SsangYong Korando ES

Korando2Caroline Kidd spent a week behind the wheel of the new compact SUV from SsangYong, the Korando

What is it? The Korando is SsangYong’s compact, lifestyle SUV, a car that  promises the practicality of a 4×4, the accessibility of a family hatchback, and the capability to go from muddy campsite to urban school run.

Who is it aimed at? SsangYong are aiming the Korando at families but with the increasing popularity of SUVs we can see the Korando appealing to anyone who enjoys a high driving position, chunky SUV styling and an “I can go anywhere” attitude.

Styling? SsangYong have called on the services of Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro to give the Korando some style. And it’s worked – you won’t be embarrassed getting out of this one. The robust SUV styling, and details like the twin exhausts, alloys wheels, roof rails and spoiler combine to give the Korando a sporty and purposeful look.

Under the Bonnet: There is only one engine option available for the Korando. The standard 2.0-litre diesel engine produces 149bhp and 360Nm of torque and has all the power anyone could need in an SUV. The Korando has a 2 tonne towing capacity so if you have a caravan or a horsebox to pull the Korando will be very happy to do so.

What about Inside? It is obvious that SsangYong have tried to give the Korando a more upmarket feel and while the standard of the interior is generally good, it falls a little short of the mark due to some of the hard plastics used that don’t add much to the aesthetic appeal. The dash is well laid out but a little dated looking. There is loads of head and legroom and rear passengers are very well catered for. The rear seats have a reclining function too. There are some nice well-hidden cubby holes throughout the cabin and there is a large boot with some more handy storage compartments underneath the floor. There is a handy hook in the passenger footwell to keep handbags/shopping bags secure.


On the Road? Behind the wheel there is a good commanding driving position. The 2.0-litre diesel engine has plenty of power and settles down well to a cruise on the motorway. On the more uneven road surfaces the ride suffers a bit and you feel every bump. The steering is numb with little feedback making driving on country roads less of a pleasure. But around town the light steering works to the Korando’s advantage.

And Safety? The Korando comes with ESP and 6 airbags as standard but has not yet been tested for a Euro NCAP rating.

Options? With a choice of six speed manual or automatic transmissions, buyers can opt for S/LE or ES/EX trim.  All variants come equipped with cruise control, ESP with Hill Start Assist and reverse parking sensors as standard, while the ES and EX come with sunroof, climate control, leather upholstery and heated front and rear seats

What about fuel economy? The 2.0-litre diesel engine offers good fuel economy. The Korando returns 48.7mpg on a combined cycle and CO2 emissions are  147g/km.

Okay so the Verdict? The Korando offers all the space a family could need and it looks smart too. The Korando is let down by its less than perfect ride and handling, and the quality of some of the materials used in the cabin. But at sub £14,000 prices and with an impressive level of standard equipment to boot, the Korando is a very affordable SUV and won’t cost the Earth to run, despite that 2.0-litre monster under the bonnet.

Why you’ll buy one? Sporty Looks; Cheap; Towing Ability

Why you won’t? Numb Steering; Bumpy Ride; Interior Quality



KIA Sportage – £17,495 – £28,695

Hyundai ix35 – £16,765 – £27,365


SsangYong Korando ES 2.0-litre 149PS 6-Speed FWD

Engine: 1998cc diesel, 149bhp @3400-4000rpm, 360 @Nm 2000-3000 rpm
Max Speed: 111mph
0-62 mph: 10.7 seconds
Emissions : 147 g/km
Model price range: £13,971 – £18,721
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP: Not available
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 48.7pmg
Boot Capacity Seats Up (down) : 486 Litres (1312)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
Length: 4410mm
Width: 1830mm
Height: 1710mm
Wheelbase: 2650mm


For more information check out 


Caroline Kidd


19th September, 2013




Author: wheelsforwomen

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