Ssangyong has a strange history in Ireland. One day we were seeing Rextons towing trailers and horseboxes everywhere you looked, and a myriad of taxi drivers had the Rodius as their vehicle of choice. Then, all of a sudden, in 2008 the numbers started dropping and the brand stopped being sold here. In 2013 they came back and while the Rexton stayed the same, and the Rodius took a bit of a change, the manufacturer brought with them some new models to this country. The Ssangyong Korando was one such vehicle. This SUV is up against incredibly large competition from the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, the Ford Kuga and more. The biggest thing in the Korando’s favour is the price tag is reasonable enough at entry level.
Before Ssangyong left Ireland a lot of their engine line-up was taken straight out of older Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The Korando brought with it a new Ssangyong-built engine. This is a 2.0 litre engine called D20DTR and it offers a nice 149 PS and maximum torque of 360Nm. This vehicle is mated to a six speed manual gearbox that can on occasion feel a little clunky.
The steering of the Korando is heavy and it doesn’t offer an amazing amount of feedback. This car also suffers a lot from body roll. The suspension set up is good and it deals with road imperfections with ease.
We would love to report that the self-built 2.0 litre engine was hushed and refined, but sadly we can’t. The engine is loud and when it’s pushed it just gets louder. Things aren’t as bad at cruising speeds but the rumbles are still there. The vehicle also lets in a substantial amount of road noise.
The interior of the Korando is dull and full of cheap looking plastics. It reminds us of the interior of an old Corolla from the 1990s. However cheap the dash may look it does seem to be a sturdy material. The infotainment system within the vehicle is extremely basic too and it’s pretty much just a stereo – but surprisingly it’s the best looking area on the dash. The seats are comfortable and there is a lot of driving positions for the driver. The steering wheel can be easily manoeuvred.
We are not aware of the Ssangyong Korando having undergone the Euro NCAP safety tests. What the vehicle comes equipped with is six airbags surrounding the interior with dual bags to the front, side bags to the front and full-length curtain airbags. The back seats have ISOFIX child seat anchorage points too. The Korando comes with Electronic Stability Control and Hill Start Assist – which will be good for those of you who have difficulty when it comes to dealing with hill starts. Other safety features in the vehicle include an optional tyre pressure monitoring system.
The Korando is a very practical vehicle and this will easily and comfortably transport five adult passengers. The front are offers ample room and there is zero head or leg room issues. The same observation can be made about the rear. Another nice touch about the rear of this vehicle is that the floor is flat so passengers in the middle do not need to place their legs either side of the tunnel.