Ssangyong Korando long-term test review: report 2

The new Ssangyong Korando is aiming to offer unbeatable value while still excelling at the family SUV brief – we have ours for four months to see if it still has the ingredients to succeed...

Ssangyong Korando side

The car Ssangyong Korando 1.6D Ultimate Run by Max Edleston, junior photographer

Why it’s here The new Korando aims to take on the family SUV class leaders with improvements to its engines, suspension and interior quality. Over the next four months, we'll find out if it can do just that

Needs to be Spacious enough to carry all of my photography gear plus any passengers, comfortable enough to travel all over the country in and connected enough to function as a mobile office

Mileage 6581 List price £31,995 Target Price £31,536 Price as tested £31,995 Options fitted None Test economy 42.4mpg Official economy 43.5mpg

13 December 2019 – A baptism of fire

When I begin driving a new car, I like to have a week or so just driving to and from the office to help get used to its features, the way it drives and how I should drive it to get the most from it. However, with the Ssangyong Korando Ultimate, I didn't have the opportunity – after just a few days it was thrown straight into heavy-duty work.

First up, I filled it with camera kit and a weekend bag and hit the road on the 300-mile round trip to see my parents up North. After this, it helped me move some rather large bits of furniture into my new flat, battled the incredibly wet weather in the North-East of the UK and saw me pushing the very limits of its fuel range.

What have I learnt from all of those trips? Well, the Korando’s boot space is impressive. When the rear seats are in their normal upright position, I have a 551-litre boot that allows me to easily store all of my photographic equipment safely and securely. Beyond that, when the rear seats are folded down, there’s an enormous 1248-litre cavern available; getting an office chair in the back, along with a whole host of other items, proved a cinch.

A particular boon during the flat-moving process was the Korando’s smart powered tailgate. Besides simply opening electrically, it automatically opens the boot when it senses you standing behind the car with the keys in your pocket. This made everything far easier when I was carrying a full load of bags and boxes. However, I do find the tailgate rather slow to open and would love it if there was a setting I could change to increase or decrease its speed. Time is money, after all.

Ssangyong Korando with boot full

As you might have noticed over the last few weeks, the UK has suffered from both torrential rainfall and declining temperatures over the last few months, and my Korando suffered some minor injuries as a result of the rain.

After hitting a large puddle of the M6 northbound motorway, a couple of bits of the undertray were torn off and left scraping along the ground. Whilst initially a bit shocked that it happened, I afterwards realised that I got off lightly, because the standing water around me meant that I could easily have been left without control of the car. A swift trip to the dealer, and the car is back with me.

Ssangyong Korando underside

Of course, covering so many miles – almost 5000 miles over two months, in fact – has allowed me to test the Korando’s remaining range indicator and fuel economy comprehensively, and I’ve been able to return upwards of 40mpg on most trips, with a high of close to 50mpg if I’ve been cruising on the motorway. With a range of 410 miles, I find myself stopping for fuel less in the Korando than I did in my previous Suzuki Vitara or Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

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