KOREAN CAN DO (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Introductionword count: 93
SsangYong's Korando is a strong choice if you're looking for a used 4x4 in the Crossover or small SUV class offering proper diesel towing power and decent off roading prowess for a very affordable price. If you like the idea of a Korando, it makes sense to stretch to one of the post-2015 models that featured the brand's uprated 2.2-litre Euro6 diesel engine, a unit that provided more power and lower running costs and which could be paired with a smooth 6-speed Aisin automatic gearbox. It makes this car well worth a look.
Modelsword count: 12
5dr compact SUV (2.2 diesel [SE, EX, ELX - 2WD & 4WD])
Historyword count: 181
SsangYong's Korando offers an awful lot for the money and always has ever since the modern-era version first arrived here back in 2011 complete with slick Italian Giugiaro styling and a powerful purpose-designed 2.0-litre diesel engine. This was the first SsangYong design to swap a heavy duty ladder-framed chassis for more car-like monocoque underpinnings in pursuit of a sensible school run ride and more rewarding handling. All along with a high specification and pricing that made opposition models look needlessly expensive. In the years following the original launch, the Korean brand worked on almost every key aspect of this model's design, smartening the styling for the 2014 model year and updating the engine to 2.2-litre Euro6 status at the end of 2015 for the 2016 model year. It's early versions of that 2.2-litre model that we're going to look at here as a potential used car buy. The model we're going to look at here was superseded in the Spring of 2017 by a further facelift that took this design through to the end of its production life. What You Pay
What You Getword count: 610
This modern era Korando wasn't only the first SsangYong to feature more car-like monocoque underpinnings. It was also the first one with styling you'd really be quite pleased to see on your driveway. For this, the South Koreans had 'Il Maestro', Giorgetto Giugiaro to thank, a man known as one of the great automotive stylists of his generation and responsible for designs as diverse and enduring and the DeLorean and the Fiat Panda. In the clean, sculpted look of the original version of this car, there was certainly evidence of the master's deft touch and this later model doesn't deviate too far from that, simply modernising the look with clear glass direction indicators flanking a smarter piano black radiator grille that features additional chrome detailing on the top ELX variant. SsangYong hoped it would be enough to create a sharper, more contemporary look. Get up close and personal and you'll notice the squat stance, beefy wheel arch bulges and sharply rising belt line carrying through to a smart tailgate that also features LED lighting. Lifting it reveals 486-litres, which is usefully more than you'd get in a Nissan Qashqai or Hyundai ix35 from this era. If you need more, then pushing forward the 60/40 split-folding rear bench reveals 1,312-litres. Take a seat at the wheel and you'll find yourself in a reasonably smart interior with sharp, angular styling quite reminiscent of the far pricier Hyundai Santa Fe, which is no bad thing. SsangYong also took note of the way its Korean competitor brands were better using aluminium-look trim and soft-touch plastics and the result, providing you can overlook the artificial wood trim, is a far more inviting cabin than that of the original model. You might not think you were in a much more expensive Sportage or a Qashqai but it's certainly a world away from the Bulgarian thrift store feeling you get sat in a Dacia Duster, the only other car in this segment able to approach this Korando's asking price. Storage is reasonably ample with a practically-sized central cubby and decently shaped side door pockets. With this post-2016 model, the major interior change centred around upgraded infotainment technology. Provided you avoid entry-level trim, that means a centre dash dominated by the SsangYong Entertainment System's informative 7-inch colour touchscreen via which you access the usual stereo and 'phone functions. There's a link to a rear view camera, plus you get audio streaming functionality from smart devices, along with a USB memory slot, an Aux-in port and an HDMI port. Go for the top ELX version and a Tom Tom sat nav is also built into the same set-up. Getting comfortable at the wheel isn't a problem thanks to a height-adjustable driver's seat and a reach and rake-adjustable steering wheel. Plus, thank goodness, there's a proper conventional handbrake, rather than one of those fiddly electric button ones. The build quality feels reasonable and though there are still a few more hard plastics than you'll find on many more city-orientated rivals, these do feel better suited to a tough and durable life. Whatever your feeling is on that, you certainly can't argue with the amount of rear seat space on offer. This is the only car in this class (premium brand models included) able to comfortably transport three fully-sized adults on the back seat for any distance - long journeys helped by the fact that the seat backs recline, while the seats themselves are even heated on top models. Rear legroom is quite plentiful, aided for the passenger in the middle of the rear seat by the fact that, unlike many of its rivals, this car has no bulky transmission tunnel.
To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227
Pictures (high res disabled)
Scoring (subset of scores)
Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
|Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.|