Our cars: Ssangyong Korando - July
Week ending July 27
Driven this week 464 miles
Ssangyong Korando review
I borrowed the Korando for a weekend of family-carrying duties, which it carried out with minimum of fuss.
A trip to the cycle park was on the cards, followed by a visit to Tesco. The boot was big enough to cope with a kid's bike, a toddler's trike and half a dozen or so shopping bags.
At the cycle park another dad came up to me wanting to talk about the Korando. He'd never heard of Ssangyong before but was quite taken with the car's looks. His wife, meanwhile, loved the Vitamin Red paint work.
She was expecting another child so they needed to upsize into something bigger than their Mazda 3.
Would the Korando fit the bill? He had a look around the boot and the cabin but when I told him the car was the best part of £19,000 he wasn't quite so keen.
Week ending July 20
Driven this week: 489
Gripes department: there is nothing wrong with building a car to a budget, and in some respects there is currently a badge of honour for products that avoid being wastefully ostentatious, but the clock in the centre of the Korando's dashboard is nasty. It looks like a digital watch from the '70s, with no effort having been made to choose an attractive look and feel.
It's a small thing, but because the rest of the Korando's interior is reasonably well finished for the money, it's the stand-out item that reminds you of its price-point.
In other news, the cruise control stopped working on a journey home the other night – the stalk became unresponsive to any inputs. The next time I drove it, all was fine so hopefully it was a one-off glitch.
Week ending July 13
Driven this week: 333 miles
An unexpected early opportunity to test the Korando's four-wheel-drive capability cropped up this week.
I was lucky enough to have a ticket for the British Grand Prix, and with some trepidation entered Silverstone's very muddy car parks. It was easy enough on the way in, but as we left it was evident that plenty were struggling, including a BMW X5 I saw being towed out.
The Korando made easy meat of the challenge though, and we made our escape without a hitch. Would a two-wheel drive Korando have been as drama-free? It's hard to be sure, but the reassurance of having all wheels driven on sensible tyres was very welcome on Sunday.
Ssangyong Korando 2.0 SX
Week ending July 6
Driven this week: 189 miles
A week into running our Ssangyong Korando, and the first impressions are in: we know that it’s not a class leader, but it has a workman-like quality that can be appreciated at the price.
It cruises with relative comfort, albeit missing the refinement of its pricier competitors.
Working my way around the controls has flagged up a few issues, and I suspect that over the coming months the Kenwood-Garmin infotainment unit may come in for a bit of criticism.
As a family car, we have also identified that we’ll be short on boot space, but rear passenger space is surprisingly good.