SsangYong is the rubber duck of the car industry – it has gone under on more than one occasion in recent years (and had it factory stormed by paramilitary police a few years ago), but it keeps bobbing back to the surface.
Now owned by Indian giant Mahindra, the Korean off-road specialist has launched a double-cab off-roader, which features sophisticated independent rear suspension and niceties like partially reclining rear seats.
SsangYong says it has not compromised on ruggedness despite its unique use of car-type suspension geometry. We have not driven it yet (it goes on sale in October) so we cannot say if its theoretical advantage translates into a better driving experience.
The interior is certainly well specified. The EX version features electric, heated seats, leather upholstery and heated door mirrors. Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK says, "SsangYong has a growing reputation for building extremely competent off-road vehicles, and the new Korando Sports draws on this pedigree. It's an honest, reliable and highly capable vehicle yet extremely well equipped, and pound for pound will outclass many more expensive rivals."
The actual prices are still to be announced, but we do know they will include an unlimited five-year warranty. Incidentally, the name Korando is a contraction of "Korea can do", a name first used in the 1990s. Nowadays there is no question that Korea, the land of Hyundai and Samsung, can do – the question of whether SsangYong can is still to be answered.