Grand Turismo

SsangYong Turismo, side
SsangYong Turismo, side, static
SsangYong Turismo, front, action
SsangYong Turismo, front
SsangYong Turismo, rear
SsangYong Turismo, instruments
SsangYong Turismo, boot
SsangYong Turismo, warning light display
SsangYong Turismo, seat back table
SsangYong Turismo, interior
SsangYong Turismo, seating arrangement

IT'S the largest MPV on the market, comes with four wheel drive and a diesel automatic powertrain yet still costs less than £25,000.

And to make it an even rarer beast, the SsangYong Turismo can carry seven adults and all their luggage without having to fit a roof box.

The Turismo is a giant of a vehicle measuring 16ft 10ins long and can transport anything from 875 to 3,146 litres of cargo.

To put that into perspective it's the size of three smart cars and can shift as much as a Transit van.

Even with the rear seats in use the Turismo has more luggage capacity than three Ford Fiestas.

In short, there's nothing quite like it and it's almost big enough to move house while still seating four.

The seating configuration is 2+2+3 and although the rear bench seat is removable it's a sturdy piece of kit and getting it in and out is a two man job.

Nevertheless, all the seats are adjustable and that makes for plenty of flexibility inside with a walkthrough to the rear for easy access.

Fold all the seatbacks down and they can even come together to create two beds should the need arise.

In everyday use the middle row passengers have armchair style seating with armrests plus fold-down tables and storage nets in the backs of the front seats. Cup holders however will be found only in the front and at the rear.

There is an overtly Far Eastern feel to the design - little surprise since SsangYongs are made in Korea - but for the money the Turismo is a vehicle that will do the job in more ways than one at a bargain price.

The top range EX auto is priced from £23,995 and is powered by a two-litre diesel developing 155ps giving a top speed of 108mpg.

SsangYong claims it is good for 34.9mpg although CO2 emissions of 212g/km put it in a high tax bracket. It attracts road tax of £620 in year one and £280 a year thereafter.

The engine is mated to a five speed auto box sourced from Mercedes and it's smooth and responsive.

The box can also be used manually and operated from buttons on the steering wheel while in front of the driver is a long, oblong display that shows the gear selection and other warning lights.

It's a feature peculiar to the Turismo but true to its Korean lineage, as is the siting of the speedo and other dials in a central binnacle in the middle of the dash which on this model sat above a Kenwood touchscreen sat nav and audio system - a £1,000 extra.

There's a fair amount of plastic in the trim but it is broken up with soft touch finishes, a bit of brightwork and the upholstery is all leather.

Air conditioning with vents throughout the cabin is standard and so is a part heated windscreen which stops the wipers freezing to the screen in icy weather. There's also privacy glass in the rear windows.

Another overseas trait is a foot operated parking brake but there is nothing lacking in the ride or suspension which is tuned to handle British roads in an acceptable fashion.

For such a big vehicle any booming noise inside is well suppressed and although the Turismo may lack the sophistication of some European MPVs - which can set you back half as much again - its USP is a four wheel drive system that is operated electronically from a switch on the dash.

There are high and low ratios in the gearbox when the 4x4 mode is selected - in normal set up it is rear wheel drive - and although the Turismo is no mud plugger it can tackle some moderately severe conditions.

The all wheel drive also has benefits when towing and the Turismo can pull up to 2.5 tonnes, another string to this vehicle's seemingly endless abilities.

As MPVs go the Turismo ticks virtually every box imaginable and although it may not carry a prestige badge it can carry almost everything else.

Factor in SsangYong's five year, unlimited mileage warranty and for large families, those with action lifestyles who need to move a lot of equipment or those who just want a big vehicle that's very comfortable to travel in then this is going to take some beating.

It's an adventure on four wheels if ever there was.



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