SsangYong Korando review

* New compact SUV * Price from: 16,995 * On sale now...

SsangYong Korando review

What is it? The Korando is SsangYongs all-new compact SUV that's designed to rival the likes of the Ford Kuga and VW Tiguan through keen pricing and generous equipment.

The range starts at just 16,995 and all versions have the same 2.0-litre diesel engine.

The only real choices are between manual and automatic gearboxes, and two- and four-wheel-drive configurations. There are three trims: S, ES and EX. We drove the top-spec four-wheel-drive version.

Whats it like to drive? The Korando's 173bhp engine makes for pleasingly swift progress the 0-62mph dash takes an identical 9.9 seconds with either manual or automatic transmission but the engine is clattery and raucous under hard acceleration.

The manual override system on the automatic gearbox isn't the most effective either. It's controlled by buttons on the steering wheel or a rocker switch on the gearlever, but neither gives much control over gear selection.

The Korandos light steering makes it easy to manoeuvre, but its short on feel. The soft suspension that takes the edge off harsh surfaces also allows too much body lean in corners.

Whats it like inside? The Korandos interior is notable for the large amount of standard equipment, rather than for its high-quality feel.

The leather seats are electrically controlled and heated, while steering wheel-mounted controls and cruise control are standard even at the lower end of the range.

Nothing feels particularly classy, though; the materials are sturdy enough, but most look rather cheap.

Theres lots of head- and legroom all-round, and the flat floor allows plenty of space for anyone in the central rear seat.

The boot is easy to use, with no awkward lip to haul luggage over, but at 486 litres it's significantly smaller than the 591-litre boot in the Hyundai ix35.

Should I buy one? Although the SsangYong undercuts the Hyundai ix35 and Kia Sportage on price and offers a higher level of equipment, it doesnt better its rivals in any other areas.

The quality of its interior materials are low-rent, while the diesel engine is noisy.

The other big drawback for the Korando is its running costs. Just the two-wheel drive model makes it beneath the crucial company car tax barrier of 160g/km of CO2, while fuel consumption is slightly behind that of rivals'.

What Car? says

Hyundai ix35
Kia Sportage