The vehicle was first presented as the SUT-1 (sport utility) concept at international motor shows in 2011, and in production ready form at this year’s Geneva Motor show. Korando Sports brings a new level of refinement to the market place, blending the suspension, engine and cabin finesse of a passenger car, the silhouette, space and seating for five that’s typical of a double cab, and the rugged workmanlike ability of a commercial pick-up. This new Korando Sports will appeal to those who need a working vehicle, the practicality of 4 wheel drive, the towing capability to haul up to 2.3 tonnes yet also the appointments of a family car. Whether towing a work trailer or horsebox, ferrying the crew to site or the children to school, Korando Sports will meet a range of different demands.
“This is more a passenger car with pick-up versatility,” said Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK. “Consequently, it offers refinements that few of our competitors can match. 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.”
Added Steve Gray, marketing and communications director: “To be able to launch an all-new model into the UK so soon after the Korando crossover is great news for us as the importer and our rapidly expanding dealer network, but more importantly for the growing number of motorists who increasingly appreciate the value of the SsangYong brand. “The price of the new pick-up will be announced at its launch in October, and as you would expect from SsangYong, it will be extremely competitive.”
Delivering both performance and economy, the Korando Sports is powered by the latest e-XDi active diesel engine. This new 2.0-litre engine provides maximum power of 153bhp and peak torque of 266lb ft delivered between 1,500rpm and 2,800rpm providing ample performance both on and off road, whatever the task.
The fresh exterior design has been styled to reflect SsangYong’s modern and efficient new look. From the front, it communicates a dynamic yet sophisticated appearance, featuring a mesh grille, trapezoidal bumper and stylish black headlight bezels to provide a premium touch. In profile, the sharp belt line runs to the rear bumper emphasising a sleek, sporty stance, while from the rear the wide glass area affords excellent rearward visibility.
Inside the spacious cabin there’s a light and airy environment thanks to the large front, side and rear windows, while the careful blending of black and metallic finishes along with an LED illuminated instrument cluster has created a smart and refined interior. With spacious accommodation for five adults – the rear passenger seats can even be reclined by up to 29 degrees – air conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity ensure comfort and convenience.
There are two models in the range, and while the SX is already comprehensively equipped, the EX comes with the luxury touch of leather upholstery with seat warmers, powered driver’s seat, distinctive 18” alloy wheels, heated, electrically adjustable and power folding door mirrors, and rear parking sensors. A 6 speed automatic transmission with cruise control is also available as an option.
As with every SsangYong, practicality is at the core of the new pick-up’s appeal. A large, flat rear deck provides a 2.04m2 load area complete with load deck liner and anchor points. An optional rigid hard top is available to provide weather protection and security to the load area, and comes with a hinged rear window that closes behind the tailgate so that the car’s central locking secures and protects the contents. Styled and colour matched to complement the rest of the car, the result is a neat design that ensures form and function, and not the ‘tacked on’ afterthought of many retro-fit hard tops. There will also be a range of other accessories available from launch including two further load covers.
Constructed on a separate frame chassis, the mark of a serious off-roader, the new Korando Sports offers a very rigid structure to help protect occupants in the event of a collision. Accident avoidance and a sure footed performance off road are also enhanced by the electronic stability programme (ESP) – a rare feature on most pick-ups but standard on Korando Sports – active roll-over protection (ARP) and hill start assist (HSA).
As with all models in the SsangYong range, the new Korando Sports is covered by a best-in-class 5 year limitless mileage warranty. Designed to be totally transparent and give customers complete peace of mind, ‘limitless’ means just that: not a maximum mileage condition that some brands impose in their small print. All the major mechanical components are covered including wheel bearings, suspension joints and bushes, steering joints, shock absorbers and even the audio system. Wearable components such as clutch discs and brake friction materials which could have their life reduced by poor driving are covered for one year or 12,000 miles, and the battery and paintwork for three years.