SsangYong Korando SUV
"If you don't mind a sedate driving experience, the SsangYong Korando is an appealing and practical family car with some impressive features"
- Competitively priced
- Practical interior
- Seven-year warranty
- Noisy diesel
- High insurance groups
The SsangYong Korando is now in its fourth generation and continues to exist as an alternative to more mainstream SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson. Part of its appeal is its price, which undercuts many of its rivals, and another is the Korando's superb seven-year warranty.
The design of the latest Korando is improved inside and out, and there's much to like about the way the car looks and feels. A tall roofline gives the Korando an angular looking design and a slightly utilitarian look but it manages to be more luxurious and spacious inside than the Qashqai, with a decent smattering of technology that includes a digital instrument cluster on higher trim levels.
SsangYong is keen to appeal to the towing fraternity, and the 1.6-litre 134bhp diesel engine that arrived first can haul up to 2,000kg with two- or four-wheel drive. It's easy to drive thanks to its standard six-speed automatic gearbox but is rather noisy, so is best suited to a relaxed driving style. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 12 seconds, while it can return up to 51.4mpg when only two wheels are driven.
A 161bhp turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine is available with front-wheel drive. It manages 0-62mph in around 12 seconds and can be had with a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic. When compared to the diesel Korando, it can’t tow as much, and can only manage 37.2mpg, but it’s cheaper to buy and less noisy.
The diesel and petrol models are likely to be joined by a fully electric Korando next year, and this version could be the most desirable of the lot. While its full specs are still being ironed out, a driving range of around 250 miles is likely, which should suit most prospective owners. It will also qualify for 0% Benefit-in-Kind tax for company-car drivers.
Trim levels include ELX, Ventura, Pioneer and Ultimate, with cloth seats being replaced with leather as you move up the range. Wheels grow from 17- to 19-inches in diameter and extra kit is added, such as a 10.25-inch digital instrument display, along with a larger nine-inch infotainment screen and rear-view camera.
Prospective customers could also be swayed by the sheer amount of space on offer. The Korando is fairly large for the class, and offers lots of headroom as well as a rear bench that can seat three abreast. Its 551-litre boot is also a good size too, although you'll need to choose if you'd prefer the space or a full-sized spare, with the latter reducing the boot to 407 litres.
With a seven-year warranty, competitive price and high towing capacity, the SsangYong Korando diesel in Pioneer trim is ideal for caravanners and laid back SUV drivers, but won't trouble the class leaders when it comes to overall driving dynamics. It's also good to know it's the first SsangYong to score a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.