SIZE really does matter when you are in the gigantic Ssang Yong Turismo seven seater MPV for the vehicle is even larger than a Range Rover and the driver has to be constantly aware of the enormous dimensions especially when driving on narrow roads, overtaking situations and parking writes Bryan Longworth.
And inside the Turismo the sheer size is very much apparent especially with the rear seating where there are two captains individual armchair type seats in the second row with ample walk through space between them for passengers to easily access and leave the third row of seating which is a three seater bench with a back rest that can be folded flat.
Behind this seat which slides for adjustment is a rather large load area and the third row of seats can be removed to create a massive load space behind the middle row of two seats which are also sliders and can be folded individually and used as tables.
The Turismo which has extremely tempting prices ranging from £17,995 to £23,995 is the replacement for the Rodius that copped for a lot criticism because of its bizarre styling but the Turismo has an attractive body which reminded me a bit of the Mercedes M-Class.
This is probably not surprising because Ssang Yong from Korea and now under Indian ownership has had close links with Mercedes and the automatic transmission on my test car the Turismo ES auto was the Mercedes-Benz five speed T-Tronic.
The test car which cost £21,495 was powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine with a top speed of 108mph a zero to 60mph time of 14.2 seconds with a fuel consumption of 36.2mpg and it will tow a braked trailer weighing 2.5 tonnes.
There was leather seating with the two front seats heated and the driving seat electrically adjustable plus alloy wheels, spare wheel and remote audio controls with the tow bar being an option at £696.
I was impressed by the quiet and smooth diesel engine and the large steering wheel controlled a reasonably balanced steering system with a comfortable ride although there was some body roll on corners and the driver has to be careful when overtaking and making sure the road ahead is well clear of approaching traffic because of the size and speed of the vehicle.
Turismo is rear wheel driven but selectable four wheel drive is available on only the top model which is surprising because it is a vehicle that is suited to 4x4 transmission and it should be available on more than one of the four models if only as an option especially considering the overall impressive prices of the car.
I liked the seating arrangement and the Turismo is so large that it overcomes the load space problem facing other seven seat MPVs where this is very limited with the third row of seats in place but not so with Turismo where there is plenty of space behind the third row of seats for luggage.
There were several niggles including the foot parking brake not being very user friendly but the feature that I found most irritating was the speedometer being sited in the centre of the fascia which means the driver has to glance to the left to check the speed and it seemed strange having a blank space in front of the steering wheel which for me is the best place for the speedometer
Turismo which also has a five year limitless warranty will have big appeal especially to the low budget owner because it is such a spacious seven seater with no real competition in this market sector for other similar vehicles are much more expensive and not as spacious.
Model: Ssang Yong Turismo ES automatic.
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel.
Transmission: Five speed automatic.
Top speed: 108mph.
Acceleration: 0-62mph 14.2 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 36.2 mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 205g/km.