What is it?

It’s not obvious from the impressively generic exterior, but this is the new Ssangyong Korando. This is the first monocoque vehicle that the Korean company has ever produced and represents the first steps in a re-launch that is intended to make the brand more competitive against major budget European makers.

A 173bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel motor, developed by the company independently, is the only motor available in the Korando. A six-speed auto and all-wheel drive is on offer, but we’re testing the entry-level two-wheel drive model.

See first drive pics of the Ssangyong Korando 2.0d 2WD

What’s it like?

Rather bland in many respects, which for many will be an improvement on the rather eccentric previous models. When not under load the Korando is impressively refined by class standards, but otherwise the motor fails to meet modern diesel standards in terms of its usability.

Power delivery is very peaky – significantly more so than is now usual in modern turbodiesels - with all of the 266lb ft of torque arriving between 2000-3000rpm. The effect of this is amplified by awkwardly spaced gear ratios. Second is very short, but changing up into third leaves the engine floundering beneath its limited power range.

So powertrain is not something that Ssangyong can yet claim to have reached current European standards in, but ride quality is well judged – a little bouncy occasionally but nothing you wouldn’t expect of a softly sprung compact SUV, and body roll is also kept in check.

Steering is entirely sterile and has a disconcerting elasticity around the dead-ahead, but it is linear enough in response. Passenger space is also very competitive, particularly for those in the back, though luggage capacity of 486 litres is some way behind class best.

Should I buy one?

By any standards the Korando is a significant step forward for its maker, but if it is to be priced similarly to the Hyundai ix35 and Kia Sportage, as Ssangyong suggests it will be, it is impossible to recommend.

The Korando is not a bad car in isolation, just one that feels as if it has just reached the levels achieved by most of the obvious rivals one generation ago.

So Ssangyong’s competition need not need worry too much right now, but if the company can make the same level of progress with its next generation then there is every possibility it – and the Korando - could become a serious contender.

Vicky Parrott

 

Ssangyong Korando 2.0d 2WD

Price: £17,500 (est); Top speed: 111mph; 0-62mph: 10.0sec; Economy: 47mpg; Co2: 157g/km; Kerb weight: 1591kg; Engine, type, cc: 4cyl, 1998cc, turbodiesel; Power: 173bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 266lb ft at 2000-3000rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual; Boot capacity: 486 litres

See all the latest Sangyong reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
16

Re: Ssangyong Korando

3 years 30 weeks ago

That's certainly far less hideously eye-gougingly ugly than their previous cars!

Not my thing, but certainly an improvement.

Re: Ssangyong Korando

3 years 30 weeks ago

Nice too see Ssangyong are still around would like too see them do well have been in everyone so far and even do they might not drive great and devoid opinion on there looks they are at least reliable , different and all there interiors are off very good quility materials . I like them because they are different and I like this too it won,t set any records or set the world on fire but its tidy and clean kinda like a tall Corrola lol and the interior looks a little like the last gen corrola,s too maybe that is who they are targeting. It no doubt will be high quility and the car reliable so maybe it will do well .

Re: Ssangyong Korando

3 years 30 weeks ago

Couple more articles here

Re: Ssangyong Korando

3 years 30 weeks ago

Given Hyundai's ongoing delivery problems with the ix35 (don't look in Autocar for details), plus the high list price of the Sportage, it may do well.

Re: Ssangyong Korando

3 years 30 weeks ago

This is a revelation by Ssangyong standards!!!the interior seems nicely finished too.on the way up id say.

Re: Ssangyong Korando

3 years 30 weeks ago

Awesome used by, as long as you can find someone to service it and get the parts! (ie. there's not another armed sit in by the union...)

Re: Ssangyong Korando

3 years 30 weeks ago

sierra wrote:
Given Hyundai's ongoing delivery problems with the ix35 (don't look in Autocar for details), plus the high list price of the Sportage, it may do well.

I hope it is a hugh succes for them like the Rexton was and I think that most people who buy cars like these eg Kia Sportage ,Hyandai IX35 Ain,t that fussed how the car drives so hope it does well .

Re: Ssangyong Korando

3 years 30 weeks ago

FastRenaultFan wrote:
I hope it is a hugh succes for them like the Rexton was

I always thought the Rexton looked alright... did you know there were talks to produce an MG version & a running prototype was made... http://www.aronline.co.uk/mgrovrextonf.htm

I think this new Korando looks really smart to be fair, especially the front, much nicer even than that concept they were showing last year, whatever it was called. I wish them every success & I think this is their first step towards competing with mainstream budget manufacturers again (as indeed they used to with the Musso which seemed to get positive reviews at the time as I recall... its meant to be quite a decent car albeit the styling is a bit love-it-or-hate-it... I liked it personally)

Re: Ssangyong Korando

3 years 30 weeks ago

roverfan1984 wrote:

FastRenaultFan wrote:
I hope it is a hugh succes for them like the Rexton was

I always thought the Rexton looked alright... did you know there were talks to produce an MG version & a running prototype was made... http://www.aronline.co.uk/mgrovrextonf.htm

I think this new Korando looks really smart to be fair, especially the front, much nicer even than that concept they were showing last year, whatever it was called. I wish them every success & I think this is their first step towards competing with mainstream budget manufacturers again (as indeed they used to with the Musso which seemed to get positive reviews at the time as I recall... its meant to be quite a decent car albeit the styling is a bit love-it-or-hate-it... I liked it personally)

Great link, really interesting to learn about MG's ideas. I had no idea of the link to Ssangyong. I always thought the Rexton looked pretty good, even the ridiculously contrived Khan model looks OK.

Re: Ssangyong Korando

3 years 30 weeks ago

So, comparing its merits to the current competition, it seems there won't be many prospective buyers for this car. But we are very happy that it exists, as its appearance is far less offensive to taste than Ssangyong's previous models were...

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Our Verdict

SsangYong Korando

The SsangYong Korando SUV is good compared to the company's previous models, but poor by class standards

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