Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

SsangYong Korando Sports 2.0 EXT

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

SsangYong Korando Sports 2.0 EXT

Article excerpt

Byline: Patrick James

SSANGYONG is not a name that readily trips off the lips. "I thought they made TVs", said one wag.

But their models, a bit like those other Koreans Hyundai and Kia of a few years ago, are beginning to make people sit up and take notice.

This is especially true in the case of the Korando Sports which looks like a people carrier at first sight, a cunning disguise that masks the fact that it more like a double cab commercial pick-up.

The flat back with the removable roof gives the game away as the does the towbar, the four-wheel drive capability, the ground clearance and huge wheels.

But there's more to it than that. Unlike some commercial types, this big beast has a car-feel. The interior looks like a car, with plenty of room for three in the rear, it drives like a car and with the quiet diesel engine you could easily be in a family saloon.

Running costs are not much more than a family saloon, with excellent fuel economy although CO2 emissions are high.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine has plenty of grunt, with good pulling power through the gears, automatic in the case of this vehicle.

It is also pretty quiet and at motorway speeds is barely audible. It has a claimed average consumption of 37.7mpg, but then there's the best bit of all, the price.

This model featured the kind of equipment you would find in a top range executive car, but you get the lot for a shade under PS22,000 on this range topping version, but models start from just PS18,295 and offer a five year, unlimited mileage warranty.

A real bargain if you are not bothered by the name - and the fact that some of the plastic finish feels cheap, and in some cases nasty, especially the sharp edges on some switches and trim.

And then there's the removable ashtray that sits in the central console and does nothing but rattle, forcing you to take it out or jam it in with paper. …

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