S sangYong Korando ? Wasn't that a replica of a Jeep that found some friends, especially in southern Europe, until the 1990s? That's right, but more than 20 years and three generations later, the niche off-road specialist has become a mass-compatible compact SUV that, with its pleasing design and good price-performance ratio (base price: 22,990 euros), chases away one or two customers from other import brands should.
Korando number four is 4.45 meters long and 1.87 meters wide and five centimeters longer and wider than before, but slightly flatter than its predecessor. It is roughly the size of a Peugeot 3008 or Hyundai Tucson. Thanks to its wheelbase of 2.68 meters, the space available is impressive; behind the nearly 1.80 meter tall editor there is plenty of leg room for the rear passengers; Without a sunroof (1,000 euros, from Onyx equipment level) there is still a hand's breadth of air above the top of the head. The luggage compartment is also impressive: with the loading floor in place, it has a capacity of 551 liters, the roller cover fits into a compartment in the basement if required. Optionally, the tailgate opens and closes electrically powered (500 euros); Unfortunately, it is only available for the all-wheel-drive top model in conjunction with automatic transmission.
Significantly further developed interior equipment
On the engine side, the range remains manageable: SsangYong has one gasoline engine (163 hp /280 Nm) and one diesel (136 hp /320 Nm) for the Korando in its range, both of which meet the Euro 6d Temp emissions standard. In addition, both units can be combined with all-wheel drive and automatic as well as a total of five equipment lines. For our first trip we had a 1.6 e-XDi as a front-wheel driveAutomatic transmission in the top-of-the-range Sapphire equipment is available. In addition to the already standard safety systems (front collision warning system with emergency braking system, lane departure warning system, traffic sign recognition, high beam assistant, etc.), the latter includes numerous other safety and comfort extras, including LED lights, cross traffic warning systems and heated and ventilated partial leather seats. The almost complete equipment, however, drives the price of the Korean to at least 39,130 euros, but it can also be cheaper: two-zone air conditioning, reversing camera and touchscreen infotainment with smartphone connection are already available from the Amber equipment level (petrol with manual transmission from 25,990 euros ).
The first thing you notice in the Sapphire cockpit is the digital instrument cluster (10.25 inches), which is installed from the Onyx equipment line and offers the driver various display options, including the map display of the navigation system. The 9.2-inch touch display of the navigation system (from quartz) sits enthroned in the middle. The look and feel of the interior are okay and represent a clear step forward compared to its predecessor - and also to the smaller Tivoli.
Serene automatic, acceptable comfort
The diesel is Well insulated and acoustically restrained, the six-speed automatic converter from Aisin shifts up early in the normal program and lets the self-igniter pull. The machine also reacts calmly to a heavy foot on the accelerator or manual intervention using the steering wheel paddle; it is alien to any hectic pace. It only gets livelier when you set the driving program to 'Sport'. Then the transmission reacts nimbly to the driver's requests and puts the engine power in the limelight.
The chassis also copes well with spicier country road curves, keeps the Korando safely on course and only acknowledges high speeds with good-natured understeer at a late stage. It offers an acceptable level of comfort with weaknesses on the coarser joints and longitudinal grooves, which may also be due to the 18-inch tires installed. The Korando implements steering impulses precisely, but reacts somewhat sluggishly from the central position. The actuation forces are pleasant, the steering feel only becomes artificial when the lane assistant intervenes.