Make Korando your next Korea move!
IF you were asked to withdraw a grand from the bank before chucking it down the bog, you'd probably think twice.
Which is why you should pause for a moment before buying a Kia Sportage — then go ahead and purchase a SsangYong Korando instead.
Both Kia and SsangYong hail from South Korea and specialise in creating affordable yet bulletproof motors.
What's more, the Sportage and the Korando look very, very similar when in their pure white guise.
Well, when we had the Korando on test last week we walked up to a Sportage in a car park and scratched our head when the doors wouldn't unlock.
Eventually, after trying the handle a few times we actually set off the Kia's alarm before realising our error and doing a runner back to the Korando. Oops...
If you returned to your Kia as the siren blared away, wondering which dickhead had set it off, erm, yeah, that was us. Sorry.
But it illustrates the resemblance between the two, and our clear inability to remember where we parked up.
Yet the SsangYong is a good grand cheaper than the nearest spec Sportage.
And as the Korando comes with plenty of bells and whistles as standard — like cruise control, puddle lamps, driver's seal, lumbar support, 18inch alloys, leather steering wheel and gear knob, hill start assist, and LED daytime running lights — you get an awful lot of runabout for your dosh.
The specs pretty much speak for themselves too, and you could probably get a Sportage In the roomy Korando's 70 lit.re-plus boot.
A 2.0 litre, 175PS diesel engine is nippy enough, doing 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds. And if tugging caravans is your thing, the two- wheel-drive Korando has a max towing weight of two ton, as well as max torque of 360Nm at 3,000 revs.
While it's slow to turn into corners, with a little body roll, it’s perfectly decent at a leisurely pace and the noise in the rugged, agricultural cabin is kept to a minimum.
And without exactly being spectacular, the Korando is simply a reassuringly-safe place to be, with its big girth giving you a commanding presence on the road.
For more information on the SsangYong Korando please click here