SsangYong Rodius Review
The test car was in the base trim, S, which means that the seats are cloth-covered, while the ES and EX have leather upholstery.8 July 2008
The test car was in the base trim, S, which means that the seats are cloth-covered, while the ES and EX have leather upholstery. Even so the seats are well padded and contoured with drop-down headrests and armrests for those in the second row. In true ‘Captain’s chair’ style, these seats can also swivel or, in the straight ahead position, passengers can take advantage of the nets and aircraft-style tables on the front seat backs. The third row is more of a bench seat but is equally comfortable and has a fold function.
For what is a budget MPV, the Rodius isn’t too lacking in thoughtful touches and is fairly well specified. There are electric windows, front and rear, the leather covered steering wheel is rake-adjustable and, on the test version, the large, deep storage/armrest console between the front seats has an extending handle so that it can be removed for impromptu picnics. You also get two 12v outlets, a space-saving, foot-operated parking brake, 16-inch steel wheels, automatic climate control air-conditioning, which I found to be a little temperamental, and a Kenwood single CD/radio with removable face. A fully integrated Kenwood touch-screen audio and Satellite Navigation system is available as an option.
The ES adds such items as rear parking sensors, automatic headlights, electric mirrors and the aforementioned leather upholstery, for £2,000 more than the S. The top of the range EX has much the same and the main difference is that it is the only Rodius to have Torque-on-demand (TOD) 4WD and carries a price tag of £19,995.
The driver sits quite high in front of a fascia that is dominated by the centrally positioned arc of the instrument panel, on top of the dashboard. The dials and instruments have an analogue display rather than digital, which adds an air of quality to this area. Below, are broadly styled air vents and the audio system, while below that is a storage area in front of the high-level, gearshift pedestal.
For sure there are some noticeable price-busting elements such as the air conditioning controls that rotate a little too easily but, on the whole, the interior is uncluttered and comfortable with the air of a more expensive car and a distinct lack of ‘bling’.
Unlike some of the larger 7-seaters, the Rodius appears more car-like. This is mainly due to the roof line and curved C-pillar, which is more in keeping with that of a saloon. How SsangYong has increased the interior capacity is by extending the roof line to ‘square-up’ with the top of the large tailgate and adding a wrap-around rear window. It is quite different to other MPV's but does resemble a loft extension with a dormer window, so people are likely to have strong opinions as to whether they like it or not.
The front end has modern styling with a distinctive grille and the roundness that pedestrian safety demands, while the profile emphasises the rear end styling.
SsangYong Rodius Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||SsangYong Rodius 270 S|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||14.1 Seconds|
|Top Speed||105 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||38.2 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Years or 60,000 Miles|
|Price (when tested on the 08/07/08)||£14,995|