Once again, the Korean brand is in the news. This time around, it was the media test drive of Ssangyong range of vehicles in a rather short, but guided road test of some models put together recently by Stallion Motors, owners of the Ssangyong brand in the country. That Saturday morning, local automobile journalists including BusinessDay put the Korean engineered SsangYong range to test on the busy streets of Lagos Island.
Among the SsangYong models in the test drive are the 104kw (139 hp) Kyron mid–size sport utility vehicle (SUV), the stylish and modern Korando SUV with strong charismatic presence and the new Actyon Sports Pick-up utility truck that is uniquely designed to outmanoeuvre competition with its atypical kerb weight of 1,944kg (which is approximately 400kg more than several other contenders in its class).
The test drive which began at the Headquarters of Stallion Motors Nigeria Limited, Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island Lagos saw the journalists drive through the Civic Centre along Lekki-Epe Expressway to Falomo, Kingsway Road through Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Onikan to Ahamadu Bello Way, Bar Beach and back to the Head office.
SsangYong vehicles aren’t entirely new in the global marketplace after it debuted 30 years ago, when the first generation models were introduced in 1983 – 1996. This was followed by the second generation SsangYong in 1996 – 2006.
Now in the third production generation, the Korean automaker claims SsangYong have what it takes to compete in the global automobile marketplace. The SsangYong Kyron for example is smart and sassy, offering competitive SUV package that is refined to drive though roomy and attractively priced. “The seating arrangement is supportive and comfortable and they come in either the elegant deluxe cloth trim or leather upholstery material. And it’s easy to get yourself comfortable behind the steering wheel and the dash, however, the instrument design is very nice.”
A peep into the cabin of the Kyron reveals how supremely spacious and well finished the inside is. The switch-gear inside has a pleasant design, and the big chunky switches give another dose of manly strength to match the stylish, tough exterior lines.
However, the rear seat accommodation is similarly practical and could recline by up to 15 degrees while the decently sized boot includes a neat under-floor storage compartment.
Also handy in the Kryon are cruise control, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel with controls for the audio system as well as electric folding side mirrors, automatic air conditioning and a climate control function.
An electronic sunroof with an anti-trap blind, tilting front headrests with a battery saver feature and front fully adjustable electric heated seats with memory and lumbar support positions equates it with a luxury SUV.
Alternatively, SsangYong Korando offers new level of value with class leading performance and comfort. Stylishly designed with modern SUV features and a strong charismatic presence, the SsangYong Korando is supported by an economic petrol or diesel engine that offers great value.
Nadkarni said the dynamism of the Actyon Sports Pick-up is manifest in the structure of the ladder frame chassis which ensures good-off road capability and sophisticated Part Time drive systems. He said the vehicle is built and powered by four – cylinder 2.3litre petrol engine that generates 149Ps of power and 214Nm of torque at 3500rpm.
Interestingly, the Actyon Sports ‘Pick-up’ rides quietly on smooth surfaces when driven sensibly and it stays relatively refined with excellent power from an efficient 2.3litre petrol engine. Aside Nigeria, SsangYong is sold in 1,250 sales networks in over 96 countries and are actively entering emerging markets by establishing local bases.