If you consider yourself to be classy rather than sporty and you’re after a compact SUV of the same nature check out the SsangYong Korando.
The Korean marque has returned to Ireland with a brand new lineup, spearheaded by the Korando, which it describes as a ‘classy utility vehicle’.
And it’s very aptly named for it is indeed a very classy looking car, with a tall and lean silhouette. Officially called Vitamin Red, the burnt orange colour of the test car turned quite a few heads.
Inside, the Executive grade car I was driving was spacious, with good leg and headroom back and front.
As there’s no transmission channel running through the centre of the car, three average sized adults can quite easily fit in the back seat.
The comfortable seats were upholstered in black leather with the brushed aluminium finishing and optional orange flecked mats brightening up the interior.
A compact SUV, the Korando offers a nice high driving position and the cockpit design very much has the driver’s interests at heart, with controls within easy reach and easy to use.
SsangYong offers a great spec in the Korando, even in the entry level S model, with cruise control, air conditioning, alloys, heated mirrors, heated front seats (a covetable luxury in the winter months), Bluetooth, USB port and steering wheel audio controls standard.
The sound quality from the six-speaker system was great, as was the Bluetooth streaming.
Additions in the E model I was driving included rear parking sensors, 17” alloy wheels; orange pack seat covering, tailored floor mats, roof rails, rear spoiler and auto dip rear view mirror.
SsangYong put a lot of thought into storage in this car, with loads of extra cubbies scattered throughout the cabin.
These include decent sized covered storage boxes in the centre console and the middle of the dash, centre armrest, and a storage tray in the centre console.
The glove compartment also has a storage shelf and netted storage space is to be found at the back of the seats and the back of the centre console storage box.
The front passenger footwell also accommodates a shopping bag hook for light bags.
There’s an underfloor storage compartment in the boot, and the cargo space can be extended by easily folding the rear seats. These lie flat, meaning you can fit a full sized bike into the back.
The SsangYong Korando is available in Ireland in just one engine type, a D20DTR 149ps diesel – six-speed manual.
Our test route saw us mainly on city streets and urban motorway, with some twisty country roads as well.
While speed isn’t its main perogative, the SsangYong Korando is respectable at the lights and once out of first it moves smoothly and swiftly through the gears and was a beautiful cruiser. It also handled well with light steering.
The engine, however, is on the noisy side and cabin soundproofing could be better.
Another little niggle is the proximity of the manual handbrake to the gear stick. Their closeness mean that if you don’t release the handbrake before putting the car into reverse you knock your hand off of it.
Unusually, the remote control fob for the Korando is separate to the car key. The fob also has a panic alarm for the car.
Overall, I really enjoyed the SsangYong Korando. It’s a stylish, well designed compact SUV that’s well worth a look.
Three models are available in Ireland, with prices starting from €25,995 for the entry level S trim. The mid-level E model I was driving costs from €28,800. It also comes with a five year warranty.
Engine: D20DTR 149ps diesel
Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 9.9seconds
Maximum Speed: 180kph
CO2 emissions: 147g/km
Combined fuel economy: 5.8l/100km
Annual road tax: €390
SsangYong back in Ireland with new Korando