Ssangyong’s old models such as the awkward Musso and heavily updated Stavic, then you may see Ssangyong’s move to outsource the design of the Korando to one of the world’s great design houses as a clever one. While the edgier grille design found on this facelift is arguably less appealing and more generic than the 2011 original, it remains a well-proportioned and pleasingly stylish little soft-roader.
Step inside the cabin and you might again be pleasantly surprised. It is a relatively well-made and ergonomically impressive environment with plenty of space both front and rear, albeit one that lacks key features such as a touchscreen media system, a reverse-view camera or satellite navigation – though the lack of the latter at this price point is more forgivable. Instead, you are presented with a dour orange and black radio screen.
The leather front seats offer decent support and unlikely many similarly priced rivals come with heating as standard, while the instrument fascia is logical and the cabin has nice touches such as the chunky silver ventilation dials, the cute chrome-ringed door tweeters and oversized illuminated vanity mirrors, though the overall design is spookily reminiscent of fellow South Korean brand Hyundai. Some may not be sold on the faux woodgrain finish, either.
Apart from the notable lack of any kind of modern screen, equipment levels are adequate. Along with the hot seats there is dual-zone climate control, carpet mats, rear parking sensors, chrome scuff plates, a luggage cover and net, auto-folding side mirrors, front and rear fog-lights, LED tail-lights, silver roof rails, keyless entry (though the key itself is an old-school turning device, not a fancy modern fob) and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming that pairs swiftly and offers decent sound quality through six speakers. Automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers are an option.
Safety equipment includes six airbags (dual front, front-side and full-length curtains), a pair of ISOFIX-ready child-seat anchors (or three regular anchors), hill start assist and rollover mitigation. There is no Euro NCAP or ANCAP crash test rating.
Published: Friday, July 4, 2014