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Parkers overall rating: 3.1 out of 5 3.1

Reborn SUV is an improvement in all areas except value

SsangYong Korando SUV (19 on) - rated 3.1 out of 5
Enlarge 13 photos

PROS

  • Striking, modern looks
  • Class-leading warranty
  • Lots of standard equipment

CONS

  • No longer much cheaper than competition
  • Shallow boot
  • Poor engine refinement

At a glance

New price £19,665 - £31,375
Lease from new From £304 per month
Used price £20,565 - £27,590
Used monthly cost £556 - £746
Fuel economy 39 - 51 mpg
Road tax cost £145
Insurance group 21 - 26 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Striking, modern looks
  • Class-leading warranty
  • Lots of standard equipment

CONS

  • No longer much cheaper than competition
  • Shallow boot
  • Poor engine refinement

The SsangYong Korando’s gone through a bit of a transformation over its long lifetime. Starting out as a badge-engineered Jeep, it moved through old-fashioned off-roader to clunky and not particularly capable crossover. It appealed mainly due to its large size and low price, and became a particularly popular towcar thanks to a high kerbweight and 2,000kg towing limit.

The reborn model hopes to carry on where the old one left off, but at the same time aims for slightly more universal appeal. As such, it's been given a revival in a similar vein to the Rexton back in 2017. There’s a new, sharp-edged look, plenty of sophisticated tech and comfort features and a pair of downsized engines. But there’s also a new pricetag, edging the Korando far closer to more established rivals such as the Skoda Karoq, Kia Sportage or Nissan Qashqai. That’s not forgetting that underneath it, true budget champions such as the Dacia Duster and MG ZS have plenty to offer.

Downsized petrol and diesel power

Buyers of the previous Korando might be a little disappointed by the new model’s engine lineup. The old car offered a 2.2-litre diesel engine, which, while it wasn’t refined, efficient or particularly pleasant was at least large and torquey. It’s been replaced by a 1.6-litre diesel, which offers 136hp and 340Nm of torque – some 40hp and 60Nm down.

Also available will be a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol, which offers more power on paper – a whopping 163hp. However, it won’t arrive until 2020 and as such we haven’t yet driven a Korando so equipped.

2019 SsangYong Korando rear 3/4 static

Petrol models will also be offered with a manual gearbox, or an optional automatic on top-spec models. Diesels are automatic only – it’s a six-speed unit that feels somewhat dated. Four-wheel drive is also available on certain diesel trim levels, which should appeal to those who want to do some mild off-roading.

SsangYong has form in this area, and while the Korando won’t challenge the likes of a Toyota Land Cruiser on the rough stuff it has been set up with it in mind – it has impressive approach and departure angles to ensure the nose and rear bumper don’t catch on steep inclines, while the 4WD system can be locked for greater traction.

Stylish interior packed with kit

It’s the interior where SsangYong’s modernisation drive is best felt. Where the previous car felt as though buttons and controls had been placed willy-nilly across the dash, the new car is sensible, logical and well-built.

2019 SsangYong Korando interior

It’s possible to spec the Korando with some pretty impressive kit. Trim levels kick off with ELX, and step up through Ventura and Pioneer – the latter aimed at the caravanning market. By the time you reach top-spec Ultimate, the Korando offers adaptive cruise control, a nine-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and TomTom sat-nav, leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats and full LED headlights.

So could the SsangYong Korando’s rebirth put it at the top of your shortlist? Read on for our full review.

Other SsangYong Korando models: