HAVING spent a pleasant half-an-hour sampling the many toys SsangYong gives you to play with on the Korando the thought crossed my mind that it wasn't going to be cheap to buy.
So it was with some surprise that I discovered the SE model's on-the-road price is a shade under Â£16,000 - excellent for a compact SUV crossover loaded to the gills with kit.
The first thing you notice - apart from the neat exterior with stainless steel front door kick plates, black-mesh grille, stylish 16-inch alloy wheels and roof rails - is the remote keyless entry giving access at the press of a button.
Slide on to the comfortable driver's seat which, along with the leather steering wheel, is fully adjustable, and a well-laid out dashboard and centre console greet you. Here you find the controls for an efficient air conditioning system and in-car entertainment linked to six speakers including a radio with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.
The steering wheel sports audio controls, the windows are powered as are the door mirrors which are also heated to remove frost during the winter.
Start to drive the Korando and the benefits of electric power steering giving the driver a good feel for what is happening on the road become apparent and when you hit a motorway, cruise control is there to ease your journey.
The outside world is kept at bay with good insulation and tinted windows while the generously proportioned modern cabin caters for five with ease. The big boot offers plenty of space for shopping or golf clubs and the rear seats fold flat when you need extra luggage room.
Plenty of safety equipment is also included with the Korando boasting a plethora of airbags, electronic help for the brakes and the car's stability, a tyre pressure monitoring system plus assistance with hill starts.
And the good news doesn't end there for this Ssangyong as it also benefits from an upgraded engine introduced this year giving a big power boost, better economy and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.
The 2.2-litre Euro 6 diesel engine, linked to a six-speed manual gearbox, propels the Korando from 0-62mph in a shade under 10 seconds on its way to a top speed of 115mph.
Pulling power is also improved by 11 per cent compared to the previous 2.0-litre model giving a better than average towing capacity of two tonnes - a bonus for caravan owners.
The e-XDi220 diesel uses fuel efficiently with a claimed figure in excess of 53.3 miles per gallon, although I found the real world figure to be more like the mid-40s.
The Giugiaro-styled five door Korando is decent to drive with corners handled competently by the front-wheel drive version - although there is a bit of body roll.
All-wheel drive is available offering off-road capability but the motoring demands of most people will be satisfied by the fuel-sipping model I drove.
The ride is reasonably smooth with the suspension coping with all but the most vicious of potholes.
All SsangYongs feel the benefit of the South Korean car maker's five-year warranty with unlimited mileage - giving you motoring peace of mind.