SsangYong Korando review - Muscle in on this big guy for a great bargain
Ssangyong's Korando has bags of pulling power and a generous load of kit at a great price, says Lee Gibson. Find out more about the price, spec and performance.
With an expanding dealer network and evolving range line-up, however, the South Korean 4x4 specialists are eager to emulate the impact of their upwardly mobile compatriot brands, Hyundai and Kia.
Now SsangYong’s Korando has just had its second facelift in a bid to maintain its appeal at the bargain end of the crossover market.
The spruce up is primarily evident in an extensively re-worked front end, which adopts the new SsangYong “look” first seen on the Tivoli and which will feature on the forthcoming new Rexton SUV..
A sleeker grille, projector headlamps with daytime running lights, a new bumper incorporating fog lamps and a new bonnet line create a more modern, upmarket appearance. There is also a new steering wheel, while on range-topping ELX models like the one I drove, eye-catching 18in diamond cut alloys complete the look. The dimensions and profile remain familiar, however, and the Korando is clean-lined, muscular and attractive.
There are four models in the revised line-up starting with the two-wheel drive SE at £17,000. Adding all-wheel drive to this trim pushes the price up to £18,500 while flagship ELX cars, at £22,000, are only available in 4x4 form and can be specified with a six-speed automatic transmission for an extra £1500.
Beneath the restyled bonnet sits the same 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine that powered the outgoing model. What it lacks in manners, it more than makes up for in sheer grunt – pumping out 178ps and producing peak torque of 400Nm from 1400rpm.
That’s enough to shift the Korando from 0-62mph in just under 10 seconds and means there’s plenty of pulling power – with SsangYong eager to stress the car’s two-ton towing capacity. Decent throttle response and light steering make driving it uncomplicated.
The intelligent 4x4 system offers good grip and decent off-road ability. Default mode in normal conditions is front-wheel drive, optimising fuel efficiency, but if loss of grip is detected, power is progressively sent to all four wheels as required.
The system can also be locked to split drive equally between front and rear axles on extreme loose or slippery surfaces.
Either on road or off, there’s plenty of room to get comfy in the spacious cabin. Five adults will be happy on even long trips, with a flat floor meaning no fighting for legroom in the back.
At 486 litres the boot is more than big enough for a family, with the 60/40 split rear seats folding to give 1312 litres.
The car also boasts generous levels of kit. All models come with electrically operated and heated door mirrors with puddle lamps, Bluetooth, tinted glass, air conditioning and roof rails.
ELX trim adds a raft of kit usually associated with much more expensive cars, including a satnav, seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
With its impressive pulling power, the Korando is very attractive.
Model: SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX 4x4
Engine: 2.2-litre diesel
Top speed: 115mph
0-62: 9.9 seconds
Average mpg: 48.7 CO2 emissions: 152g/km
Warranty: Five years/unlimited mileage