StreettalkPh is truly grateful to Ssangyong Philippines, being so generous in letting us test the various Ssangyong vehicles. What truly made an impact for us is the SsangYong Rodius SsangYong Rodius 2.0 EX 4×2 AT. Although classified as a MPV, the Ssangyong Rodius is more akin to a full size van, but at a more affordable price.
Aesthetic wise, the Rodius is not as updated as its counterparts, but what it lacks in looks more than makes up in its features. It’s more of a practical means of transport, with comfort in mind.
As with Korean version of design, the gauge cluster is located at the middle of the dash. While this takes a little getting used to, it’s very readable. What takes its place in the left side are the various idiot lights and warning lamps. A nice touch is a faux wood trim runs across the dash that continues to the doo panels. The Ssangyong trademark is evident on control levers and switches are noticeable in the light switch, which is integrated in the signal lever, and manual switch at the side of the shifter. Wiper lever also have a different layout.
The cargo space is quite limited, but it fits this Brompton Folding Bike nicely
As a 9-seater with 2 rows of captain’s chair, the Rodius is very spacious, with adjustable seats to provide legroom. The third row seat is bench type that can fit three persons; but this also limits the cargo space. AC vents are conveniently placed above each seat, and ceiling height is high enough to pass through comfortably.
The Rodius uses swing out rear doors in lieu of the sliding type. Ingress/egress is a cinch as the step board is lower compared to other MPvs. Overall profile is more similar to a station wagon than a van, which is the idea here. A combination of straight belt line and wheelwell arches evokes a sporty look. A solid C-pillar frames the wraparound rear windshield. A chrome side trim adds pizzaz to an otherwise plain side. Horizontal rear lamps are relatively big for better illumination. The front fascia has the distinctive grille that flows to the trapezoidal projector headlamps, and the round fog lights are neatly ticked in the lower valance panel.
The powertrain is a new 2.0L turbo-diesel engine with 155 hp with 360 Nm of torque, mated to either a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. It’s very responsive and has more than enough oomph even with 9 passengers. Tires are 16in dia.
Overall, the Ssangyong Rodius performs better than expected. It hauls passengers and cargo comfortably, quite frugal with fuel and easy to drive. Ostensibly, the Ssangyong brand and its vehicles are underrated, unfairly we might add. The Rodius actually rates better than the more popular MPVs in its segment. Definitely more for less.
Center Oriented gauges. The trademark Shifter-within-a-shifter system, the omni-present cigarette lighter knob and distinct footbreak and rear wiper control.
Price as Tested: Php 1,490,000
Text/Images by Earl Manalansan