KORea cAN DO
Until recently, the models developed by Korean SUV and 4x4 specialist SsangYong were known only to insiders, but this is set to change with the arrival of the brand new generation of the Korando, featuring a more contemporary design, spacious and very comfortable interiors, driver assistance and safety systems and a new 1.5-litre petrol engine.
The SsangYong range includes the Tivoli, Korando, Rexton and Musso models. The fourth-generation Korando has just been launched on the market and could represent an interesting alternative to the VW Tiguan, the Ford Kuga or the Opel Grandland X for those who like to stand out from the crowd.
The contours of the Korando have been completely restyled to feature a contemporary design that emphasises the vehicle's robust character. Longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, SsangYong hopes to appeal to young families looking for an active lifestyle and a vehicle that can cope with the constraints of day-to-day life whilst at the same time offering very spacious interiors.
On board comfort comes courtesy of well-designed heated and ventilated (driver's side) seats, whilst the interior design is contemporary and features a wide dashboard and of course a screen incorporating the very latest technology and connectivity features, including a satellite navigation system. The Korando also features a wireless smartphone charger and an emergency call system. The ‘hands-free’ tailgate opens into a boot with a load capacity of 551L when all seats are in place that increases to 1,248L when the rear seats are folded down.
As far as engines are concerned, the Korando is available with a 1.6-litre diesel engine and a 1.5-litre GDI supercharged petrol engine, the latter achieving 163hp and 280Nm of torque between 1500 and 4500rpm. The petrol engine is, in our opinion, the best option, but the diesel engine also has a lot of advantages, including the fact that it achieves 136hp and a torque of 324Nm as of 1500rpm on the automatic version. In this configuration the Korando offers a towing capacity of 2 tons (as opposed to 1.5t with the other versions), which is where the Korean brand's 4x4 heritage really shines through.
The fact that the customer can choose between front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive regardless of the engine or transmission they go for (automatic or manual, both with 6 speeds) is another bonus.
There are also no fewer than five trim levels to choose from. The entry-level Crystal finish comes with 7 airbags, emergency braking, active lane keeping assist, road sign recognition, fatigue detection, LED daytime running lights and manual air conditioning as standard, whilst the Amber, Quartz, Onyx and Sapphire finishes offer even more features.
Last but not least, in terms of safety, the SsangYong Korando has been awarded 5 stars (the highest possible score) in the latest Euro NCAP crash tests. The new Korando is available from €20,990.