THIS autumn sees the arrival in the UK of SsangYong’s Korando Sports Utility Vehicle.
Previously seen around the world as a concept, the Korean carmaker showed a production-ready version at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
The Korando Sporst is aimed at drivers needing to combine a working vehicle with the benefits of four-wheel-drive with a family car.
The company claims it brings a new level of refinement to the SUV sector by blending the best attributes of a passenger car with the practical ability of a pickup. And with a towing capacity of 2.3 tonnes it should be more than able to cope with anything a family can throw at it.
“This is more a passenger car with pick-up versatility,” said Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK. “Consequently, it offers refinements that few of our competitors can match.
“SsangYong has a growing reputation for building extremely competent off-road vehicles, and the new Korando Sports draws on this pedigree. It’s an honest, reliable and highly capable vehicle yet extremely well equipped, and pound for pound will outclass many more expensive rivals.”
“The price of the new pick-up will be announced at its launch in October, and as you would expect from SsangYong, it will be extremely competitive,” said Steve Gray, marketing and communications director.
The Korando Sports is powered by the latest e-XDi active diesel engine which provides maximum power of 155PS and peak torque of 360Nm delivered providing ample performance both on and off road.
Inside the spacious cabin there’s a light and airy environment thanks to the large front, side and rear windows, while the careful blending of black and metallic finishes along with an LED illuminated instrument cluster has created a smart and refined interior.
With spacious accommodation for five adults — the rear passenger seats can even be reclined by up to 29 degrees — air conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity ensure comfort and convenience.
There are two models in the range, and while the SX is already comprehensively equipped, the EX comes with the luxury touch of leather upholstery with seat warmers, powered driver’s seat, distinctive 18-inch alloy wheels, heated, electrically adjustable and power folding door mirrors, and rear parking sensors. A six-speed automatic transmission with cruise control is also available as an option.
A large, flat rear deck provides a 2.04 sq m load area complete with load deck liner and anchor points. An optional rigid hard top is available to provide weather protection and security.
Constructed on a separate frame chassis, the mark of a serious off-roader, the new Korando Sports offers a very rigid structure to help protect occupants in the event of a collision. Accident avoidance and a sure footed performance off road are also enhanced by the electronic stability programme (ESP) — a rare feature on most pick-ups but standard on Korando Sports — active roll-over protection (ARP) and hill start assist (HSA).
As with all models in the SsangYong range, the new Korando Sports is covered by a best-in-class five-year limitless mileage warranty.All the major mechanical components are covered including wheel bearings, suspension joints and bushes, steering joints, shock absorbers and even the audio system. Wearable components such as clutch discs and brake friction materials which could have their life reduced by poor driving are covered for one year or 12,000 miles, and the battery and paintwork for three years.