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SsangYong Korando

JEWEL KOR (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

SsangYong's Korando compact SUV gets a smarter look but it's still as tough and practical as ever. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 98

The SsangYong Korando has always been an affordable option for those looking for a compact SUV or Crossover, but it's always lagged a little behind obvious rivals in terms of technology. In recent times though, the Korean brand has been making up ground and this latest model features the option of features like front and rear safety cameras and a centre-dash infotainment display with a smartphone mirroring function. To draw the attention of buyers to these embellishments, there's now a smarter front end look too. Plus the 2.2-litre diesel engine beneath the bonnet is as capable as ever.

Backgroundword count: 208

SsangYong has been making models badged 'Korando' since 1954, but despite that, we're looking here at a car with a badge and a design that still has little recognition across the market segment in which it must compete - that for Qashqai-like Crossover models and the soft-roading lifestyle-orientated small SUVs that are just like them. We're talking about the budget end of this sector of course - cars like Kia's Sportage and Hyundai's Tucson rather than Toyota RAV4s or Honda CRVs. And five seat-only models, since that's what this is. It's a part of the market you'd think even an unknown manufacturer might enjoy some success if it was able to offer a good looking car with more power, greater interior space and higher equipment levels than its rivals at a more affordable price. The Korando offered all that at its original introduction in 2011 and the proposition was further improved with the launch of a facelifted version in 2014, further enhanced a year later with the addition of a cleaner, much quieter Euro6 2.2-litre unit. Now SsangYong has tinkered with this car once again, introducing extra tech and an even smarter look. Will it be enough to launch this car into greater class contention? Let's find out.

Driving Experienceword count: 262

If you haven't tried a Korando in the past few years but quite like the look of one, it might be time to give this Koprean contender another chance, for since the introduction of the current e-XDi220 2.2-litre diesel engine, it's become much more class competitive, both in terms of power and efficiency. There's a 178PS output and a lusty 400Nm torque figure that makes this car an accomplished tower. On the move, maximum pulling power is delivered from as low as 1,400rpm and maintained through a wide range up to 2,800rpm for smooth, progressive driving. At the top of the range, this unit can come mated to a freshly developed 6-speed Aisin automatic gearbox. There's the option of two-wheel drive on the mainstream 'SE' and 'EX' trim levels but customers wanting to exercise this model's impressive 2-tonne towing capability will want a variant featuring SsangYong's on-demand four-wheel-drive system. There's a manually operated differential lock if you find yourself in a really sticky situation, allowing a higher percentage of torque to be sent to the rear wheels at low speeds. Ground clearance isn't too bad and front and rear overhangs are both tight, lending this Korando more than a modicum of off-road ability. On road, it's a fairly tidy handler, with acceptable body control and strong brakes. The steering takes a bit of getting used to, with a rather light feel about the straight ahead before weighting up sharply off centre. The ride quality is fine on the 17-inch wheels although it will become a bit more brittle on the 18-inch alloys.

To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

Combined mpg:

37.7

47.1

CO2 (g/km):

147

Extra urban mpg:

44.9

55.4

Insurance group:

19

Price:

14995

21495

Urban mpg:

29.5

37.7

Weight (kg):

1666

1747

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: 4x4s

Performance
70%
Handling
70%
Comfort
60%
Space
70%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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