Quick Drive: 2015 SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive

Getting the keys to the 2015 SsangYong Korando for all of twenty minutes on a media drive day doesn’t warrant one of our usual comprehensive reviews, so here are a few facts and notes from that brief run out in their latest SUV. Should SsangYong loan us the car for the usual period, we’ll provide you with the review of the 2015 SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive you really want…

SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive SMMT 2015-0908

2015 Korando quick facts

  • Highly competitive price range of £15,995 to £22,495
  • New 2.2 litre (e-XDi220) 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with 176 bhp and 295 lb ft (400Nm) torque
  • Euro 6 ready with 139 – 177 g/km CO2
  • 0 – 62 mph: 9.9 seconds, 115 mph top speed
  • 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions available
  • 2 or Torque-on-Demand 4 wheel drive
  • 2 tonne braked tow capacity
  • 5-year limitless milage warranty

Exterior notes

The 2015 Korando is a huge improvement over the previous versions, and actually it’s really not a bad-looking thing. The front end styling is reminiscent of the 2014 Kia Sorento’s, and that’s absolutely a complement as we really liked it.

SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive SMMT 2015-0909

SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive SMMT 2015-0911 SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive SMMT 2015-0910

Proportionally, the Korando is comparable to the Kia Sportage, Hyundai iX35, Nissan Qashqai and Mitsubishi ASX, so it’s up against some very tough competition in the mid-size SUV market. There’s plenty to like about the exterior of the 2015 SsangYong Korando: a chunky, modern front end with big grilles and stylish light clusters, a decently muscular side profile with a high shoulder line and flared wheel arches, 18″ alloy wheels and rear privacy glass (on the ELX), plus a huge rear window (good vision out of it too) and twin exhausts.

Interior notes

SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive SMMT 2015-0913

Opening the door to the Korando, and the interior actually appears fairly luxurious. This one is the range-topping ELX 4×4 auto, and as standard gets leather seating, fully-automatic air conditioning,

This model is the range-topping ELX 4×4 Auto, which comes equipped with leather seating, a 6-way powered driver’s seat, and the front and rears are heated too. You also get a 7″ touch screen audio system with DAB radio, AUX, USB and HDMI ports, plus Bluetooth, and a Tom-Tom sat nav system (which provides good, clear graphics and easy destination inputs).

SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive SMMT 2015-0921

The front seats are comfortable with plenty of leg, head and elbow room around you too. I didn’t have much chance to sit in the rear seats, but I noticed they recline to a good angle, although I felt like I was sitting lower down than normal. I’ll let you know more on these if I have it for the usual test period at some point.

Safety-wise, as standard on all models the Korando sports driver and passenger airbags, plus side and curtain airbags, a tyre pressure monitoring system, front seatbelt pre-tensioners and ISOFIX points at the rear side seats.

SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive SMMT 2015-0914 SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive SMMT 2015-0916 SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive SMMT 2015-0918 SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive SMMT 2015-0919 SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive SMMT 2015-0917

With the automatic transmission, you get a chrome surround and I’m not a fan of chrome on cars, unless it’s clearly real chrome and good quality at that. I couldn’t decide on whether it looked okay on the Korando or not – certainly, it shows up fingerprints and dust ridiculously easily, and if the quality isn’t decent it’ll scratch easily too. That’s yet to know though, and again it’ll be more obvious on a longer test of it.

Engine, transmission & 4WD system

The Korando’s new 2.2 litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel is their own, and it provides 176 bhp @ 4,000 rpm and 295 lb ft (400Nm) torque between 1,400 – 2,800 rpm. Official UK mpg stats say that the two wheel drive manual versions get up to 61.4 mpg, the 4×4 manual up to 56.5 mpg, and the 4×4 auto up to 49.6 mpg. CO2 emissions are quoted as 139 – 177 g/km CO2, depending on which transmission and drive version you go for.

0 -62 mpg is done in 9.9 seconds, and it’ll give a top-end speed of 115 mph. Not hugely quick, but it’s in line with the Korando’s close competition anyway.

The 6-speed automatic gearbox is only available on the top of the range ELX 4×4 model, while the rest of the range gets the 6-speed manual. The lower and mid spec versions (SE and EX) come in either 2WD or 4×4, whilst the top ELX model is only available in 4×4 guise.

The 4-wheel-drive is a Torque-on-Demand system, which normally drives the front wheels, kicking all four into action automatically should the vehicle detect slippage. If you need even more grip, a simple push of a button gives you centre differential lock. I don’t know what it’s like off-road, but we’ll give it a proper workout should we get the chance.

Drive time…

As stated, I had the Korando around twenty minutes, and five of those were used for checking out the interior and photographing the car, so I was only able to gather very briefly what the Korando is like to drive. However, I did take in a mix of town driving, as well as winding country roads and a short section of motorway, so I at least got a rounded sense of what it’s like albeit briefly.

So, what I gathered was that the 2.2 litre turbo-diesel gives plenty of low-down punchy torque, and the power is spread well at the higher end of the rev range too. The diesel isn’t noisy or obtrusive, and it’s quieter than you may think.

It gets up to motorway speeds with surprising enthusiasm, and it sits at 70+ miles per hour with no problem. A long sixth gear means an unstressed engine at those kinds of speeds, and overtaking acceleration from there upwards is done with ease.

Front view of SsangYong Korando

The six-speed Japanese-built automatic gearbox is actually quite good, with changes decently slick and timed well. There are buttons on the steering wheel for manual changes, although I felt they’re positioned weirdly. The side of the gear lever also features a toggle switch that you can use to change gears with, and I actually liked that.

Fortunately, the automatic ‘box isn’t over-nannying in manual mode, and allows high-revving changes, which is good for off-roading, towing, or tacking steep hills (up or down).

The steering felt a little too numb, and there wasn’t as much feedback as I’d like, but then I only took it down a short section of winding tarmac at speed, so I can’t report fully on that.

Do you own a 2015 SsangYong Korando? What are your views on it, and what are the best and worst points? Share your thoughts and leave a comment below!

Specs

Model (as tested) 2015 SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive
Price  (Oct 2015) £15,995 – £22,495
Engine  Diesel, 2.2 litre , 4-cylinder (in-line), turbocharged
Power, Torque  Power: 176 bhp @ 4,000 rpm | Torque: 295 lb ft (400Nm) between 1,400 – 2,800 rpm
Drive, Gears (as tested)  Torque-on-Demand 4×4 | 6-speed automatic
Top Speed, 0 – 60 mph, Euro NCAP  Max speed (limited): 115 mph | 0 – 62 mph: 9.9 seconds | Euro NCAP rating: Not tested
Fuel economy (UK mpg), CO2  Automatic: Urban: 32.8,  Extra urban: 49.6, Combined: 41.5 | CO2: 177 g/km CO2
Weight (kerb)  1,797 kgs (3,962 lbs)
Websites  SsangYong UK

Words: Chris Davies | Photography: Chris Davies, Matthew Davies

2 responses to “Quick Drive: 2015 SsangYong Korando 2.2 ELX Automatic 4 Wheel Drive”

  1. Alan Gardiner

    I own 2015 korando auto 2 L diesel AWD like the look of it seating position and visibility is fantastic ,feels really precise on sealed rough roads and on gravel surfaces engine a little noisy under acceleration at low speeds but not a big drama all in all great package.

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