But, what if I were to acquaint you the Korando started its activity way aback in 1983 as a Jeep CJ-7? Actually, the ancestors timberline goes aback alike further, to 1964, aback the aggregation again accepted as Ha Dong-Hwan Motor Aggregation began accumulating Jeeps for the US armed armament and United Nations Command.
The amnion addled in the 1970s and ’80s, but in 1983 the now CJ-7-based Korean-assembled Jeeps were renamed Korando. They remained in assembly until 1996 aback the second-generation, based on a beneath SsangYong Musso chassis, was launched into Asia, Europe (1997) and Australia in 1998.
Now in its fourth generation, this all-new SsangYong Korando couldn’t be added removed from that Jeep genesis, now attractive added like one of its cross-town rivals from Kia or Hyundai. No bad thing.
On analysis we accept the 2020 SsangYong Korando Ultimate petrol front-wheel drive, one of four petrol and two agent variants in the added Korando range. Priced at $36,990 drive-away, the Korando plays, ostensibly, in the small-SUV segment.
Yet, its exoteric ambit allege to the abutting articulation up – all-embracing across of 4450mm with a wheelbase of 2675mm, a amplitude of 1870mm and acme of 1620mm. Compare that to the Mazda CX-5 we had in the CA barn at the aforementioned time – 4550mm/2700mm/1840mm/1680mm – and there’s not abundant in it.
Conversely, a quick blink at the new Mazda CX-30, itself a adversary in the small-SUV segment, shows the Korando is measurably longer, added and taller. We’re gonna go with average SUV, then. And that makes this little (medium) Korean a tantalising prospect, absolutely on amount and equipment.
Let’s attending at what your $36K drive-away gets you. The abbreviate of it, basically, is everything: 19-inch alloys, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone altitude control, sunroof, ability windows with the fronts auto up and down, ability tailgate, push-button start, tyre burden monitoring, rain-sensing wipers, LED daytime alive lights, auto headlights, ability folding and acrimonious mirrors, and aloofness glass.
Plus, there’s a 10.25-inch agenda disciplinarian display, covering seats, a acrimonious covering council wheel, acrimonious and cooled advanced seats, acrimonious rear seats, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, and Bluetooth connectivity. And they’re aloof the highlights in a continued account of accepted kit.
That akin of accessories is usually begin alone in cartage abundant college up the medium-SUV aliment chain, so SsangYong’s comedy for the advantageous articulation is off to a acceptable start.
Sliding central the Korando is an exercise in affable surprise. It’s a well-resolved cabin, with accessible architecture influences from the Germans, but it all gels nicely. Doesn’t feel bargain either. Alike the doors abutting with a acceptable ‘thunk’.
Everything is logically laid out, while the mix of abstracts is okay. There’s a bit too abundant piano atramentous for my claimed taste, and if we dig a little deeper, there are some fitment issues. But overall, the berth is presentable and functional, and feels a footfall or two aloft what its pricepoint suggests.
The seats are comfortable, the council caster feels solid, and the 10.25-inch disciplinarian affectation is configurable to clothing your own style. It’s a bit BMW in its architecture and layout, but arguably bigger in its functionality. Kudos.
A few things account pointing out: there’s alone a distinct USB point in the advanced row, and a distinct 12V socket. You like agenda radio? Too bad. It’s AM/FM only. The additional row has aloof a distinct 12V socket, no USB points, nor does that row accept any air vents.
The additional row is spacious, though, with affluence of allowance in all the key areas. The seats are comfortable, although the average pew is animated and firmer than the outboard seats. Those outboard seats are heated, too, a aberration at the akin of the segment. It’s ablaze and aerial there, with acceptable afterimage acknowledgment to a acceptable glasshouse with a convenient window line. Sunroof helps, too.
A key agency in the articulation is cossack space. With the aback row in use for people, there’s 551L of burden area. That expands to 1248L with the additional row bankrupt in 60:40 fashion. It’s a abysmal boot, too, with a aerial lip so you’ll be appropriation your actuality in and out, rather than sliding. Some hooks will accumulate your accoutrements secure.
That abyss additionally hides addition shortcoming. No additional tyre, aloof some broth and an aggrandizement kit. These things amount to some buyers.
So far, so good. Sit central and it’s all affably surprising, with a akin of accessories that’s adamantine to accept for the money, and abundant clarification to accomplish this feel like a nice ancestors SUV. But how does it drive?
The account is – mostly – good. Powering the Korando is a 1.5-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol with a appropriate 120kW (at 5500rpm) and 280Nm (between 1500–4000rpm). For the account of allegory only, the Mazda CX-5 in FWD trim ekes out 115kW and 200Nm in a amalgamation belief a ample 1559kg (kerb). The Korando tips the scales at 1435kg (kerb). Yes, it’s dimensionally smaller, but alone by a hair’s across or two.
The net aftereffect is the Korando is a accommodating actor on the road, with a alive address that we found, absolutely frankly, a bit surprising. There’s a moment’s averseness from the six-speed auto manual sending drive alone to the advanced wheels, mainly from standstill or aback you ask added of the contrarily accommodating little agent for an overtake, say. Circumspection is your friend.
On the move, though, there’s little to accuse about, the manual alive accurately in bike with the four-pot turbo to accept you alive nicely.
Its alley manners, too, are decent. The ride is adjustable and, importantly, quiet. Bump assimilation is acceptable – MacPherson struts up front, multi-link at rear – alike over beyond hits. There’s little in the way of crashiness or porpoising, the Korando artlessly arresting the bits of our avant-garde anchorage with a calm demeanour.
There’s artlessly an adjustable attributes to the Korando in the way it drives and handles. Is it a firecracker dynamically? No, nor does it charge to be. But, the Korando is altogether accomplished at actuality apparent some hustle, if that’s your bent.
There’s one area, though, which could be improved. One CA aide who spent time abaft the caster noticed the Korando wasn’t the happiest affair in the wet, with a ability to understeer. Not ideal. Maybe swapping out the OEM Nexen elastic (235/50R19) ability action some improvement.
The Korando wears a best ANCAP appraisement awarded in 2019, acknowledgment to appropriate crash-testing after-effects (it denticulate 88 per cent for developed protection, 86 per cent for adolescent occupant, and 68 per cent for accessible alley user) affiliated to an all-encompassing apartment of alive assurance systems.
How extensive? Autonomous emergency braking, all the ‘lanes’ – lane-keeping assist, lane-changing assist, lane-departure admonishing – front-vehicle alpha active (which lets you apperceive the agent in advanced has confused off while you weren’t advantageous attention), adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic active and intervention, hill-start assist, acropolis coast control, advanced and rear parking sensors, and a rear-view camera are key highlights.
SsangYong’s ‘777’ business account shows how austere it is about actuality advised in a awash market. That’s seven years’ assurance (unlimited clicks), seven years’ roadside assistance, and seven years’ capped-price servicing. Application intervals are every 12 months or 15,000km, and anniversary appointed appointment to the branch will amount a absolutely reasonable $295.
Our anniversary with the Korando Ultimate netted a accumulated ammunition burning acknowledgment of 11.9L per 100km, which is a tad on the agog side, alike added so aback compared to SsangYong’s 7.7L/100km claim. In mitigation, a big block of that was spent in the bullwork of Sydney traffic, and we’re abiding added and best artery runs would see that cardinal bead substantially. The Korando additionally requires 95RON as a minimum.
There’s a lot to like about the SsangYong Korando. It’s absolutely a value-packed hypothesis aback you accede aloof how abundant has been awash into this challenger-brand small-to-medium SUV. That it drives, mostly, as able-bodied as it does was a affable surprise. And that’s the one anticipation I accumulate advancing aback to aback I anticipate about the SsangYong Korando Ultimate: an agreeable and hasty little package.
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