ANOTHER JOURNEY INTO SPACE (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Introductionword count: 142
You'd think that space, value and sheer capability would be priorities for MPV buyers. The sales figures might suggest otherwise but if these remain key criteria in your search for a truly practical seven-seat People Carrier, then it's well worth considering this one, SsangYong's Turismo. In 2015, this MPV became a more palatable package thanks to the installation of a torquier 2.2-litre diesel beneath the bonnet, optionally paired to a smoother seven-speed auto gearbox. In terms of space and sensibility though, it was as you were, meaning that this model remained one of the most practical choices large families could make in this segment. If you're looking for a really large MPV, then this contender might not have been one you were thinking about. But maybe it should be. Here, we're going to look at the versions sold in the 2015-2019 period.
Modelsword count: 13
5dr large MPV 4x4 (2.2 diesel [SE, EX, ELX - 2WD & 4WD])
Historyword count: 489
Looking for a properly-sized large People Carrier from the 2015-2019 period? Here's one you probably haven't considered: the post-2015-era version of SsangYong's Turismo. Searching for a car of this kind can be a frustrating process. Let's assume that, quite reasonably, you want a seven-seat MPV that can actually seat seven fully-sized people, not five adults and two children at the very back. So a Grand Scenic-sized compact model won't suit. And that, just as reasonably, you want those seven folk to be able to bring a decent amount of luggage with them. So a Ford Galaxy or a Volkswagen Sharan still won't be quite big enough. You'll need a diesel engine to keep running costs down - and a decently-sized one so that there's plenty of pulling power when heavily laden or when towing. You a want a proper car, not a van with seats and windows. And you'll need to keep within a realistic family or business budget. It's a perfectly reasonable set of requirements. But only one model from the 2015-2019 period can meet them: this one. For SsangYong, being able to achieve all of this with a single product was nothing new. In 2004, the brand introduced the Rodius, a huge People carrier built on a 1990s Mercedes E-Class platform that shared its chassis with a luxury saloon called the 'Chairman' that the company had made for its home South Korean market. A Rodius could tick all the buying boxes we've just listed, but looked ungainly and couldn't deliver the kind of running cost efficiency that European buyers wanted. Cue the £100 million investment that in 2013, allowed SsangYong to transform the Rodius into this Turismo model. Here, smart sensible styling clothed the hugely practical '2-2-3' seven-seater cabin layout and buyers got updated engineware. The car could even be ordered with a properly capable high and low ratio 4WD system, opening up People Carrier ownership to buyers who previously, in the search for a seven-seater tow car, would have had to put up with a clunky large SUV. At first glance then, a very complete package, but one SsangYong was aware it would have to further perfect for widespread market acceptance. Hence the changes for the 2016 model year that brought us the much improved Turismo model we're going to look at here. The key improvement lay beneath the bonnet, the previous 155PS 2.0-litre e-XDi diesel unit replaced by a 178PS 2.2-litre e-XDi220 powerplant that was not only pokier but significantly more efficient too. And there was the option of pairing it with a much-smoother Mercedes-sourced 7-speed E-Tronic automatic gearbox. The 4WD option at the top of the range was also retained (though only until 2018). On paper, what it all left us with back in 2015 was the best value, the most capable and the most practical 7-seat MPV on the market. But what's it like in reality as a used buy? Let's find out.
What You Getword count: 470
There probably were larger cars than this one from the 2015-2019 period on sale in the UK market, but just offhand for the moment, we can't think of one. A Turismo is a lofty 1.85m high, occupies a vast 2m of width and dwarfs a Range Rover by measuring well over 5m from end to end, including a central 3 metre wheelbase section bigger than the total length of some citycars. So it's big. Very. This helps solve that problem inherent in most seven-seat MPV-style vehicles of having no luggage room available when all the seats are in use. Raise this rear hatch and you'll find that here, it's very different. In fact, there's more space in the back of this Turismo when all its seats are in place than you'd get if, in the same configuration, you combined the luggage capacities of a Ford Galaxy, a Vauxhall Zafira Tourer and a SEAT Alhambra. If you need more luggage space, you can fold the backrest of the third row forward onto its base. Or if you're feeling strong, have an extra pair of hands to help and have garage storage, you can remove said bench completely and free up as much as 2,271-litres. If those central two 'captains chairs' aren't needed by people and you're in a 'removal van' frame of mind, it'll be much easier to simply fold them in half too (they don't fold into the floor either). In which case, the amount of space available really does conform to removal van standards - 3,146-litres in total. Unlike van-based rivals, you get conventionally-opening doors and once inside, the first thing you might have to get used to is the slightly strange cabin layout. Most People Carriers have room for three in the middle, then two extra chairs at the very back. Here, it's the other way round. But wouldn't the conventional three-person middle seating arrangement that other MPVs offer be better? Well you can see SsangYong's logic in not providing it here. If you're setting out to get to the third row, there's room between the two individual middle chairs to walk through to the very back. In the third row, there'll be proper adult-style First Class 747-levels of legroom. Up front, the positioning is high and SUV-like, offering a couple of things you'll need to adapt to. One is the foot-operated handbrake. The other is the fact that through the large leather-stitched steering wheel, you view a set of warning lights rather than the usual instrument dials. Those are mounted away to your left in the centre of the top of the dash, though well in your line of sight. SsangYong tried to create as much of an up-market feel as it could, notably with the addition of aluminium-effect plastic detailing on the dash and centre console.
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Category: MPV People Carriers
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