Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The current generation Ssangyong Stavic was released in Australia in August 2005, with the very early ‘mid-life’ facelift following in November 2007. This is definitely a full size People Mover – an overall length of just over five metres equates to a hugely roomy interior.
Not so good Whilst beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the Stavic has the notable distinction of being awarded numerous ‘ugliest car’ awards. Amazingly the designer of the Stavic was previously the head designer at the prestigious Royal College of Art (United Kingdom). It’s also quite a heavy beast with a kerb weight of over 2,000kg. The 16 inch alloy wheels look undersized under such a tall body.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good Seats seven comfortably. The dash design is far less polarising than the exterior. The front seats are super comfortable, feature armrests and the driver’s seat has height adjustment. The second and third row seats are sliding and also folding, the third row seats are removable and all three rows offer huge amounts of headroom. Climate control air-conditioning with a ducted rear zone with separate controls is standard across both grades, as is steering wheel mounted audio controls. A 12 volt outlet is the front passenger row and another is in the rear and storage space and cupholder count gets the tick of approval.
Not so good The plastics used inside are of a quality below most of the competition; the leather bound steering wheel adjusts for tilt (up and down) but not reach (in and out) and fitting a tape player in the dash is most unnecessary (luckily a CD player is also fitted) in this day and age.
Performance

Performance

Good The five cylinder 2.7L turbo diesel engine offers a healthy 121kW of power and 340Nm of torque. This Mercedes-Benz derived engine is available with either a five speed manual or automatic gearbox and is one of the highlights of the Stavic. It ensures the BIG Ssangyong moves along sufficiently (thanks mostly to the healthy torque on offer) yet at the same time fuel economy remains excellent. The official combined average economy is only 8.1L per 100kms with the automatic transmission.
Not so good You’ll never mistake the engine as a smooth sounding petrol as it definitely sounds like something out of a truck. More sound deadening material would help insulate the noise (however it would add more weight to an already heavy vehicle).
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good On paper the Stavic reads well – a rear wheel drive layout and multi-link independent rear suspension.
Not so good On the road the Stavic is well below the class best. The chassis just doesn’t feel as rigid as we’d wished and as a result the handling suffers. The steering is also less than warming towards spirited driving - feeling over assisted and offering vague levels of feedback.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good Standard safety features include Anti-lock brakes, Electronic stability control, driver and front passenger airbags and reverse parking sensors. Over the entry level grade the SV270 SPR grade adds leather seats (heated and electric powered in the front), automatic headlights, cruise control and a sunroof.
Not so good The build quality appears less than first class. Unfortunately cruise control is not available with the manual transmission.