IF there was an award for the most improved car design over the last few years there would only be one winner, and that would be the Korean car maker Ssang Yong with their new Korando writes Bryan Longworth.
For this Korando is the best looking car by far ever produced by Ssang Yong and it is all due to its new well known designer Giorgetto Giugiaro or “Il maestro” who has worked wonders.
It competes with other small SUVs - such as the Kia Sportage - and the handsome Korando that also has a five year limitless mileage warranty.
My test car which looked good in its red paintwork was the top model the Korando EX auto 4x4 with a 2.0-litre diesel engine and six speed automatic transmission.
The four wheel drive transmission operates in two wheel drive mode for normal road conditions and when there is a potential loss of grip, as when driving in snow, the 4x4 system starts operating automatically and can be locked.
Apart from the sat nav the car was loaded with standard equipment including leather heated front and rear seats, electrically adjustable driver’s seat, puddle lamps, alloys, electrically adjustable heated and folding side mirrors, rear parking sensors, windscreen de-icer, sunroof and hill start assist, plus much more.
The Korando has a pleasing rounded shape and it is altogether such an improved and credible competitor in this sector.
The four cylinder engine provides a smooth spread of power and the automatic transmission does a good job with slick changes. With good road holding the Korando is enjoyable to drive in all conditions.
It has a quality interior and the dials and controls are easy to see and operate, although I felt the radio could have been more user friendly and I would have preferred the ignition key and remote door control to have been in one unit.
At the rear is a large and covered load area with a full size spare wheel underneath and the car will tow a two tonne braked trailer.
There is no doubt that Ssang Yong with the aid of Giugiaro has entered a new era and once he has worked his magic on future models the company’s credibility ratings will soar.
My Verdict: The maestro has produced a winner.
Model: Ssang Yong Korando EX auto 4x4
Engine: Four cylinder diesel.
Output: 175bhp @ 4000rpm.
Top speed: 115mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 9.9 seconds.
Fuel consumption: Combined 37.7mpg.
CO2 emissions: 199g/km.