Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ssangyong Korando

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ssangyong Korando

Article excerpt

Byline: Bruce Booth

YOU'VE got to admire SsangYong's determination and tenacity, for the Korean car firm is to give it yet another go at cracking the UK market.

Now with new owners - Indian engineering conglomerate Mahindra and Mahindra recently bought a 70 per cent stake in the company - lots has been happening at SsangYong, including the introduction of the brand new Korando crossover model, styled by Italian designers Giugiaro.

That was the company responsible for a host of fabulous auto creations such as the Mk 1 Golf, the DeLorean DMC-12 gull-wing, Lotus Esprit, Lamborghini Cala, Ferrari 250 GT Bertone, Maserati 4200 Spider and the Bugatti EB 118 and 218.

Giugiaro has come up with a neat, yet muscular-looking package for the Korando which will not look the least bit out of place in the car park of any major UK agricultural show.

While SsangYong's old seven-seater Rexton SUV and Rodius people carrier both return to these shores - albeit both heavily revised - it is the stylish and versatile Korando crossover, which is priced from pounds 16,995 in front-wheel-drive guise, that will spearhead the company's hoped-for resurgence through its 52- dealerstrong network.

Available in three trim levels, two or four-wheel-drive, with the choice of manual or automatic gearbox, all are powered by a gutsy Euro 5, 172bhp, two-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel engine with plenty of torque.

Fuel consumption varies between 37.7mpg and 44.4mpg while CO emissions range from 157g/km to 199g/km.

"The Korando is a great-value proposition, keenly priced, with a comprehensive list of standard equipment, market-leading five-year limitless mileage warranty, excellent towing capability and, with its long wheelbase, a spacious and airy interior." Not my words, but those of Paul Williams, the boss of SsangYong's UK importers.

Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? But to be fair, he's absolutely spot on, for the Korando really does what it says on the tin and would make an excellent choice for those looking for a competitively-priced motor but who also need something substantial to tow a caravan, horsebox or trailer. …

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