I bet a lot of people are already used to seeing and riding 7-seater MPVs because the Philippine market has more than a handful of choices. We’ve recently seen a couple of new MPV nameplates last year and we’ve even put some of them head-to-head in a three-way spec battle. This time, we’ll be talking about how roomy and comfy a 9-seater large MPV is – in this case, the 2019 Ssangyong Rodius.
When you hear 9-seater, what's the first thought that comes to your mind? Is ‘crowded’ one of them? If that’s the case, you’re mistaken. The Rodius has so much room in it that four captain seats can be slotted in the second and third rows without compromise. But, of course, like everything else, there are good things and a few letdowns. Here, let me take you on a closer look at the 2019 Rodius’ cabin.
Not the most up-to-date interior design
In the case of extremes, there’s a minimal interior design and there’s the fancy one – the Rodius’s cabin is neither. If you want to talk about the SsangYong Rodius’ interior design, there are a few adjectives to dodge. In essence, it’s simple, I’ll give it that. However, simplicity won’t justify how it really appeals to the eyes. It can be simple and good-looking at the same time—though it can also be simple and tasteless. You also can’t say its minimal in style as there’s a lot going on with the dashboard, especially in the center console.
If you’re thinking fancy’s the way to describe it, I'd also have to disagree. The unconventional treatment of the instrument cluster is exploratory but it has a number of drawbacks and being fancy has no room for such. If you’re going to ask me, there are a lot of areas that need improvement because, honestly, this design is a bit outdated.
The dashboard is kinda curvy, which really isn’t the problem. It’s the instrument panel on top of the center console unit that’s a bit bothering. The good thing is that it’s big; the numbers are legible, but the bad part is that it’s out of the driver’s line of sight. Situated on the instrument cluster area are the gear indicator, turn signals, and illuminated warning symbols. Wonder why that’s a thing for the Rodius but I hope they change it.
The thing I like about the interior, though, is how comfortable it is just to be inside the Rodius. I’m a fan of its cabin comfort and the people who got the chance to ride in it all agreed. The air condition system’s a blast (get it?), as it cools quickly despite the size of the cabin. There are roof-mounted A/C vents, which is just the way people like it, because we all know, having the power to open and close the vents when we feel like doing so is a privilege. Oh, the rearview mirror features auto dimming function, which I found was pretty helpful on night drives.
The default cargo of the Rodius isn’t generous enough to fit, say a couple of hiking bags, groceries, and other usual items. However, fold the last row and you get a considerable amount of space to store stuff. Topple it over and you can utilize the area from the floor up. Storage does not stop there because if you choose to be even more practical, you could load a few more items along the center aisle between the captain seats.
A personal experience may justify the claim as I was able to fit eight passengers plus eight to ten boxes of presents in front of the second row and along the center. These boxes have varying sizes but the biggest was a kitchen set, including heavy boxes of plates and other kitchenware. If you’re planning on storing more stuff, you’d have to sacrifice the last row, that’s a total of three passengers.