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Car reviews - SsangYong - Korando - 5-dr wagon range


Ssangyong's make-or-break SUV is stylish, well equipped, with strong diesel

14 Feb 2011

SSANGYONG’S make-or-break Korando compact SUV is a complete departure for the South Korean brand, which has launched itself into the real world with thoroughly modern, more car-like design.

Gone is the rugged and rough body-on-frame construction of previous Korandos, replaced with a modern monocoque body with sleek lines from Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro armed with an up-to-the-minute Euro 5 diesel 2.0-litre engine, also from Europe.

With the help of new owner Mahindra and Mahindra – the Indian motor company – SsangYong is going straight to the heart of the fastest-growing market segment, where sales are dominated by suburbanites with a taste for coffee and easy driving.

The question is, will the Korando from one of the smallest car companies on the planet be able to match the competition from the heaviest hitters in the motor industry?
Model release date: 1 February 2011 to 1 April 2014

Previous model

SsangYong Korando

Released: May 2004
Ended: June 2007
Family Tree: Korando

THE third-generation SsangYong Korando – a re-working of the second generation – reintroduced the Korando nameplate to this country in May 2004 as the Korean brand made yet another foray into the Australian market.

, , Available in both hardtop and soft-top variants, the Jeep-like three-door Korando came with just one engine option – a 2.9-litre 88kW/258Nm five-cylinder diesel from Mercedes-Benz – even though petrol engines were available overseas.

, , The rough-and-ready Korando was renowned for its ruggedness, riding on a tough ladder chassis – a cut-down version of the bigger Musso platform – and no-nonsense, if unspectacular, off-road performance.

, , But, in the end, its lack of on-road sophistication and style overwhelmed its virtues, with the Korando going out of production in South Korea in 2006. Sales of remnant stocks drifted on until 2007 in Australia, before the then importer packed it in.

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