Review: SsangYong Korando (2019)


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'

Recently Added To This Review

4 September 2019

2019 Ssangyong Korando awarded 5 Star NCAP Rating at 88% Adult Occupant; 85% Child Occupant; 68% Vulnerable Road Users; and 74% Safety Assist. Read more

20 August 2019 SsangYong Korando prices and specs announced

The new SsangYong Korando SUV launched with prices starting at £19,995 for the 1.5 petrol turbo manual with 2WD, though that is on sale from 'early 2020'. More stylish than its predecessor, the... Read more

5 March 2019 2019 SsangYong Korando revealed at Geneva Motor Show

Traditionally seen as a budget rival to the Nissan Qashqai and KIA Sportage, the new Korando moves upmarket with good looks and impressive interior quality. It features a similar design to the smaller... Read more

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.

SsangYong Korando 2019 Road Test

What does a SsangYong Korando (2019) cost?

List Price from £18,995
Buy new from £17,855
Contract hire from £298.54 per month

SsangYong Korando (2019): What's It Like Inside?

The 2019 SsangYong Korando is suddenly up there amongst the best mid-size SUVs with a level of quality and kit that puts it close to top of the class.

Ssang Yong Korando 2019 Phone Apps

It’s good looking. Judge for yourself. The fittings and trim are not far from Audi standards. The infotainment on top models has it all: Apple Car Play, Android Auto: the lot.

Ssang Yong Korando 2019 Satnav Instructions 1

A 9-inch TomTom satnav touchscreen.

Ssang Yong Korando 2019 Satnav Driver TFT

Repeat instructions in the 10.5-inch digital cluster in front of the driver.

Ssang Yong Korando 2019 Cockpit

It’s comfortable and luxurious inside.

Ssang Yong Korando 2019 Rear Seats

The rear seats will slightly recline.

Ssang Yong Korando 2019 Driver Door Cupholder

Everything is well thought out, including the cupholders in the door pockets. 

Ssang Yong Korando 2019 Load 4 All Flat

There’s nothing special or ground-breaking about the rear seat folding arrangements. The rear seatbacks simply flop down onto the squabs leaving a reasonably level but quite high load deck. Happily SsangYong did not forget to fit load tethers that, on some SUVs, are sorely missed.

Child seats that fit a SsangYong Korando (2019)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

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