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SsangYong Korando heralds SsangYong’s return to the UK

Fri, 12 Aug 2011

SsangYong Korando sees SsangYong back in the UK

If you choose to think about the Korean takeover of the car sales charts in the last few years, you tend not to think of SsangYong.

But maybe that will change with the arrival in the UK from September of the all-new SsangYong Korando, a compact SUV come Crossover aimed at its compatriots – the Hyundai ix35 and Kia Sportage. How will it get on? Hard to say.

The SsangYong history has not been covered in glory to date. With financial problems and not exactly cutting-edge models, SsangYong became the butt of almost as many jokes as Lada a generation before. But things have changed.

India’s Mahindra and Mahindra has gobbled up Korea’s second division car maker and are intent on making it a credible offering. And if the product’s right there should be now worries on the financial front with M&M’s deep pockets in the wings. But what’s the product like?

On the face of it the all-new SsangYong Korando is promising. Pretty much in the mould of the ix35 it offers decent – if a bit generic – styling (by Giorgetto Giugiaro) and, for now, a single 2.0 litre turbo diesel lump with 173bhp and 265lbs/ft of torque. CO2 is 157g/km, and economy ranges from 37.7 to 47.1 mpg, depending on what combination of driven wheels and gearbox you opt for on your Korando .

Performance is adequate too, with 62mph coming in at 9.9 seconds seemingly regardless of whether you’ve got a manual or auto ‘box, FWD or 4WD. An interesting feat.

There’s a choice of front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models with a choice of a six-speed manual or auto ‘box. You can have the FWD models in any of the three trim levels – S, ES and EX – although you’ll need to opt for the top-of-the-tree EX if you want an auto ‘box or 4WD.

All Korando models come with Cruise, Hill Start, ESP and reverse parking sensors, but move up to the ES and EX and you can add stuff like sunroof, Climate, Leather and heated seats to the mix.

The SsangYong Korando  is not entering the UK market from a position of strength – far from it – but the Korando  does seem to be offering a perfectly decent – and well-equipped – compact SUV / Crossover at competitive price points.

We wouldn’t bet against it getting a foothold.


By Cars UK