SsangYong’s 2019 Korando


11 March 2019

YET another major rival for Nissan’s North East Qashqai is about to arrive, in the guise of the bizarrely-named new SsangYong Korando.

SsangYong says that the name is made up of letters from the phrase Korea Can Do, which is something that has certainly turned out to be true. South Korea has emerged as one of the world’s fastest-growing car companies, embracing the likes of Kia and Hyundai, with SsangYong rapidly earning the same degree of respectability.

This latest incarnation of the Korando is an indication of just how quickly a relatively ordinary motor manufacturer from South Korea can catch up.

The newcomer has lost its budget appearance and is now just as stylish as any of its Japanese or European rivals, with enviable levels of safety kit and equipment.

Due here this summer it will be offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, plus an all-electric version next year.

Taking three years from drawing board to production, the company says it can match anything on the market in terms of style and quality, yet will beat the lot on price.

The current car costs from £16,995, which is less than the price of virtually all of its key rivals.

The new version is longer, wider and lower, which makes it appear less boxy, and it gains a lengthened wheelbase that generates more room inside for occupants.

Safety stuff includes seven airbags, advanced emergency braking system with camera and radar, lane keep assist, front vehicle start alert,

high beam assist, safety distance alert, driver attention alert, intelligent adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert.

The connectivity and technology kit includes Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto.

There is a nine-inch centre screen and an even bigger one ahead of the driver, to which the navigation map is linked for ease of viewing.

 

 

The car will be offered with the option of a new 160bhp 1.5-litre petrol turbo engine, and an updated 1.6 litre diesel unit, with the all-electric vehicle to follow.

Despite the demonization of diesel, it could prove to be the best-seller,

with the 1.6-litre unit generating 130bhp of power and 324Nm of torque from just 1,500rpm, which makes it ideally suited to towing a trailer or horsebox weighing up to two tonnes.

That is for the six-speed automatic model with standard stop-start.

Despite its relative obscurity in comparison to mainstream manufacturers, SsangYong has been making SUVs and 4x4s for more than half a century, with this newcomer being the fourth generation Korando.

Undoubtedly the most significant advance so far, it comes with the same seven-year warranty as the rest of the range, which also covers a remarkable 150,000 miles.