Driving Report SsangYong Korando 2019

From the rough-hugging SUV to the mainstream city SUV

The design thing took a while. The image of SsangYong has so far been determined by optically rather heavy fare. The models with which the Koreans once started their “offensive” in Europe clearly showed military blueprints. The roots of the Korando lead back to the Jeep, which was built under license from 1954 by what is now the third largest Korean car manufacturer. The success of such simple, primarily robust off-road vehicles was based largely on their price, which was so far below the competition that the crude body mix of Jeep and Lada elements was ignored when the first Korandos appeared in Europe from 1996. In the meantime, the Indian SsangYong parent company Mahindra has taken the top Italian design address Pininfarina under its wing - the theme of design now has a different weight and face at SsangYong.

In the fourth generation significantly sportier  

The new Korando joins without shame or shame in the big ranks of the middle-class SUVs. With 4,45 meters overall length, he brings the Gardemaß in this mainstream segment, where it is noticeable that by four centimeters more in width (1,87 meters) and on 1,62 meter (minus 5,5 centimeters) lowered roofline the presence comes along much sportier. The trick, the C-pillar not fully to paint, but black drop against the roof, this gives a slightly floating dynamics on the way, depending on the primary color more or less striking.

Also in details there are pleasing changes. From the exhaust system is not even more to see the tail, from the sidelines model after the B-pillar visible flanks. The carefully fitted door seals keep draft and noise efficiently away from the interior. All doors now overlap the side skirts, which ensures that getting out of a dirty Korando leaves no ugly marks on the clothing.

Even with four-wheel drive not more than 2.000 kilograms of tensile load 

Inside, the passengers - apart from the middle seat - are extremely comfortable. Both the footwell and that above the head are generously dimensioned. The 2,68 meter wheelbase has a very positive effect on the amount of space it offers. What also applies to luggage: 551 liters as the standard volume are just as impressive as the maximum house number of 1.248 liters on a consistently smooth loading surface. What is surprising with so much practicality is that even the all-wheel drive versions of the Korando cannot handle more than 2.000 kilograms of tensile load. But the korando may no longer be the workhorse anyway. Only the diesel versions in the top equipment Sapphire were available for the driving presentation. It literally shines with plenty of piano lacquer surfaces and leather seats that offer significantly more in terms of shoulder support than is usual in the class. The fact that they work fully electrically, can be heated and have ventilation hides a little over the tightly dimensioned seat. The eye sweeps over an ambience that is recognizable for top quality, but the knock test on the paneling reveals that it is primarily about the impression of high quality. In the light of an entry-level price of 22.990 euros for the base line "Crystal" with front-wheel drive and petrol engine, SsangYong is already doing a lot technically. Cruise control, emergency brake assist, collision warning, drowsiness detection, lane departure warning with warning function, electrically folding and heated exterior mirrors, DAB audio with MP3 and Bluetooth hands-free system are just a few of the very good basic equipment that leaves no more gaps at the top, with the exception of an automatic parking function . With everything that is possible, the Korando easily surpasses the 40 euro threshold, but remains well below the prices that its direct competitors with such equipment then call.

Traffic sign recognition would have to be improved  

The standard traffic sign recognition did not really convince us. If the traffic signs are not specifically called up in the generally very appealing 10,25 inch wide digital cockpit, the navigation device unfortunately often lulls you into a false sense of security. The speed information displayed there in the form of signs only depict what has been stored in the map material. The GPS ignores what the camera is currently detecting on the road. Improvement would certainly be necessary. When it comes to the choice of drive, the Koreans leave the customers free. The four equipment lines above the basic version Crystal, which experience has shown to be hardly relevant to the market, can be combined with automatic all-wheel drive (optionally with manual or automatic six-speed gearbox, for which 2.000 euros are also due) for a surcharge of 2.000 euros. This applies to both gasoline and diesel engines. In the two newly developed four-cylinder engines with 1,5 and 1,6 liter displacement, the 1,5 liter turbo gasoline engine has the lead in terms of output with 163 hp. With 280 Newton meters (automatic versions 260 Nm) it then lags behind the 136 hp diesel (300 Nm; automatic 320 Nm). The all-wheel drive works automatically and fully variably, for demanding terrain it has a locking function. Also anything but class standard.

Direct, but light-weighted steering  

The 19-inch wheels mounted on the test vehicles certainly reinforce the somewhat bitter suspension impression. The steering is direct, but, as is often the case, very light. The fact that it filters out almost all feedback from the road on the way to the steering wheel is an unpleasant side effect of this widespread concept of comfort.                                                                           

The diesel enjoys driving by acoustic restraint. When it comes to dynamics, you can expect no heroic deeds from him, but 180 km / h as maximum speed. On a well-mixed test track with city traffic, highway and motorway in the Rheingau needed the Korando 1,6e-XDi with automatic 6,2 liters on average, according to the measurement by the on-board computer. 

Text: Solveig Grewe

Pictures: Manufacturer

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