Ssangyong Rodius rolls with seating for 11 very close friends

Ssangyong Rodius

Ssangyong Rodius

When does an SUV become a bus? How about when it has seating for 11 passengers? But don’t get too very excited. The Ssangyong Rodius may be the largest vehicle in that Korean maker’s catalog, but it’s significantly smaller than, for example, the Chevrolet Suburban.

We don’t mean to belittle—pun intended—the Rodius, which must look like an island in the stream in downtown Seoul traffic. That is of course if downtown Seoul traffic can ever be thought of as streaming. But the wheelbase of the Ssangyong Rodius is a mere 118.1 inches (or a more impressive sounding 3,000 millimeters) compared to the Suburban’s 130 inches.

The Ssangyong Rodius has seating for 11 very close friends.

The Ssangyong Rodius has seating for 11 very close friends. (click to enlarge)

The Ssangyong Rodius is known in its home market as the Korando Turismo, picking up the new moniker for its arrival in Europe.

However, accustomed as they are to vehicles smaller than those in the U.S., we believe even Europeans will find the Rodius as anything but snug. The Rodius is fitted with four rows of seat, the last three with fold-down armrests that double as middle seats that look more uncomfortable than the middle seat during a trans-Pacific flight.

The fourth row, too, is hard up against the tailgate. With four seats in, the words “cargo” and “volume” should not be used in the same sentence.

Four rows of seats and an 118-inch wheelbase makes the Ssangyong a snug ride.

Four rows of seats and an 118-inch wheelbase makes the Ssangyong a snug ride. (click to enlarge)

We have doubts of ever seeing a Ssangyong Rodius in the America. Ssangyong is owned by Mahindra & Mahindra, which recently failed in its attempt to import its ugly pickup trucks into the U.S., and is likely to have second thoughts about its intentions of a few years ago to sell 20,000 Ssangyong vehicles here.

So the Ssangyong Rodius may have the world’s most number of purported seats in an SUV, but don’t expect to see the Rodius of American roads.