The summer sees the launch of the all-new SsangYong Rodius, promised as a revolution at the top end of the booming people carrier market.

The Rodius offers as much space and interior flexibility as a large van-based MPV but with car-like looks and handling.

Measuring 5125mm long, 1915mm wide and 1820mm tall, the MPV will be powered by a common-rail 2.7-litre diesel with 163bhp and 342Nm of pulling power. The gearbox is a five-speed T-tronic unit by Mercedes. All versions will feature an Electronic Stability Program (ESP).

The Rodius has been designed by Ken Greenley, former head of the automotive design course at the Royal College of Art in London. Instead of adopting the normal MPV monospace shape, the Rodius apparently comes with a “strong emotional component that will make it a focus of attention wherever it goes.”

“The Rodius represents a striking break with MPV norms while actually taking MPV strengths to an altogether higher level,” commented Tom Martin, marketing director, SYUK Cars. “As the ultimate family car, or a corporate people carrier of top class quality and comfort, there is nothing else to touch it for the money.”

With prices expected to start at under £19,000, the Rodius joins the Rexton 4×4 in the SsangYong range.