Ssangyong has been silently keeping up with its competitors for the best part of 8 years, but if you went to the Geneva show, you would have noticed a car by the South Korean company that could very well place it on the map next to the likes of Skoda and Kia.
This Korando is their latest addition to the family crossover market, and after simply laying eyes on the press release, it’s obvious that this isn’t a half-assed attempt at a popular market. There’s a couple of new engines and even a possible EV on the way for next year thanks to a wad of cash from a new owner, Mahindra. But before we get too caught up in who bought who, let’s talk engines.
Both a newly-developed 165bhp 1.5-litre turbo and an updated 1.6-litre diesel have been given the go-ahead for this car, with the diesel being able to tow 2-tonnes’ worth of caravan when coupled with a 6-speed AISIN automatic transmission. Despite this, with diesel purchases are falling, the FWD petrol will be the preferred powertrain.
The cabin is where the Korando shines, though. Sat in the driver’s seat you’ll find two LCD screens, full phone connectivity, and a host of driver assists such as intelligent and adaptive cruise control and automatic brake activation. Interior materials look to be okay, especially for the bargain price it will more than likely be sold for.
It also has all the wife-pleasing facts that makes for a happy life: 550 litres of split-level boot, plenty of rear-legroom, and a 7 year, 150,000 mile warranty. Seriously.
It’s hard to fault a car that simply does what it says on the tin. And let’s face it, this tin looks pretty damn good. So with Ssangyong continuing to make cars that please the market, let’s hope they can further embed themselves into the UK’s competitive market. Later this year is said to bring more pickup trucks, and as this is where Ssanyong’s talents lie, we’re certainly looking forward to it.