The arrival of the fourth-generation Ssangyong Korando finally confirms that the South Korean manufacturer is fully capable of producing a good-looking car.
Writing such a sentence would have been unimaginable not so long ago. Laughable, even. But following the introduction of the Ssanyonng Ssangyong Tivoli small SUV in 2015, the brand’s designers have been going from strength to strength with every new model that's brought to market.
And while updated versions of the Ssangyong Musso pick-up truck and Ssangyong Rexton 4x4 both provided further evidence of this shift towards building gradually better-looking cars, to our eyes it’s this new Korando that proves they’ve now most definitely found their mojo. I think it’s fair to say the dark days of the Rodius are now very much behind us. We can only hope it stays that way.
Anyway, sharper looks are only one aspect of what’s new about this revitalised version of Ssangyong’s middle-weight SUV. There are also two new engines, a redesigned interior architecture, an updated infotainment suite and digital cockpit (in top-spec models), improved noise, vibration and harshness suppression measures and a sweep of new safety technologies that should, so the company says, guarantee a full five-star Euro NCAP rating.
All of this is obviously a good way of bringing what is a relatively fringe brand in the UK that much closer to the mainstream. But as Ssangyong will quite happily tell you, its vehicles have historically appealed to quite a niche audience: the esteemed members of the “caravanning and towing fraternities”, to use its own words. It hopes they’ll like this one even more.