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Future models - SsangYong - Korando

New-look SsangYong Korando on the way

Facelift: The forthcoming, updated SsangYong Korando has a more squared-off nose design.

SsangYong’s Giugiaro-designed Korando budget SUV gets a makeover

SsangYong logo13 Aug 2013

BUDGET car-maker SsangYong has given the Korando small SUV a mid-life makeover, headlined by cosmetic tweaks, additional equipment and reduced NVH levels.

The revised model, which judging by first overseas images bodes for a possible move upmarket, is slated to hit Australia in early 2014. The existing Korano currently sells here from $23,990 drive-away, undercutting most rivals in the booming small SUV segment.

Leading the changes is a new frontal styling treatment, although the current Giugiaro-designed Korando’s side profile appears unchanged. The rounded headlights, grille, lower intake and bumpers have been given a bolder, squared-off appearance.

The overseas versions are said to feature soft-touch dash materials, woodgrain trim, heated and cooled seats and optional fiery red leather trim.

The new fascia is available - presumably on higher-spec versions - with a seven-inch touchscreen, 3D navigation and a premium Infinity sound system.

SsangYong - Korean-based but owned by Indian conglomerate Mahindra and Mahindra - also claims to have improved fuel economy by up to 8.4 per cent for front-drive, automatic versions, although as not made clear precisely how.

New engine mountings and a more rigid sub-frame are said to reduce noise, vibration and harshness by around 10 per cent. A new tyre-pressure monitor also joins the specification list.

It’s unclear if the engine range gets any other tweaks. Australian versions launched here in February 2011 came standard with a 129kW/360Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel unit, which was joined in February this year by a front-drive, 109kW/191Nm 2.0-litre petrol price leader.

SsangYong’s Australian importer has sold 474 Korandos here this year, accounting for more than 50 per cent of the brand’s total sales here.

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