The SsangYong Korando isn’t your usual family SUV. It’s roomier than most alternatives and can happily pull heavy trailers, but it feels cheap inside and isn’t particularly economical.
If you’re looking for a high-riding family car that’s affordable and very practical, the SsangYong Korando makes a worthwhile alternative to the likes of the more common Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage.
It doesn’t look quite as interesting as these cars though. Sure, it comes with plenty of chunky black plastic trims, big wheels and some silver roof rails, but so do almost all high-riding family SUVs.
The rather mundane visuals continue inside the SsangYong Korando’s cabin. All its various buttons and switches are easy to reach, but the dashboard’s rather plain design isn’t a patch on the classy, minimalist cabin you get in a Kia Sportage. Even with the touchscreen infotainment systems and wood-effect trims you get in mid-range cars, the Korando’s cabin looks and feels a bit tacky.
So, if desirable design and posh materials aren’t really in the Korando’s wheelhouse, how does it fare in terms of practicality? Well, the front seats come with lots of adjustment and you get a very good view out through the Korando’s large windows. There’s ample space in the back for tall adults to stretch out and there’s more room to carry three adults at once than you get in most similar-sized SUVs.
The SsangYong Korando will appeal to you if you’re looking for an affordable SUV that’s as good at carrying passengers and heavy luggage as it is pulling trailers.
Turn your attention to the Korando’s boot, and you’ll find this is an SUV that’s capable of carrying more than just tall passengers. There’s space for plenty of bulky luggage and the back seats fold down to create a completely flat load bay that’s perfect for carrying a few bikes or for a trip to the tip.
If it’s heavy luggage you’ll be carrying regularly, the SsangYong Korando’s 2.2-litre diesel engine won’t be short of shove. It’ll have no trouble towing a braked trailer or caravan weighing up to 2000kg, but it is louder than the smoother 2.0-litre diesel engines you can get in alternatives – most noticeably when you accelerate hard. It’s not particularly economical either – especially if you pick a model with four-wheel drive.
So, your wallet might feel a little sore, but at least the way the Korando smooths out bumps around town means your back won’t have any reason to complain. It’s not quite as smooth as the Nissan Qashqai, but it puts up a fair fight against the likes of the Kia Sportage and the Hyundai Tucson.
It’s especially easy to drive if you go for a mid-range car with cruise control and spring for the optional automatic gearbox. It’s not the smoothest unit out there but it’ll save you from having to make endless gear changes in heavy traffic. It’s not all good news, though – while most family SUVs can be had with automatic emergency braking, the SsangYong Korando can’t. That’s poor in this day and age.
This needn’t be a dealbreaker, though – especially if you’re looking for a cheap-and-cheerful tow car with a roomy cabin and a decent amount of standard equipment. Check out our SsangYong Korando deals to see how much you can save on one.