SsangYong seem to have come on leaps and bounds in recent years – in fact, during 2012 they took a hearty 351 per cent rise in registrations, with nearly 1,000 models hitting the roads in twelve months. AOL Cars takes a look at what's tipped to be its most popular model, the Korando mini-SUV.
What is it?
SsangYong's most recent addition to its revitalised range, boasting chunky off-road looks and a spacious, practical interior.
What's under the bonnet?
The Korando is only offered with a 2.0-litre diesel engine with 175bhp, and the more tax-friendly 149bhp version fitted to the SX we have here. It undoubtedly pulls well - helping to increase the Korando's towing capabilities - but against its more mainstream rivals it can feel a bit on the noisy side.
What's the kit like?
Fairly impressive - in fact for a base-spec model, it's not bad at all. Standard equipment includes air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearknob, 16-inch alloy wheels and rear parking sensors. It's just a shame that the materials of the interior itself are a little on the cheap side - and the fiddly Kenwood stereo doesn't help matters.
Quite a few, though not with the SsangYong's highly impressive towing capacity, nor four-wheel-drive at this price point. The Dacia Duster comes close, but a lack of ground clearance means it can't quite keep up with the Korando off road. Similarly, its interior is even more plasticky than the Korando's - though to be fair it's a few thousand pounds cheaper.
Is it any good?
Yes and no. The Korando really excels when it's off the beaten track, or hitched up to a horse box - or both. On the road things aren't quite so impressive, with body roll fairly pronounced in corners and its steering a little on the inconsistent side. It's not bad, though.
The AOL Cars verdict
Ten years ago, SsangYong was a virtually invisible brand in the UK. Aside from the Rexton, which was already making a name for the firm when it comes to towing abilities, the rest of the range was rather disappointing – remember the old Korando? Here in 2013 it's clear that things have moved on, though: The new Korando is on the whole an impressive car, with proper off-road abilities without a daft price tag. There are better options for the average buyer, but if you have to have four-wheel-drive, then a Korando makes perfect sense.