South Korean motoring brand Ssangyong is on the rise with its well-made and comfortable Korando.
Yes, guys, I know – it’s another SUV. Yawn. Oh, are you still here? Well, you should be because even though SsangYong’s Korando has a face only a mother could love, it’s a winner in every other department.
It’s a solid, comfortable motor with enough space for the brood. I know what I’m talking about here because I ferried my trio of kids around happily over Christmas. There were no complaints from the rear about the lack of space or comfort. They slept well on a couple of obligatory trips, and there were plenty of places to store their bottles of juice and electronic gadgets. The Korando’s boot does the job for a family, too. At no point did we have an issue fitting bags, presents and other family-related stuff into the Korean-made vehicle’s load area.
The compact crossover SUV is well-made, inside and out, and looks genuinely durable for years to come, which is what you’d hope for from your next main car. The automatic gearbox shifter looks like a golf club, and there are lots of slabs of black plastic, but it’s been put together with accuracy.
Whether you opt for a diesel or a petrol is up to you. Diesel isn’t the cool fuel to have anymore, but it’s still unbeatable if you’re regularly driving long distances. I only managed 29mpg in the 1.5 Petrol Ultimate Auto, on test here.
Behind the wheel, the Korando is quiet but a tad slow – it’ll get you to 60mph in 12 seconds. The steering is a little vague, too, but the delivery of power is even, helped by the able six-speed automatic gearbox.
The Ultimate version is well-appointed with an infotainment display, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. It also houses Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Outside, you get good-looking alloys shod with hard-wearing rubber.
What’s more, the SUV comes with a seven-year/150,000 mileage warranty. Oh, and if you’ve never heard of SsangYong, the word means “double dragon”. Yes, okay, the Korando isn’t exactly a fire-breathing beast, but the Korean brand is on the rise, so expect to see a lot more from it this decade, including cars with electric-only powertrains.