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Rebooted Korando Sports gets VAT exempt status

»Road Test 2: Korando Sports

An oversight by Korean maker SsangYong's left its Korando Sports pickup out in the cold when it came to VAT exemptions.

The original model's miserably low 630kg payload was not going to win over many business users, simply because it did not measure up for a VAT reclaim.

And in this sector, having to swallow a 20 per cent hike in price would have us reaching for Nissan, Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi and VW brochures long before we would consider the Korando Sports.

But this has changed now, as the introduction of tougher rear suspension now gives the Korando a much-needed payload boost.

By opting for uprated progressive coil springs in the truck's existing multi-link rear suspension, payload capacity has been increased to 1,050kg. Enough to satisfy business users — and Customs and Excise too - and the pickup can finally be bought exempt of VAT.

On the road, the Korando Sports still feels softly sprung, and its progressive rear springs have done little to upset the comfortable ride - it does not fidget or thump you in the back.

Power

Beyond this minor suspension tweak, the Korando Sports remains unchanged. Power still comes from a 155hp two-litre diesel with 360Nm of torque and the six-speed auto box to which it is coupled made for relaxed motoring.

The interior continues to serve up a quirky mix of angles, circles and oddness, and is built from some dubious quality plastics. However, there is a good amount of storage space available.

It proved too easy to accidentally switch the heated seat on with my knee, and the steering wheel still offers rake adjustment only.

With the payload issue now addressed, the Korando Sports represents great value for what is a well-equipped and reasonably practical pickup. Available in SX and EX specification, both offer a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

With prices starting from £14,995 (ex-VAT) you might need a bit more persuading to avoid buying one.

Need to know

Model: SsangYong Korando Sports EX

Price: £18,495 (£22,505 as tested)

Engine: Two-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel, 155hp@4,000rpm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic, selectable 4x4 with low range

Performance: 106mph, 35.3mpg combined, 212g/km

Towing capacity: 2,700kg

For more information on the SsangYong Korando Sports please click here

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