• Monday, April 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Korando’s style and space

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 In times gone by, when you bought a Ssangyong, it means probably that you were getting a proper off-roader for a price tag way below the mainstream, and styling that also meets the expectation of the average urban dweller measure.

The latest Korando you see here is a completely different animal, however. At the moment, any prospective car buyer that visits a dealership will no doubt make up his or mind on the styling and albeit modest finishing of this Korean mould.

Neat, elegant and likeable are the words that come to mind here when taking a look at the vehicle although it’s not really going to stand out among the other softroaders perched on your nearest mall’s pavement. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because we all know what happens when Ssangyong it tries to stand out among other brands.

Inside, the Korando does feel a little more dated than most of its foes, thanks to a dashboard that looks like it was lifted from the previous-generation Toyota Corolla. Although the interior does impress with its functionality. There’s heaps of leg-stretching space for the back passengers and the rear seats also recline, so you’re more likely to hear the kids snore than ask “are we there yet” every few hundred metres.

Korando belongs to the class of soft roadies and that is exactly where the latest Korando pitches its tent. Gone is the low-range transfer case, along with the body-on-frame construction and even the all-wheel drive system is absent on all but the range-topping diesel. Call it basically a conventional car beneath the skin, you are not far from the real description.

In the area of model specification, the 2.0 petrol 4×2 high specification, is not radically cheaper than its rivals, but still represents an average saving in terms of cost implication with other competing brands. To meets the taste of the average car buyer, It is well equipped with goodies like leather seats and a parking aid coming standard.

That said, if you can live without these two items, along with fog lights, and you don’t mind downsizing your tyre sizes from 17-inch to 16”, the standard Korando 2.0 petrol is a temptingly affordable entry into the segment where it belongs.

Given how big the cabin feels, the boot is not exactly massive. But at best it could be described as adequate by smallish-SUV standards, but what is uppermost is that, its performance is somewhat adequate. Its 1998cc engine might be credited with a reasonable 110kW at 6000rpm and 197Nm at 4000. Regrettably, it fights a losing battle against the vehicle’s 1592kg weight problem.

Talking of ease of use, the Ssangyong fares pretty well regardless of what model you choose. The driving controls all operate smoothly, the steering is light and the ride is comfortably compliant. No complaints on the road holding front either.

A decent all-round attempt from Ssangyong, which is now owned and distributed by Ssangyong. If you want a stylish softroader on the cheap, rather steer yourself in the direction of the petrol base model. If driving satisfaction is what you’re after, then consider the Ssangyong this time around and go for broke to challenge the more established main rivals.

Korando is enough is well built enough in this contemporary times to tempt you.

So visit your nearest dealer outlet today to feel and savour the hospitality and nostalgic feeling offered by Ssangyong.

 

MIKE OCHONMA