Review: SsangYong Korando (2019)

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Rating:

Genuinely 'all new', good looking SUV with high quality interior, 163HP 1.5 petrol engine, 136HP 1.6 diesel engine, 4WD or 2WD and manual or automatic transmissions.

163HP petrol engine delayed to 'early 2020'

SsangYong Korando (2019): At A Glance

The genuinley 'all new' SsangYong Korando offers good looks, an impressively high quality interior, latest generation infotainmen, 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions and a choice of two wheel drive or four wheel drive.

It features a similar design to the smaller Tivoli and is available from launch with a 136PS/324Nm 1.6-litre diesel. A new 163PS/280Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine arrives in 2020.

An electric version follows in 2020, previewed by the e-SIV concept which had a range of 280 miles. If the production Korando EV combines a useable electric range with an affordable price tag, it could be a huge deal for the brand, which currently remains quite a niche player in the UK.

The new Korando is longer, wider and lower than its predecessor. With the rear seats left up, it has a generous boot space of 551 litres - bigger than most its mainstream rivals. However, in 'Pioneer' models designed for towing caravans and with a spare wheel, this reduces to 408 litres.

There’s a good amount of head and legroom for front and rear passengers, while some of the technology on offer mimics that of much more expensive competitors. This includes a 10.25-inch digital display behind the steering wheel in place of conventional dials, along with a nine-inch infotainment screen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Safety kit includes an advanced emergency braking system along with adaptive cruise control and high beam assistance.

The 1.5-litre GDI petrol engine produces 163PS and 280Nm of torque. Fuel consumption figures are yet to be confirmed, but SsangYong says it’s targeting a CO2 figure of 146g/km.

The diesel automatic has a power output of 136PS and 324Nm of torque, with a CO2 rating of 151g/km with 2WD or 171g/km with 4WD.

Looking for a SsangYong Korando (2019 on)?
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What does a SsangYong Korando (2019) cost?

List Price from £17,020
Buy new from £15,880

What's the SsangYong Korando (2019) like to drive?

The Korando used to be favoured by caravanners for its diesel engines and, of course, a 136hp 1.6 diesel with 324Nm torque is still available coupled to 6-speed manual or 6-speed torque converter automatic transmissions and two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

But buying patterns have changed, and SsangYong expects 75% of Korandos sold in the UK to be with its 163hp/280Nm turbo petrol engine with two-wheel drive and manual or automatic transmissions. Details of that are a bit scant and, while the diesel is here now, petrol models do not arrive in the UK until “early 2020”.

Out on the road, maximum torque from 1,500rpm makes for an amiable drive with soft, slurry starts from the six-speed autobox. Steering and handling are fine without being in the same class as a Peugeot 3008. The fairly stiff suspension soaked up Oxfordshire roads very well, despite 235/50 R19 tyres. Nothing like as supple as Citroen’s ‘Advanced Comfort’ suspension in the C5 Aircross, but perfectly acceptable.

Switching the dial to ‘Sport’ sharpened things up considerably and the Korando felt quicker than the 130HP C5 Aircross Blue HDI.

SsangYong’s research has told the company that SUV buyer’s priorities are good looks, a high-quality interior and the latest infotainment systems, in that order, so that’s what ‘Ssurprisingly SsangYong’ provides in the new Korando.

Apparently, a long warranty is only 5th on the list of SUV buyer requirements, long after looks, interior and infotainment, probably because most cars these days are bought on PCPs and swapped after 2 to 4 years.

But what SsangYong’s 7-year 150,000-mile warranty says to us is that SsangYong couldn’t afford to offer it unless they had huge confidence in the quality of the cars. And if you are buying a SsangYong to keep, you aren’t going to be laying out big money on out-of-warranty repairs