Ssangyong Rodius

The Essentials

  • Price from £14,995
  • What Car? says: 1 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 32.1mpg
  • What is it? The Ssangyong Rodius is cheap, but you have to put up with oddball looks, poor interior quality and a hard ride.

Great

  • Genuine seven-seater and passengers can pack a bag, too
  • Value for money, with good kit as standard
  • Cabin feels tough enough to stand up to family use

Gripes

  • The ride is firm enough to rattle your ribcage
  • Unforgivable shortage of airbags
  • Oddball looks may affect resale value
  • Drive

    It's a big old car so don't expect nimble cornering, and do prepare for a jaw-juddering ride

  • Inside

    A good view out and lots of storage space for your bits and pieces

  • Safety

    Lack of side or curtain airbags in what's likely to be a family car is a serious flaw

  • Reliability

    It'll be as tough as it looks

  • Space

    Plenty for seven and luggage, and you can swivel or remove seats for flexible space

  • Standard and extras

    Basic models have climate control and electric windows; upgrade to add cruise control, a sunroof and parking sensors

  • What's it like to drive?

    There's only one engine, a hearty diesel, but the Rodius is vast so it has a big job on its hands. Some versions have an automatic gearbox which is agonisingly slow to change gear. It doesn't handle too badly for a car of this size but the payoff is a ride so hard you'll feel it in your fillings. You won't hear any complaints from the back though, because the diesel engine is so noisy.

  • What's it like inside?

    Although the layout and look of the dashboard is dated, it's easy to find a comfortable driving position and there's a great view out. Seven will fit inside more comfortably than in many MPVs and there's still space in the boot for their luggage. The two middle-row seats will fold flat, or swivel to face the rear for that board meeting on the go. The sliding rear bench can be removed altogether for added flexibility, if you've got a weightlifter handy to haul it out.

  • How reliable is it?

    There's an electronic stability programme and seven three-point seatbelts, but the most disappointing aspect in this potential family car is the lack of side or curtain airbags. We'd expect the Rodius to be reliable, however.

  • Should I buy one?

    Prices are reasonable for a seven-seat car of this size, but resale values mean you'll want to hold onto it. Finding another buyer who'll want such an unusual looking car may be difficult. The diesel engine claims just over 30 miles per gallon while high emissions put the Rodius into the top bracket for company car tax.