Long-term report: Giving our SsangYong Korando a well-deserved clean

Yet another month goes by and ‘my’ SsangYong Korando remains on the same tank of fuel that it was more than two months ago when lockdown first hit.

It’s certainly a bizarre situation to be in having done fewer miles in the past couple of months than I would usually do in a typical weekend. With the only miles I’ve done being dropping off supplies to family members, it’s safe to say the Korando really hasn’t been used much at all. Guess that means I’ve done lockdown right, though?

Korando cleaning shot
The Korando was given a much-needed clean

But with a massive layer of dust on it and a seemingly filthy interior (N.B it really is impressive how dirty a car can get, even when you’re not using it), a good clean was needed.

It’s at this time I’d usually say something in the vein of ‘it was time to get the sponge out’, but being too much of a car cleaning snob, it’s microfibre wash mitts only…

As sad as it may be, I often say cleaning is the best way to find out things you’d probably never noticed before. That’s certainly true for the Korando.

Korando cleaning
The Korando deserved a thorough clean

For starters, I’d never quite appreciated just how angular the latest model is, with its creased bonnet, fiddly front end and rear wheelarch lines being miles apart from its bubble-shaped predecessor.

Once the outside was done, the Korando was back to looking its best – its stunning Cherry Red paintwork looking the part. I still maintain this is one of my favourite colours (especially when clean), as it really comes alive in direct sunlight or, in this case, the bright LEDs in our shed.

Next, Henry was kicked into life to sort an interior that’s been used as more of a cupboard than it has a car recently. A pet hate of mine is when manufacturers put cheap mats and carpets in cars – something that makes them an absolute pain to clean.

Korando Static
The Korando was back to new after a thorough clean

Thankfully, SsangYong seems to have splashed the cash in this area, with the Korando having posh mats that are super easy to clean. A tedious thought, I know, but it’s worth considering if you like to clean your car yourself and keep it in tip-top condition.

Another thing I’d never noticed about the Korando is its ultra-sensitive electric boot. It’s one that can be controlled by ‘gestures’ – e.g kicking your foot underneath the rear bumper near a sensor. Typically, if you actually need to use this function, you can never find where the sensor is, so you have to press the button anyway.

But while cleaning RJ69 MTE with the key in my pocket, it seems to become ridiculously sensitive. It starts to bing and bong (something this car is very good at doing) and then opens if you get within about a meter of the rear bumper. Strange!

Korando static
The Korando is the largest SUV in Ssangyong’s range

So with lockdown restrictions starting to lift, I’m looking forward to being able to use the Korando again. For starters, there is an imminent house move on the way – not especially handily from Gosport, Hampshire to 300 miles away in Malton, North Yorkshire. Thankfully I lived in a furnished flat before, so no removal vans are needed, and as it’s just my assorted rubbish and clothes that need to be brought back – something I hope the Korando will be able to manage in one run. It’ll certainly be a good opportunity to put its practicality to the test.

All going well, I hope to report back on this next month…

  • Model: SsangYong Korando Ultimate
  • Price as tested: £27,995
  • Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol
  • Power: 161bhp
  • Torque: 280Nm
  • 0-60mph: 11.8 seconds
  • Top speed: 117mph
  • Fuel economy: 39.8mpg
  • Emissions: 162g/km CO2
  • Mileage: 1,349
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