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An excellent ride quality and improved exterior styling mean the new Ssangyong Korando SUV now gives its competitors a real challenge.

05 Dec 2020

With the local compact crossover segment currently awash with options from numerous household brands, it will be hard for the relatively lesser-known Ssangyong Korando to standout.

Thankfully, this car has just what it needs to impress shoppers willing to take the road less travelled.

Sharpened styling

MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear allow the Korando to round off bumps on the road well
The Ssangyong Korando first strikes with styling that can now compete against the best in the segment.

Distinctive features include the chrome horizontal bars in the front grille as well as the silver roof rails and decorative bar that runs the width of the tailgate.

On the inside, the story continues with the air-conditioning vents integrated into the horizontal trim on the fascia. The paddle shifters also look like they belong in something far sportier than a practical SUV.

10.25-inch instrument cluster pairs with an 8.0-inch central touchscreen to make a pleasant cabin
The Ssangyong Korando also retains the sleek 10.25-inch instrument cluster first seen on the Tivoli, although our test car's instrument cluster did not switch over to the red colour scheme when driven in 'Sport' mode.

Apparent build quality is decent throughout the cabin, but I found the 'chrome' finished inserts around the gear selector a tad tacky.

Customer cars will come with leather seats fitted by Motorway at no additional charge.

Plenty of go

161bhp from a 1.5-litre four-cylinder allows the 1,435kg Korando to be quickly hustled through traffic
Even on the go the Korando continues to impress.

The 1.5-litre unit in the car delivers 161bhp and 280Nm of torque from 4,000rpm, which is more than enough for you to make urgent progress through traffic.

Driven in a relaxed manner, it is quiet, while shifts from the six-speed automatic are smooth. The cabin is also well-isolated from any drivetrain vibrations and wind noise. Engine start/stop transitions only transmit the slightest tremor into the cabin.

Head and legroom is more than generous for all passengers
Aggressive driving however will see the engine delivering rough vocals. It remains muted, but can be unpleasant in tone. And once you're up to speed tyre roar quickly becomes evident. Our test car was riding on Kumho Crugen HP71s.

Ride quality is also commendable in the Korando. The car does send a fair amount of road imperfections into the cabin, but larger bumps are very well rounded over. The 74% high-tensile strength steel platform makes its rigidity felt, allowing you to tackle corners with high confidence.

Practical considerations

551-litre boot space will allow you to ferry along plenty of cargo
The Ssangyong Korando also proves very capable for family errands. Its 551-litre boot space is more than a match for the already generous 520 litres found in the Peugeot 3008 and 485-litre offering in the Seat Ateca.

Head and legroom is more than plentiful for all passengers, although those seated at the rear will find themselves wanting for their own air-conditioning vents and USB ports. A 12V socket is provided instead.

Safety and convenience features such as Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control are unfortunately missing on local Korandos. You can also expect a poor fuel economy of 9.4km/L.

Will this Korando do?

At $122,888, the Ssangyong Korando matches to a T the price of the stylish 1.2-litre Peugeot 3008 in high-spec Allure trim, while the two-wheel driven Seat Ateca equipped with a seven-speed DSG is only $2,111 more (prices as of 3 December 2020).

For what it can offer, I don't think anyone should be asking for too much of a discount for the Ssangyong Korando.

Want to see just how much space is on offer in this Ssangyong Korando? We might have just the thing!

Car Information

Ssangyong Korando 1.5 (A)
Rate it


: $156,888

Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line Turbocharged

Engine Cap





120kW (161 bhp) / 5500 rpm



280 Nm / 4000 rpm



6-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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