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SsangYong Korando 2014 Review

EXPERT RATING
6
Chris Riley road tests and reviews the SsangYong Korando 2WD, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Just like Kia and Hyundai, SsangYong is a Korean manufacturer of cars. But unlike the first two, the “other” Korean has failed to make much of a dent in the Australian market. That could change with a wave of new, more attractive models.

PRICE / FEATURES

The five-seat Korando is priced from $27,990 driveaway for the two-wheel drive petrol S model or $32,990 for the better equipped, all-wheel drive SX turbo diesel. They have been ticketed against the likes of Kia’s Sportage and the Hyundai ix35, but could find themselves blind-sided by Mitsubishi’s good looking ASX for around the same money. 

Korando ticks most of the boxes, with air, leather, cruise, Bluetooth, heated front seats, 17 inch alloys, a rear vision mirror that dims automatically and rear parking sensors as standard.

But it misses out on a reverse camera and satellite navigation (nav is apparently in the too hard basket at the moment).  However it comes with a full-size alloy spare plus five-year, 100,000km warranty, as well as  roadside assistance for five years - but does not include fixed price servicing. 

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

The entry level Korando, subject of our test, is powered by a 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol engine that delivers slightly more power and torque than before at 110kW and 197Nm, and is paired with a six-speed auto. There is no manual this time around.

The auto offers manual mode via a rocker switch on the shift lever and fuel consumption for the petrol model is rated at 7.9 litres/100km (we were getting 9.3). The petrol model also has a tow rating of 1500kg (diesel is 2000kg).

DESIGN / STYLING

Designed by Italdesign Giugiaro, it is no surprise that it looks attractive. The third generation it is now over three years old now but has received a mild cosmetic makeover since launch here 18 months ago.

The front grille and lower apron have been revised, with slightly different lights front and back - but apart from that the rear looks exactly the same. Fit and finish, particularly inside the car, is impressive. In fact, we’d go as far as saying it’s better than the ASX.

SAFETY

Like most SsangYongs it is yet to receive a crash rating. The last one to be tested was the ute way back in 2010 when it received three out of five stars. But with a full suite of safety systems including six airbags, electronic stability control and roll over protection, distributors Ateco will be looking for something better than that. 

DRIVING

The 2.0-litre petrol model delivers adequate if uninspiring performance. The engine produces a little less power than the Kia and Hyundai competitors,  but exactly the same figures as the Mitsubishi. The trouble is the Mitsu with a CVT style transmission delivers livelier performance and even slightly lower fuel consumption.

The driver’s seat offers a good range of adjustment including a lumbar switch, but while the steering wheel tilts it lacks reach adjustment. The six-speed auto permits the driver to change gears manually, with a change button positioned high on the right side of the transmission lever. It is designed to be operated by thumb but can be tricky to use.

The ride and handling reflect the fact that it is designed primarily as an urban vehicle. On country back roads it begins to lose composure and needs some real torque for overtaking. 

The fact is essentially the same car was $25,990 drive-away last year and it really needs a point of difference to get it across the line. The VM Motori-sourced diesel when it arrives later in the year is sure to be the pick – but it’s going to cost you $5000 more.

Pricing guides

$12,990
Based on 6 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$9,650
Highest Price
$14,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
S 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $6,300 – 9,790 2014 Ssangyong Korando 2014 S Pricing and Specs
SX 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $9,100 – 13,640 2014 Ssangyong Korando 2014 SX Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.