bhp. It offers adequate performance from low down, but clearly it’s not going to offer much in the way of excitement. The seven-speed auto transmission works steadily so long as you’re not making too many urgent demands, and you can maintain sensible progress.

If you try to cane it the engine sounds like it came off a tractor, and clearly there’s a lot of rolling around in the corners too. The suspension is very soft, which makes it fairly comfy if you’re travelling down a motorway at a sensible speed, but any potholes or sharp changes of direction will make for some unpleasantness.

The steering is rather wishy-washy, and the driver sits quite high for an MPV, meaning that the vehicle feels like it’s rolling even more. On the other hand it means visibility is good, even if the A-pillars are obtrusively thick.

Actually, sitting in the driving seat is quite odd. Most drivers want to know what their speed is, and what the engine speed is. To find out those bits of basic information in the Turismo you have to look at the top of the centre console. Ahead of the driver is a gear indicator, which is useful but surely not the primary concern?

Materials and design are not top rate and there’s not a lot of kit as standard. Even the rather tinny Kenwood infotainment system is an extra, even if you buy the top trim.

However, as mentioned this about that final frontier, space, and here the Turismo excels. There’s a lot of it, and also seven seats, even if they’re slightly oddly stacked with two in the middle and a bench three in the rear. That makes for a very spacious place for the middle row passengers, and even the third row have decent room.

Set up like that the luggage space isn’t huge, but at least you can stack stuff up. However, if you want this to act like a minivan instead of a seven-seater you can take out that third bench row completely, and then there’s acres of space.

And with that abundance of space comes a price tag that starts under £20,000 just about, for the SE trim. So that’s a really small amount of money for such a big vehicle, capable of carrying seven people. However, 39.2mpg isn’t that economical, and CO2 emissions are around the 200g/km depending on spec. That makes this SsangYong worse than rivals but not by a vast amount.

You can specify either SE or EX or ELX trim levels with the ELX getting four-wheel drive and the auto box as standard but, as mentioned, not the infotainment system with sat nav, which is extra. Safety equipment is reasonable but you can’t add to it at all.

A five-year warranty is useful, but whether this all adds up for you depends very much on your priorities. Naturally, we wouldn’t expect many owners to choose a Turismo because they were looking for quick turn-in to corners and some amusing oversteer but, even so, the way this vehicle handles itself is really pretty basic. True, you get a lot of room for an incredibly reasonable price, and if that is your yardstick then the Turismo is for you. For everyone else we’d continue to look elsewhere. It’s a big universe.

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