FIRST seen at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring, the latest SsangYong Korando has now reached our shores with a choice of two or four-wheel-drive, petrol or diesel power, manual or auto transmissions and four distinct trim levels with prices spanning a range from £19,995 to £31,995.
Initial choice of models is limited, however.
Ultimately there will be seven different variants to choose from. But petrol-engined models aren't scheduled to arrive until December and manual gearbox versions won't arrive in the UK until early 2020, meaning that initial choice is restricted to four, higher-spec, diesels with six-speed auto transmissions and a choice of two or four-wheel-drive, priced from £26,495.
Initially then, the new Korando is only available with a newly developed Euro 6D-T compliant 134bhp, 1.6-litre diesel engine which produces a maximum of 324Nm of torque. It's not going to break any speed records with a 0-60mph time of around 12 seconds but promises average fuel economy of up to 48.7mpg on the WLTP combined cycle.
Designed in-house by the South Korean company, the Korando has been significantly modernised both inside and out. It's an evolution of the previous design, says the company, and stand-out features include the distinctive ‘bird's wing' corporate grille, LED headlights, daytime running lights and stacked LED fog lights.
Inside, the latest Korando comes with more driver assistance and safety systems and top-of-the-range versions boast what SsangYong calls a fully-digital, ‘Blaze Cockpit' featuring an integrated wrap-around dashboard design - said to be inspired by the design of a classical string instrument - with a 10.25-inch full digital cluster and nine-inch AVN unit with a colour choice of 34 infinity mood lighting options.
All models feature an advanced infotainment system that includes DAB radio, Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come with the middle and top specification models, as does a reversing camera. Everything is displayed on either a nine-inch screen with Tom Tom navigation on top models or an eight-inch screen on mid spec model. Other features include remote power tailgate on top models and electronic parking brake on automatic variants.
Available safety features include forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist and driver attention alert. Other features dependent on trim level include an emergency call system, reversing camera, alarm, immobiliser, tyre pressure monitoring system, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamps, automatic speed sensing door locks, electronic parking brake with auto hold and parking aids front and rear.
Although there will eventually be four Korando models to choose from - ELX, Ventura, Pioneer and Ultimate - the petrol-engined, manual transmission ELX and Ventura models won't be available until next year. The Pioneer and Ultimate variants are available now with a diesel engine and automatic transmission in 2WD or 4WD with a 2WD petrol, auto Ultimate model to follow by the end of the year.