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  • Excellent value; generous space for all seven passengers; flexible seating; massive load space; decent diesel; improved styling
  • Size of storage spaces; seat comfort could be better; no airbags for rear passengers; cumbersome handling; speedo positioning; cost-cutting signs in interior

OUR RATING
6 / 10



2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review

If you ever managed a glance at the first-generation Ssangyong Stavic you’ll know why the people-mover was widely mocked for its styling.

It didn’t much matter which end you were looking at, the Stavic’s hunched design made it about as appealing to the eye as a pair of orthopaedic loafers.

It seems incredible the original Ssangyong Stavic was designed by Ken Greenley, the former head of the automotive design course at the Royal College of Art in London in a bid to “capture the essence of a luxury yacht”.

In the end the Stavic’s only saving grace was an effective drivetrain (derived from Mercedes-Benz) along with its acres of cabin space and generous standard equipment.

However, most private buyers just couldn’t get past its looks – effectively relegating the Ssangyong Stavic to a life serving hotel chains and specialised taxi fleets.

Fortunately, the new version represents a decent departure from the old.

What Ssangyong offers now may still be considered a brutish and lumbering design (it’s huge at 5.2 metres long), but the restyle has given the Stavic sharper bone structure and an improved visage up front.

2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review

The interior has had a major makeover, too, with a noticeable lift in fit and finish and even more equipment than that included on its already generous predecessor.

Standard are dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, power-fold heated side mirrors, privacy glass for rear windows, automatic headlights, remote keyless entry, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio system, Bluetooth phone and music streaming, front fog lamps and 16-inch alloy wheels. The steering wheels adjusts for height only, though.

There’s no doubt the Stavic offers a fine price and equipment ratio.

Building on its previously established ‘less equals more’ formula, the $29,990 (drive-away) second-generation model undercuts similar-size rivals by some considerable margins.

Hyundai’s $39,990 iMax diesel, Kia’s $44,990 Grand Carnival and Toyota’s 2.4L petrol Tarago from $48,990 all look like relatively pricey propositions next to the Ssangyong.

Only the Fiat Freemont crossover is cheaper at $28,500 drive-away, but at 4.9 metres it’s smaller and is limited by the fact it’s only available as a petrol model for under the $30K mark.

A ‘luxury’ version will join the Ssangyong Stavic range in the second half of 2013 and will be priced from $34,990, adding full leather trim, 17-inch wheels, electric driver’s seat, rain-sensing wipers, roof racks, headlamp levelling and a rear fog light.

2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review

All this kit is within easy reach, except for the centrally positioned instrument cluster that can be difficult to read and far from ideal in speed-camera-heavy Australia.

Where the Stavic shines is in the vast amount of cabin and luggage volume it offers. Even with the third-row of seats in place, there’s sufficient space for an entire week’s grocery shopping. If you need more, fold the seatbacks or simply remove the entire bench.

It’s all very flexible, with those individual second-row buckets easily reversed as ‘conversation’ seats. The middle and second rows also slide along long runners, which allow for a host of different seating arrangements.

All seven seats are adult-friendly thanks to their giant-size leg and headroom, though flat cushions in the middle and rear rows results in a lack of under-thigh support.

Older and less agile folks will find the Stavic particularly easy to access, with large doors that open wide, and a relatively low floor height.

Storage could be better, though. Cupholders throughout the cabin are on the small side, the glovebox is relatively tiny, and door pockets are narrow and awkward.

Interior materials and non-damped grab handles are also signs that Ssangyong has stuck to a fixed budget.

2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review

Under the bonnet, the latest-generation Stavic swaps the previous 121kW/340Nm 2.7-litre turbo diesel for a smaller, more efficient 2.0-litre unit that makes 115kW of power and 360Nm of torque.

Peak torque stretches from 1500-2800rpm, and while the engine far from disguises the Stavic’s two-tonne kerb weight there’s sufficient pull to ensure steep inclines are easily addressed even with a family of five on board.

Diesel clatter is also quite muted from inside the cabin on light throttle applications, though ask for urgent acceleration and the five-speed auto can be slow to upshift. The engine rattle is also less than pleasing.

Along with the downsizing comes greater efficiency and improved emissions with the Stavic’s delivering delivering a highly commendable real world consumption of 8.0L/100km during our mostly urban-kilometre test period – against an official combined figure of 7.8L/100km.

Ride comfort is acceptable, though the suspension is generally lumpy and the Stavic’s dash and steering wheel shudder when sharper edges are encountered.

There’s a fair bit of body roll in corners, even if you’re not driving that quickly, and slow steering makes the Stavic feel particularly cumbersome around town. If you want a people-mover that drives like a car, however, your only choice in the segment is the Honda Odyssey that also seats seven but isn’t as spacious.

ANCAP is yet to determine a safety rating, and although the Ssangyong Stavic is equipped with standard stability control, it falls short for the passive safety equipment required in the independent crash tests.

2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review

The Stavic gets only four airbags, dual front and dual side, but no curtain airbags to extend side and head protection beyond the front seats to help protect rear passengers.

It’s also worth noting that there are only two ISOFIX anchor points for the three-seat rear bench, although the Stavic at least gets proper lap-sash seatbelts for all occupants.

Some safety and design oversights are a shame because as a seven-seater with a hugely spacious and flexible cabin, a cheap price tag, and a torquey and efficient engine, the new Ssangyong Stavic is otherwise a decently pragmatic offering in the people-mover segment.


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SSANGYONG STAVIC BREAKDOWN

2013 Ssangyong Stavic Review
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  • Wile E

    In the second shot they should have kept driving

    • Johnny

      *woops* left the hand brake off.. New title.. Sangyong’s latest dive wreck.

  • JHP

    looks so much better compared to previous gen, plus $29990 driveaway is absolute bargain, shame its made by ssangyong, so repairing bill & resale value is going to be a pain. but its definitely worth considering

    • Rocket

      If the last model was the ugliest car on the road then this must be the second most ugly car. Someone will buy one though because it is good value…….

      • guest

        It’s still ugly! But it probably does sell on maximum metal for the money.

  • Eric V

    The only reason this is not the ugliest car on the road is solely due to the previous Stavic.
    You really have to wonder at the thought processes of people who put good money on this vehicle. What the hell are they thinking?

    • Zaccy16

      yeah i agree, this is the second mosty ugliest car, who at ssangyong would have looked at this car and said “yes that looks good”!

  • ABCDEFG

    Great value, can’t complain. With diesel and 5-spd auto as bonuses. Could rip out the rear seats and turn it into a comfy campervan.

  • marc

    Perfect Taiwan Taxi.

  • Phil

    does look a bit better. Still don’t get the styling.

  • JamesB

    Is the engine still a consignment with Mercedes?

  • Phil

    Dash looks “interesting”. Don’t like the buttons on the steering wheel. Wouldn’t know if I was driving or playing the accordion. And what’s the slot in the dash near the ignition key? Looks like a floppy drive. Please don’t tell it won’t start until DOS boots up…

  • Smart US

    very nice package and lovely place for family on the budget

    • Bentag

      Hyundai should offer similar seating configuration on their Imax, and add cruise control too.

  • asdfasdfe

    It’s longer than the new “gargantuan” Y62 Patrol 5.6L V8 and much longer than the Land Cruiser 200. With the shorter bonnet and lower floor, it should have a lot more interior room than both those 2 heavy weight 4WDs. At 2t and with excellent fuel economy and a highway range of around 1100km, it’s perfect as a family tourer or converted campervan at $27k ($29,990 drive away no more to pay but it could be had for slightly less than that at the dealers).

    • asdfasdfe

      Take out the storage compartment between the 2 front seats and looks like the driver/front passenger could walk to the back.

  • azlan

    i cant believe out of allll the people in the design team of ssang yong not one person said ‘wait a minute maybe we shouldnt spend millions on developing this car when its still so ugly’….. i like ssang yong its the comedian of the car industry.

    • Smart US

      thanks God they did not and the car is still under $30k

    • ABCDEFG

      Because in Korea north or south, that’s the quickly way to get yourself fired.

  • Gianni

    Why do Ssangyong even bother. Not even price is enough to attract buyers. If they aren’t going to make an effort to raise the refinement, dynamics and quality of their cars to at least match other competitors. Cheap doesn’t mean half-arsed effort.

    • Zaccy16

      i agree, this thing is a truck not a car, safety doesn’t look good at all for a ‘family car’!

    • Andrew Lythgoe

      Have you guys driven it before putting it down?
      I bought my SPR a week ago and am quite happy with the performance and handling considering its nearly 3 tonne. So far happy, but early days.

  • Jan

    Value for money and the car looks really dated! Just hoping the drive will match the new look.

  • Tedd

    bought a 3 weeks ago and it surpassed my expectations! looks really nice, capable engine, spacious, practical and family loves it. the best value for money MPV out there. my only complain is the body roll on corners, otherwise really a great car.

  • barry

    I think SsangYong is very much an underrated car company.The Italian styling has done so much to modernize there range of cars.Like Tarago the layout in the cabin is different and brings something new.
    The only thing that gets me is the steering wheel has 10 controls to operate like other cars have.However if you look at your mobile phone while at the traffic lights your not in control of the vechle.And have to pay a fine in the name of road safety.

  • Samantha

    I have 3 kids, wanted a car that was comfortable for a family of 5 and didn’t break the bank . I wasn’t going to pay $60k for a car that my kids were going to turn into their play pen. Our Ford G6e sedan wasn’t going to do the job as 3 child seats in the back was a tight squeeze. Those of you who are commenting so negatively either you have not seen it or driven it. It definitely exceeded our expectations. We taken ours from Sydney to Brisbane. No problem at all. Best seating config, the higher roof is bonus as I get travel sickness, it’s nice and airy inside. When the kids are fighting we just pull to the side and I can walk through to referee at the back without getting out of the car ! Sure the earlier version was ugly, I agree with that. Which was the reason I didn’t consider it , but the space , comfort and accessories as a family car did put the Stavic on our radar when we were searching for a family car so when the new version came we went to a dealer and brought it the week after . We didn’t need a flashy, look at me vehicle, just easier on the eye, which I personally think this new version has done. I mean we get people telling us how nice the car is, asking us to have a look at our car all the time, they can’t believe its a Ssangyong Stavic. It has everything I need. I have seen bigger family vehicles , this is nothing like a ‘truck’. I also don’t plan to drive like a maniac with my kids in the car. So it is safe enough for me. It’s only a car not a permanent life purchase, I will see how it goes, if I’m still happy, great if not will try another family car but so far so good.

  • Ryan Trembath

    For everyone out there complaining about this car. Be quiet. I love this car, Have test driven all the rest. This car exceeds all expections. Great on fuel, comfortable seating for all, great cabin air and excellent price tag, and its worth the extra for the better model. But the best feature is the storage space in the back with the seats all the way back. Love this car.

    • thebaggins

      Have had the car 1 week and we love it! Has all the room for 2 big lads, little sister, mum, dad and ma and pa. All the wankers complaining here are either plain stupid or expect to get $10 value for each $1 they spend. Dudes – you want to complain – only do it after you test it and stop misleading other people who would benefit from proper reviews.

    • Fai Tang

      For you guys who have bought one, did you get any discount on the standard $29,990 drive away price? I am looking at buying one soon and have noticed that the price has gone up by $2000 for the base model auto. The $29,990 price is for the manual now.

Ssangyong Stavic Specs

2.0L DIESEL TURBO F/INJ - 5 SP AUTOMATIC - 4D WAGON
Car Details
Make
SSANGYONG
Model
STAVIC
Series
A100 MY13
Year
2013
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
7
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
DIESEL TURBO F/INJ
Engine Size
2.0L
Cylinders
DIESEL TURBO 4
Max. Torque
360Nm @  1500rpm
Max. Power
114kW @  3400rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
57.2W/kg
Bore & Stroke
86.2x85.6mm
Compression Ratio
16.5
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
5 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
REAR WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
DIESEL
Fuel Tank Capacity
80
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
7.8L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1992
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1850mm
Length
5130mm
Width
1915mm
Ground Clearance
185mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:2000  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
12.2
Front Rim Size
6.5x16
Rear Rim Size
6.5x16
Front Tyres
225/60 R16
Rear Tyres
225/60 R16
Wheel Base
3000
Front Track
1610
Rear Track
1620
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones
Control & Handling
16 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Mobile Phone Connectivity, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front, Power Mirrors
Interior
Cloth Trim
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Other
Service Interval
6 months /  10,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
10-P-16
Country of Origin
KOREA