Korando marks return to form for SsangYong
SsangYong, like many motoring companies, have endured a few lean years. Indeed, the Korean manufacturer have felt the pinch more than most, but are equally confident they can turn things around with a bold stab at the ever-growing crossover market in the form of the Korando.
Keen to tackle other favourites from the east, such the Kia Sportage and the Nissan Qashqai, the SsangYong Korando 2.0 LE certainly stands out from the crowd with a striking design.
The front grille is uncomplicated and the roof slopes in a sleek fashion to the rear. The Korando is also a bit longer and taller the Qashqai, but only by a matter of inches. Still, when you’re comparing car insurance, a few pounds here and there can also make a difference.
The troubled Rodius fades into the rearview mirror with SsangYong’s latest model and the Korando’s sporty, yet stylish, show a manufacturer back at the top of their game.
Finishing touches include 18-inch five-spoke alloys, front fog lamps, roof rails, a spoiler and twin chrome tailpipes. The Korando is economical enough for a crossover with the Euro5 2-litre diesel engine, with six-speed manual gearbox, churning out around 47mpg. CO2 emissions are high enough, at around 157g/km, putting it into a £165 road tax bracket. There are six separate editions of the Korando with all but one four-wheel drive.
SsangYong seemed to have opted for practicality over luxury as far as the interior is concerned. However, they have provided a modern entertainment system by way of a Kenwood iPod and Bluetooth connectivity which are neatly built into the central console and the front seats are heated. Everything within the driver’s reach is refreshingly uncomplicated, with few unnecessary knobs and buttons. The touchscreen in the central console does pretty much everything you need.
The dashboard and surrounding plastics are solid and well put together and won’t cause noisy rattles when the Korando ramps up the speed.
SsangYong Korando – Not a Bad Mover
The Korando is bulky enough when stacked against other crossovers, but despite its size, it’s not a bad mover. The gear changes can be a bit clunky, but once you get the engine spewing out that 175bhp, that’s little gripe is quickly forgotten. The engine also delivers 360Nm of torque which set the Korando apart from others in the class. It can accelerate effortlessly, whether you’re on the motorway or nipping through the city centre traffic. Again, its size doesn’t mean that high speeds are going to mean a bumpy ride. The Korando’s all-round independent suspension contributes to a enjoyable drive. Steering is also responsive and tight and when things do get a bit tricky round tighter corners, you can also rely on ABS, EBD and ESP.
A safe car will gain you plenty of brownie points when you’re comparing car insurance and the Korando is certainly up to the mark here. It’s a solid piece of machinery with a sturdy chassis and strong shell. It includes six airbargs as standard and the exceptionally convenient Isofix points for car seats.
The Korando is so new, it has yet to have gone through the Euro NCAP crash tests, but the manufacturers are confident it will score a four-star rating. There’s plenty of room to play with in the Korando, whether you’re carting the family around or, by folding down the rear seats down, hauling a generous amount of cargo.
The Korando is also quickly competitively priced with a top cost of £17,995 for the Limited Edition model. It marks a real return to form for SsangYong and looks well capable of eating into the busy crossover market.