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Car reviews - SsangYong - Sports Dual Cab - utility

Launch Story

28 Apr 2008

SSANGYONG has released a revised Sports Dual Cab utility model with a new Aussie-built automatic transmission plus a raft of detail revisions to other models that come on the back of an overhaul of the local distribution of the Korean brand.

A new distribution deal for SsangYong will see the revised range sold in Australia and New Zealand by SsangYong Motor Australasia – a new alliance between existing distributor Russell Burling and Western Australian automotive company, The Barbagallo Group.

SMA will continue to operate from its Mascot headquarters in Sydney, with Mr Burling commuting from NZ to assume day-to-day control as managing director, while Vince Barbagallo joins the company as director.

Mr Burling says The Barbagallo Group, which has been the WA distributor for SsangYong for the past four years as well as a retailer of a range of vehicle brands for more than 35 years, will help take SsangYong to new levels in Australia via a new focus on safety and eco-friendliness.

“Our new alliance with The Barbagallo Group gives the company a truly national approach as well as tremendous knowledge and expertise in the retail sector,” said Mr Burling. “It will give SsangYong the resources to build the brand across the country.

Meanwhile, the Actyon Sports drops the Actyon name (which continues for the wagon version) and is referred to as Sports Dual Cab.

The Sports Dual Cab comes in a standard XDi 4x2 and 4x4 models, and the previous Limited model is replaced by an even more highly specified luxury SPR 4x4 model.

The Sports Dual Cab 4x2 starts at $28,990 and 4x4 starts at $31990 in five-speed manual, while the new six-speed auto will be available in 4x2 from $31,990 and in 4x4 configuration from $34,990. The auto-only SPR costs $39,990.

In coming months SsangYong will announce the full details of a ‘tradies’ spec Sports, which will be available in a 2WD, manual-only, drum rear brakes, steel wheels and in white only for $24,990.

The main change to Sports Dual Cab is the new automatic transmission replacing the previous four-speed unit.

A new optional six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode via gearlever switch or steering wheel button controls was developed and manufactured by Australian company Drivetrain Systems International.

The Sports Dual Cab is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, which has no changes to its outputs of 104kW at 4000rpm and its torque maximum of 310Nm at 1800rpm.

The SsangYong ute has coil rear springs, which is unusual for load-carrying utes normally equipped with the more heavy-duty (but less comfortable) leaf springs. The downside is the payload of 830kg, which is about 200kg lower than competitors.

As with all SsangYong models, the Sport Dual Cab will come with ESC, front and side SRS airbags, Anti Rollover Protection (ARP), Brake-force Assist System (BAS) and Hill Descent Control (HDC) as standard.

The entry-level model now has ABS brakes and rear disc brakes (instead of the previously fitted drums).

Cruise control is not available for the manual models, but SsangYong is working on a remedy for that.

The Sports Dual Cab also has steering wheel mounted controls for audio and cruise control Standard on auto, not available for manual), air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels, remote central locking for doors and tailgate, engine immobiliser and alarm and a protective tray and tailgate liner.

The new SPR model features heated and electrically adjustable front seats, leather trim, auto-on lights and rain-sensing windscreen wipers, rear parking sensors, 18-inch alloy wheels, climate-control air-conditioning with rear ducting, power folding mirrors, auto-dim interior rear-vision mirror and the six-speed automatic transmission.

Exterior colours for the Sports Dual Cab are: Scandal Red Marine Blue Cyber Grey Fine Silver Grand White and Space Black.

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