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Keenly priced Korando is a serious competitor from SsangYong

John Law

SsangYong has confirmed the all-new Korando SUV for the Australian market, starting at a sharp price of $26,990 driveaway, it is by far the best design to come out of the Korean outfit to date. Promising plenty of tech and more contemporary engine design, the Korando offers a bargain price, but will the quality be up to scratch with rivals?

In the ever-crowded and slightly muddy small-to-midsize SUV marketplace, the Korando will offer great value in the hope of persuading punters out of Korean counterparts like the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage, while offering more space and tech than smaller but similarly priced crossovers like Mitsubishi ASX, Mazda CX-30 and Nissan Qashqai.

This is absolutely the best looking SsangYong ever, gone are the days of the Stavic of the early 2000s, there is even a hint of Lamborghini Urus in the front end. We reckon the new Korando looks cohesive and strikes a good balance between being different without being offensive.

2020 SsangYong Korando 4

There are few images of the interior, but the digital dashboard readout (available on EXL trim and above) looks bang up to date with competitors.

The Korando has managed to score five stars in ANCAP safety testing too, which should put doubts of family safety to the side and bring the SsangYong that little closer to the mainstream.

For the Korando, there will be two engine options, an all-new 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with outputs of 120kW and 280Nm between 1,500RPM and 4,000 RPM is the star of the show, with outputs that consistent with contemporary competitors.

2020 SsangYong Korando Interior

The other engine available is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel outputting less power at 100kW, but more torque at 324Nm, with a towing capacity of two tons and impressive claimed fuel economy figure of 5.5l/100km.

A choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or more expensive ($2,000) six-speed Aisin sourced torque-converter automatic is available, with all variants driving the front wheels only, so don’t be fooled by the Korando’s buff exterior.

Across the range of the Korando there will be impressive technology for the price, the base model $26,990 driveaway EX is specified with a six-speed manual, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, low-speed AEB, lane keep assist, front collision warning, a reverse camera, auto high beams, eight-inch touchscreen with six-speaker stereo, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a cloth appointed interior.

2020 SsangYong Korando 5

Step up to the mid-range $30,990 driveaway EXL and spec highlights include six-speed auto as standard, 18-inch alloy wheels, lane change assist, parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, keyless go, and leather-appointed steering wheel.

The range-topping $36,990 driveaway Ultimate sees a very competitive spec, with the appointment of active cruise control, high-speed AEB, larger 10.25-inch touchscreen, heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, electric sunroof, power-operated boot, leather-appointed interior with heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and larger 19-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.

For now, the variants available are the ELX and Ultimate with petrol 1.5-litre engine and the 1.6-litre diesel. The rest of the range, including bargain-basement EX, will be arriving in early 2020.

2020 SsangYong Korando 1

If SsangYong has managed to improve the build, ride and handling of the all-new Korando, the excellent tech, equipment, reasonable looks and great safety should tempt buyers out of more established competitors

SsangYong Korando Price List

All prices are driveaway prices.

Korando EX Petrol Manual $26,990
Korando EX Petrol Auto $28,990

Korando ELX Petrol Auto $30,990
Korando ELX Diesel Auto $33,990

Korando Ultimate Petrol Auto $36,990
Korando Ultimate Diesel Auto $39,990