SsangYong Rodius called into duty as off-road ambulance

There are many vehicles sold overseas that we wish we could order Stateside. The SsangYong Rodius isn't one of them. But at least the Korean automaker has found a use for the awkwardly proportioned crossover.

Based on the four-wheel-drive Rodius EX, SsangYong has launched an ambulance version in the UK. The first example was developed specifically for a paramedic who specializes in off-road sporting events where an all-wheel-drive ambulance could make the difference between life and death for a competitor. The Rodius' low load floor, high roof and capacious interior were also at the top of the specification list, but so was its cost-effectiveness. And at the end of the day, you can say what you will about the Rodius – it does offer a high versatility-to-price ratio.

Prices for the base model start at £14,995. But even the top-of-the-line Rodius 270 EX on which the ambulance was based still only comes in at £20,995 while packing a 2.7-liter diesel with all-wheel drive and a Mercedes-Benz-sourced five-speed automatic. All the bells and whistles are included, as well, along with enough room to lay even the tallest patient down in the back, plus all the medical equipment required for the job.
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In response to a customer enquiry, one of SsangYong's dealers - Firs SsangYong at Hook Norton in Oxfordshire - has developed a paramedic ambulance conversion for the 4 wheel drive Rodius EX.

David Marson of SES Ambulance Services provides paramedic support at equestrian and other potentially dangerous country sports events, where the need to reach injured competitors or visitors across difficult terrain can present a real challenge.

David needed a 4x4 that also had sufficient interior space to carry even the tallest patient lying down and in comfort, while also providing room for a paramedic to attend to the patient while being swiftly transported away from the scene.

Said Dean Wood, partner of Firs SsangYong: "Having been unable to find what he needed from other vehicle manufacturers, David came to us with a very specific brief, and the SsangYong Rodius EX had all the answers: 4 wheel drive, a low loading area, cavernous interior with a high roof, and critically the length for carrying a patient.

"Working with David and our suppliers we also designed a strong, lightweight and secure storage system for all the equipment needed. It is practical, versatile, well finished and all at a highly competitive price. The installation is also easily demounted to convert the ambulance back to being a comfortable family MPV."

Said David Marson: "The Rodius is a first class solution to my requirements; I've been providing paramedic services to rural events for over nine years, and this is the first vehicle to meet all my needs, and at a fraction of the cost from other car manufacturers."

Key features:

4x4 with low range
2.7 litre diesel engine
Smooth ride
Low loading access
Excellent head room & internal length
Leather upholstery for practicality
Swivelling rear seat to give easy access to treat the patient
Rear air conditioning for maximum comfort
Privacy glass
5 years unlimited mileage warranty.
* Price correct as at 11 June 2012. Full specification on request from Firs SsangYong, Hook Norton, OX15 5DD. Tel: 01608 737349

About the SsangYong Rodius

The SsangYong Rodius is extremely versatile and can transport seven people and their luggage, thanks to its capacious and flexible cabin layout. Add the option of four wheel drive and a price that puts this full sized MPV in line with many compact family hatchbacks, and it makes a truly great value proposition.

Every Rodius comes with seven seats and a list of equipment you would expect with a full sized people carrier. Electric front and rear windows, fully automatic climate control and a Kenwood audio and Bluetooth system are standard across all variants including the entry level S model, as are vital safety aids including ABS, EBD and ESP. With prices starting at just £14,995, this high level of equipment really brings the value of Rodius into perspective.

Move up the range to ES trim and drivers have the option of a Mercedes-Benz five speed T-Tronic automatic transmission in place of the standard five speed manual. Heated leather front seats, 16 inch alloy wheels and rear privacy glass also feature. The flagship EX model adds even more versatility to the Rodius package with an on demand four wheel drive system. Perfect for towing and tackling wintry conditions, the 4x4 system utilises SsangYong's years of experience to deliver the ultimate traction whatever the weather.

The Rodius EX demonstrates excellent off road capability, and thanks to the low ratio feature delivers equal torque to all four wheels, something that is rare to find on many off roaders let alone on an MPV!

Rodius pricing and specifications

Specification 270 S 270 ES 270 EX
Transmission Manual Manual Auto Auto
On the road price £14,995 £16,995 £18,495 £20,995
For full details of the Rodius equipment list click here: and for technical specifications click here:

Further information is available from:

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