With a new distributor in Ateco Automotive, this year saw a model rationalisation and a reprice for the SsangYong Actyon ute. It now represents better value given the level of standard equipment and what you actually get for your money.
We've tested the Actyon Sports model and have positive thoughts about the tough Korean workhorse. You'd certainly shop it against any of the other one tonne Japanese (Thai-built) utes because it stacks up against any of them. In fact, the Actyon is better than some of the more favoured offerings in the segment on a number of scores and not just price. Build quality for one.
The standard load tray liner springs to mind, a 600kg payload is also worth keeping in mind and the tray shape lends itself to different applications because of its depth and width. They also include the tray lock into the remote central locking system. All good sensible stuff.
The truck's front that looks as good as anything else on the market and is a decided improvement on the first hideous face on Actyon. The rear looks the same and is purely functional rather than a style setter.
Kit inside the cabin is generous including aircon, cruise, a decent audio system, trip computer, leather wheel, power ancillaries, auto folding wing mirrors, Bluetooth phone and audio and a multi function wheel.
But it's under the skin where the Actyon really shines. Those in the know will only need to get down on their knees for a look under the rear to appreciate the level of engineering in this light commercial.
For a start it has a robust ladder chassis complete with coil spring suspension all round. The rear axle is located by a multi-link system and feels robust enough to take 600kgs easily. It has a familiar look mechanically - possibly due to the influence of Mercedes-Benz years ago when it owned a share in Ssangyong.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
The four cylinder engine is a 2.0-litre VM Motori unit with 114kW/360Nm outputs. There's a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed auto available (we had the auto) and it offers selectable 4WD by a dash mounted dial. Combined fuel consumption in this 2.0 tonne vehicle rates 7.9-litres/100km.
We clocked about 1000km in the Actyon and it served to verify our favourable impression of the vehicle. The cabin is large and easily takes five with plenty of rear seat legroom and large rear doors. We think the three star crash rating listed on ANCAP's website from 2010 may be out of date. It has much more safety kit than it did back then.
The drive experience is good with better comfort than most of the competition thanks to the coil spring suspension. But the load height might be an issue for some. Engine performance is strong even when fully laden and there's minimal noise or vibration from anywhere.
It sits on the road well limited by the height and suspension calibration and remember, this is a working truck, not a sports sedan. The interior is comfortable particularly the seats and we like the style of the fully soft feel dash (other manufacturers take note).
Would we put down our hard earned on the Actyon? Yes, and pocket the difference between it and the 'Japanese' one tonners which are no better at best.
SsangYong Actyon Tradie
Price: from $26,990
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel, 114kW/360Nm
Tranmission: 6 speed manual
Thirst: 7.3L/100 km (RWD), 7.4L/100km (4x4)