After debuting at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, the new SsangYong Korando has officially been launched, with a totally new look, typical SsangYong value, a heftily updated interior, more safety tech, a choice of two powertrains and SsangYong’s 7-year 150,000-mile warranty.

The all-new C-segment SUV does everything it can to maximise interior space (1,350mm x 815mm x 899mm) , but it’s the redesign inside that is the biggest step forward. The wrap-around dashboard design – inspired by a classical string instrument, apparently – and at the top of the range it includes the Blaze Cockpit. This gives the driver the benefit of a 10.25-inch digital cluster along with a nine-inch touchscreen, too. Around the technology, the dash is all soft touch materials, with the seats either coming in quality cloth, a faux leather and cloth combination or premium leather that is heated, ventilated and electronically controlled. The air conditioning also features an air filter to keep pollen and other tiny matter from entering through the vents, whilst it has dual-zone capabilities. other benefits for the driver include paddle shifters (auto only, obvs) and a heated steering wheel with tilt, rake and reach adjustments.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will come with mid and top-spec Korandos, with all models getting DAB radio and Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity. Mid-speccers get an eight-inch screen, but the top dog gets the bigger display, and also a remote powered tailgate.

Driving the new Korando from launch is a 1.6-litre diesel unit. It offers up 136bhp with 239lbf.ft, whilst also achieving 48.7mpg on the WLTP cycle.

Coming in December there will also be a Euro 6d-T compliant petrol unit. The 15.-litre GDI-turbo will be more powerful with 163bhp, but being a petrol the torque is lower at 207lbf.ft.

Using the Aisin 3rd generation automatic transmission, the new Korando has Sport mode for a more reactive throttle, but also a Winter mode which sets off in 2nd gear to avoid wheel spin in slippery conditions. The option of manual is expected to arrive in early 2020.

New Korando models are available with all-wheel drive, which uses Automatic Drive Control to maintain appropriate speed for each of the wheels and distributes torque accordingly. It has Lock-Mode Function, too, which fixes the rate of torque and priorities the rear axle. The system switches modes itself, with Auto-Mode above 40kph and Lock-Mode below it. Off-road angles comprise of 18 degrees approach and 24.5 departure – not a hardcore rock crawler, obviously, but it’s nice to know.

Packed into the new Korando is a whole bunch of safety tech which helped it attain a five-star safety rating from NCAP. Each model has six airbags, plus electronic stability control, rollover protection, forward collision warning, ABS, emergency autonomous braking, lane keep and departure assist, safety distance alerts, driver attention warning and emergency stop signals. There’s also an emergency call system, a reversing camera, automatic wipers and headlights and front and rear parking sensors.

The range will consist of 2WD entry model in ELX trim and the petrol engine, whilst the mid-spec will be known as Ventura. The Pioneer is aimed at caravanning customers and comes in either two or four-wheel drive the the Aisin auto and diesel power. Topping the range off is the Ultimate, which is available with the the petrol in two or four-wheel drive, or the all-wheel drive diesel unit and the auto transmission.

Pricing starts at £19,995 for the ELX, whilst 4WD models start at £28,295 for the Pioneer and top out at £31,995 for the Ultimate.

SsangYong have this morning announced the Rexton Ice special edition, offering high-equipment levels and a unique paint colour.

Based on the ELX specification Rexton, the Ice comes with a well-stocked interior, a comforting level of safety kit and, as with all SsangYong products, commendable value.

Inside you’ll be sat on new TPU leather-look seats which for the first and second row are heated and rear passengers will benefit from privacy glass. The driver will also have a heated steering wheel and will absorb the necessary driving information from a 7″ digital cluster and navigation is displayed on the 9.2″ touchscreen. This screen is also enabled by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with DAB radio and Bluetooth and Ipod connectivity. There’s also air conditioning and an auto defog system in place with air quality sensors.

Along with speed sensing steering to make life easier in car parks and more comfortable at speed, the Ice has automatic headlight control and rain sensing wipers and front and rear parking sensors. The Rexton Ice comes with a whole load of features that keep you safer whilst on board. It has Autonomous Emergency Braking, Active Rollover Protection, Hill Descent Control for off-road exploits, Lane Departure Warning, High beam Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition.

Other cool features include touch sensitive door handles, a detachable boot net between the tailgate and storage area and new 18″ alloy wheel designs.

The Rexton Ice is on sale now and will be available, on the road, for £34,995.

Revealed at the 89th Geneva Motor Show, the all-new SsangYong Korando looks set to take the small SUV sector by the scruff of the neck.

It will come to market with a healthy spec list, a new 1.5-litre petrol engine, and updated version of the old 1.6 diesel and there will be an EV to follow.

There has also been some restyling, with a new headlight and grille design to help it fit in with the current SsangYong family.

The new model is wider, longer and sits shorter on a longer wheelbase than the previous model. This translates into a spacious cabin and storage space of up to 1,248-litres, plus a boot space measuring 551-litres whilst seating five.

Inside, the re-designed interior is contemporary and offers plenty of tech as standard. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come fresh off the shelf, as does the 9″ infotainment touchscreen and 10.25″ LCD driver displays.

Seating in the front is adjustable four-ways, with lumbar support, whilst the interior is also kitted out with ambient lighting – the colour of which is changeable (maybe don’t tell the kids about that one). The door sills are designed to cover the lowest point possible, so that external dirt isn’t picked up and brought inside whilst climbing aboard.

Safety systems to assist Korando drivers include advanced emergency braking, lane keeping assist, safe distance and driver alerts, plus adaptive cruise control, high beam assistance, blind spot monitoring and rear traffic cross alert.

The new 1.5-litre GDI-turbo petrol unit has 163bhp at its disposal along with 207lbf.ft. The updated 1.6-litre diesel kicks out 136bhp and 239lbf.ft as low as 1,500rpm. Both units will comes with stop/start abilities on two-wheel drive models and there will also be a choice of automatic or manual six-speed transmissions.

There’s no official pricing yet, but when the new Korando goes on sale in Europe later in the year, SsangYong say that it will offer sector best value for money. On previous form, there’s no reason to doubt this.

Ahead of making its full debut at the Geneva Motor Show, SsangYong have teased us with a first look at their new, fourth-generation Korando.

Whilst full details haven’t been disclosed, we do know that the new model has been redesigned – and to good effect to our eyes. The headliners of the new look are the headlights and the new grille, which give the little SUV a look of purpose.

SsangYong have paired this with a refined interior and added enhanced driver assistance, safety systems and mobile connectivity. Seating will be four-way adjustable, and there will be a 9″ infotainment screen and a 10.25″ full colour LCD cluster that can also accommodate navigation instructions.

Powering the new model will be a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol and an update on the 1.6 diesel equivalent at launch – with an EV to follow.

Further details will become apparent after the big reveal at the Geneva Motor Show.

There’s nothing quite like having peace of mind, and SsangYong clearly agrees after announcing its entire six-model range is now available with a seven-year and 150,000-mile warranty.

‘We want our customers to feel that by choosing a SsangYong, they will be looked after the best,’ said Nick Laird, managing director of SsangYong Motor UK. Well, offering vehicles with such an attractive warranty is surely a good place to start.

Earlier this year, SsangYong revealed the Musso pick-up and acclaimed Rexton would be sold with a seven-year warranty. But having been so popular with customers and SsangYong wanting to capitalise on its rapidly rising stock, the South Korean firm has expanded the offer to the entirety of its model range.

Mr Laird added, ‘No other vehicle on sale today comes with such comprehensive reassurance, and without the small print of so many other manufacturer warranties.

‘This outstanding industry-leading seven-year warranty now applies to all new SsangYong vehicles registered from October 1.’

Should you be one of the customers who bought a SsangYong prior to that date, don’t worry, because the company is allowing owners to apply the same level of warranty to their vehicles retrospectively.

To be exact, Rexton owners who purchased their vehicle between 1 October and its launch last year will be able to upgrade their warranty for free from their next service. Owners of other SsangYong vehicles can also take advantage of the seven-year warranty at a £500 fee, providing their vehicle was bought between 1 January and 30 September this year.

The warranty itself is covers all of the vehicle’s major components, such as the steering joints, shocks, suspension bushes and joints, plus the wheel bearings and even the stereo system.

Paintwork and the battery are covered for three years, whilst the more consumable elements that can be hampered by poor driving, i.e. the clutch and brakes, are covered for the first year or 12,500 miles.

If you weren’t tempted by a SsangYong before, you should be now.

SsangYong describes itself as ‘the Korean Land Rover.’ This isn’t a reference to individual vehicles so much as to the company itself, which has always specialised in 4x4s, however there’s a parallel to be drawn between the new Rexton and another recent arrival, the Discovery 5. Both are big, lavish and well equipped, with seven-seat practicality to go with their luxury-car intent, and both come on strong with their off-road ability and towing capacity alike.

At the top of the range, however, a Discovery is not many options away from costing you £70,000. Even in fully loaded Ultimate form, as tested here, the Rexton costs little more than half that – and the only option Ssangyong lists for it is metallic paint.

That’s where the ‘Korean Land Rover’ diverges from the real thing. At screen price, this range-topper will stand you £37,500 – low-to-mid-range Disco Sport money, then, and for that you’ll get a level of luxury designed to put you more in mind of a Range Rover.

Are we comparing like for like? Well, Land Rover is a premium brand now – whereas Ssangyong’s mission for market share is heavily driven by value for money.

But with the Rexton, the Korean company is selling on a great deal more than price alone. Outside and in, the vehicle is presented as a bold, confident quantum leap forward. And, while it may be a lot cheaper than its rivals, it’s around 30% more expensive than the outgoing Mk1 Rexton.

In last month’s First Drive article about the Rexton, we commented that the Ultimate model has ‘a lovely quilted leather interior that genuinely looks and feels as if it belongs in a vehicle costing three times as much.’ Under the lengthier scrutiny of a full test, is that impression sustained?

Very nearly. In fact, yes it is. The design of the leather finish on the seats, as well as to the dash and door elements, looks as good once you’re used to it as it does at first glance. Premium styling is about small details, and this is a detail that works. The leather itself is very nice, too – no small matter when so many vehicles still put you in something that feels more like vinyl.

There are usually at least a few details that become irritating in any car, but in the Rexton they’re few and far between. The sun visors feel rather light and flimsy, and there’s a sound module in the vehicle which plays an array of ridiculous electronic tunes when you climb aboard, switch off the engine, open a door and so on, but we’re into the realms of splitting hairs with criticisms like that.

Those odd noises are loud enough to win you the odd sneering look in a car park, which is a bit at odds with the whole image of elegant class the Rexton wants to portray. But your kids will find them entertaining, which is probably more important.

Also more important is an excellent driving position with plenty of space and good views in every direction. The seats lack adjustable lumbar support, but we found that after several hours on board, we weren’t feeling any worse for the want of it.

You won’t suffer for riding in the back, either. Legroom here is excellent – one tall adult can easily ride behind another without either having to compromise.

The Rexton is also available with a third row of seats. This is best used for children, but unlike in some seven-seaters they won’t be cramped up with the second-row headrests right in their faces. They fold flat, too, with a twin-height floor allowing you to create a pretty vast cargo bay for when you finally run out of excuses for putting off that trip to Ikea.

To help turn it into a surrogate van, the Rexton has a fold-and-tumble second row whose action might be old-fashioned but, in an era when more and more SUVs have given up on trying to deliver a flat floor, works like a charm. You also get a large stowage bin in the right-hand boot wall, a full-width hidden compartment when the floor is in its upper position and, on all models, a power inverter providing mains electricity through the back of the centre console.

It all goes to make the Rexton every bit as practical as it is comfortable. Between its classy styling, quality materials, lavish equipment and excellent usability, we’d say SsangYong has created the best interior you can get in any comparable SUV at this price point.

Last month, we lamented the ride quality of the Rexton we drove on the launch. We said our gut feeling was that the 255/50R20 tyres on the Ultimate model were too low-profile to let it settle, whether on minor roads or dual-carriageways.

What we didn’t mention was that after returning from our test drive, we told SsangYong’s people that we thought the vehicle had a wheel out of balance – which their tech guys soon confirmed. And now, having spent a week in one and put hundreds of miles on it, we’re ready to set the record straight.

Something else we mentioned last month is that the 2.2-litre diesel engine is beautifully smooth, strong and quiet. The Rexton’s ride doesn’t quite match it, with a trace of low-level fussing at the back, but in comparison to the vehicle we drove on the launch, the one tested here fairly glides on the motorway.

There was none of the roughness we had previously experienced on smaller roads, either. So our sole misgiving about the Rexton’s road manners (and it was a big one) is hereby erased.

It’s not perfect. In particular, body control on uneven surfaces isn’t great, with enough wide-to-side movement at times to be unpleasant. This was on roads we know of old to ask questions most vehicles struggle to answer, however; the Rexton didn’t disgrace itself here, but neither did it excel.

In town, ride quality is better than we expected over sharp speed humps and so on. Body roll is well controlled here, too, and there’s no harshness when you hit pot holes – just a muted, albeit quite heavy, thump. Again, most of it comes through the rear.

Talking of the rear, the Ultimate model has an auto box as standard, and very good it is too. Oddly, though, this also means independent rear suspension – lower-spec EX and ELX vehicles come as standard with a manual unit and live back axle. We’re not sure why Ssangyong does this, and as yet we haven’t had the chance to drive a Rexton with a manual box, but we can certainly see why these models might appeal to off-road traditionalists the way a modern Discovery, for example, might not.

As it is, the Rexton is better on the road, in almost every way, than the one we drove on the launch led us to expect. It’s smooth, quiet and powerful, with decent refinement and a balance of ride and handling which, considering it’s a proper off-road vehicle, can’t really be faulted. We do think a manual box is likely to make it more entertaining when you’re hustling through corners, but that’s getting into the realms of personal preference.

Thus far, everything we’ve done in the Rexton has been in models with the auto box and live rear axle. This isn’t the combination we’d choose for off-road work, but the vehicle has already done enough to convince us of its abilities.

Predictably, axle articulation is poor. However the electronic traction aids allow the vehicle to keep plugging away over steep, slippery and/or uneven ground – they cut in startlingly early on occasion, and at one point they actively defeated the vehicle from making it up a hill by cutting the throttle just when a bootful of gas was required, but even on road tyres the Rexton is able to keep moving most of the time without you needing to scare yourself

Hill descent control is pretty essential on big drops, even with a manual mode for the auto box. We’d assume the manual doesn’t need this assistance – and indeed that with a live back axle, it’ll offer a lot more in the way of travel than the vehicles pictured here.

We also think the 235/70R17 and 255/60R18 tyres on the EX and ELX alike sound a lot more promising for off-road use than the low-profile 20-inchers on the Ultimate. A low-spec manual may be a lot more truck-like – but you may consider that that’s no bad thing.

It’s pretty obvious what the big news is here. You can have a Rexton for as little as £27,500, and even the poshed-up range-topper tested here only costs £37,500. As we mentioned earlier, if you want a premium badge that sort of money gets you surprisingly little.

SsangYong heaps it on by selling its vehicles with an unlimited-miles five-year warranty, too (at time of printing). And service intervals are far enough apart, with just an intermediate check required every year.

Running costs will be on the high side, however. While 34.0mpg and 219g/km are not calamitous figures for an off-roader with a 3.5-tonne trailer weight, they’re hardly great for a school-run SUV.

The big deal, however, is certain to be depreciation. There was a time when SsangYongs lost their money quickly enough to be downright frightening; that’s changed, as it did for the likes of Kia and Skoda, and the Rexton is sure to be SsangYong’s strongest performer yet in this area. How it can be expected to fare in comparison to a premium vehicle that’s more of a known quantity, however, is another matter.

This review was first featured in 4×4, July 2018 issue.

SsangYong have refreshed the Turismo MPV, with a fresh face, their capable 2.2 diesel and a four-wheel drive option with low-range, plus a new touchscreen infotainment system.

The massive MPV has a wheelbase of three-metres and a total length of just over five. The range topping ELX variant receives selectable four-wheel drive and a Merc derived seven-speed automatic transmission. Blackout rear passenger privacy windows feature on the range topper, as do cruise control, parking sensors, 16″ alloys, heated front seats, rain sensing wipers and automatic headlights. SsangYong’s latest infotainment system has also been introduced, bringing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the fore, plus DAB radio and a reversing camera.

Due to the immense size and length of the MPV there’s room for seven to sit in total comfort and space aplenty for their luggage, too. Rear load space ranges from 875-litres with seven adults on board, to 3,146-litres with two adults when the second row of seats is flat and the third removed – ideal for proverbial sink-packers.

A two-tonne towing capacity extends the Turismo ELX’s practicality further, and the double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension setup keeps it planted and comfortable.

Pricing for the new Turismo kicks off at £20,495 for EX models, with the all-singing ELX beginning at £26,995.

SsangYong have released extended details of the new Musso pick-up as it goes on sale in the UK, with a seven year warranty, four models to chose from and space for a euro pallet in the truck bed.

Based on our reigning 4×4 of The Year, the pick-up sits on a quad-frame construction, and uses the same 4×4 system and 2.2-litre diesel engine as the Rexton, providing 179bhp and 295lbf.ft through either a manual or Aisin automatic six-speed gearbox.

The bed comes with hooks already fitted for tying down cargo, and has a payload of over a tonne. In a rather jaw-dropping stat the Musso can fulfil both the one tonne payload and its 3.5-tonne towing capacity at the same time.

Inside, there’s plenty of space, and DAB radio and an eight-inch touchscreen with mobile connectivity feature across much of the range, whilst nappa leather and a 9.2-inch touchscreen with TomTom navigation can be found on top-spec models.

Entry level EX is a work focused trim, with 17-inch alloys, manual air-conditioning and automatic headlights and windscreen wipers. It gets DAB radio and bluetooth – but no touchscreen.

Rebel spec adds an inch to the alloys, plus roof rails, floor mats, the eight-inch touchscreen and a reversing camera. Leather-look seats are fitted, and in the front they are both heated and ventilated. The leather steering wheel is heated and the black side steps and Rebel graphics distinguish the exterior styling.

The Musso Saracen offers a more premium feel, with nappa leather seating, heated in the fron and back. The bigger touchscreen comes into play in this spec, as do automatic LED lights, cruise control, and a front skidplate, bright rear corner bars, mirrors and door handles accompany the Saracen lettering on the outside.

Topping the range is the Rhino – which is limited to 100 trucks. The special launch edition is finished in red or black, exclusively features the Aisin automatic ‘box and see the skidplate, now 20-inch alloys, tubular side steps and rear corner bars blacked out. Tyres are upgraded to General Grabber all-terrains, and privacy glass fills the rear windows.

Pricing starts at £19,995 with EX models, rises to £22,495 for Rebel spec, £25,995 for Saracen and Rhino models will cost £28,495 – all excluding VAT. The new Musso is on sale now, and the only cost options are £1,250 for the Aisin six-speed auto ‘box and £430 for metallic paint options. All models come with a seven-year/150,000 mile warranty.

We got behind the wheel of a Korean-spec model in the last issue, click here to read our thoughts.

SsangYong is on a roll. Buoyed by a steady stream of new, modern products to replace the staid vehicles it relied on for way too long, the Korean 4×4 specialist started this year by celebrating overall success in our 4×4 of the Year awards with the new Rexton.

Based on the same platform as the Rexton, with the same engine and choice of gearboxes and very similar cabin, the new Musso is a quantum leap forward from the model currently being sold under the same name.

We’ve had an early test, on British roads, of a Korean-spec Musso. Aside from the fact that it’s left-hand drive, the only difference between this and the one coming to Britain is in the details, so this is a good indication of what’s on the way.

Starting in the cabin, the Rexton’s influence is clear. There’s even a strip of leather across the dashboard, complete with contrasting stitching.

Elsewhere, materials remain high-quality by pick-up standards, with soft-touch surfaces on much of the dash and excellent leather seats which managed to be both soft and comfy yet impressively supportive. They put you in a good driving position, too, from which your view all around is particularly fine – even over your shoulder, thanks to a C-post that’s no bigger than it needs to be.

There’s plenty of headroom, too, and enough leg room to let a six-footer drive without needing to move his seat all the way back. This is handy if there’s another six-footer sat behind, because the seat-backs have no give in them at all – but the good news is that aside from the Ford Ranger, we think the Musso probably has the most rear knee room in the double-cab market. It’s possible for two tall adults to ride in tandem without either feeling the squeeze, and there’s not a lot of trucks we can say that about. All-round, few double-cabs can match it for accommodation.

There’s a decent amount of oddment stowage, too, and overall build quality appears close to that of the Rexton. As does the equipment you get for your money – we’ll leave the specifics out, as UK models will likely differ from this one, but there’ll be a range of three trim levels and at the top, you’ll get a truly premium level of kit. As an indication, the vehicle here had stuff like air-conditioned seats and a heated steering wheel.

It also had 20” polished rims, complete with 255/50R20 tyres, which are pretty much the exact opposite of what we like to see on pick-ups. But if the Musso range is going to mirror that of the Rexton, this is what top models will come with.

One definite difference to the Rexton is that whereas that vehicle comes with independent rear suspension on AWD models, all Mussos have a live rear axle. This is coil-sprung, which remains a rarity in the pick-up market.

You also get a part-time, dual-range transfer case as standard, mated to a choice of six-speed manual or auto gearboxes. This all goes together to make what looks on paper like a well sorted vehicle for on and off-road use.

Starting with the latter, we found that the limits were definitely set by the low-profile, road-pattern tyres. No surprise there – but what was very pleasing to note was that when pushed, the rear axle displays excellent articulation, particularly on the bump stroke. A rather low rear bumper, coupled with the inevitable long overhang, means there’s an element of vulnerability back there, but based on the limited amount we were able to do on this early drive the suspension is unusually good at following the terrain.

What the coil springs can’t do is hide the fact that they’re specced to hold up a tonne. Inevitably, this means the suspension is upset by all but the smoothest roads – though while there certainly is plenty of thumping, even in sharp-edged pot-holes the impacts are never harsh. The body does get jolted around a fair bit at lower speeds on uneven urban roads, but once you get it moving things are a lot more settled. We haven’t yet had the chance to drive the Musso at cruising speeds, but at this stage’s we’d say the results are promising for a composed motorway ride.

We haven’t been able to tow with the vehicle yet, but SsangYong advises us that it will be rated to haul 3500kg (3200 with the manual box) while also carrying 1050kg of cargo. At the time of writing, the testing and approval process was still underway, but the company believes this will give it the highest gross train weight in the market.

It certainly has the brakes for the job, as we found out when a driver in the employ of a very well known courier company lost control of his 7.5-tonner while coming towards us round a corner. And while an unladen test can only tell you so much, the engine does pull strongly – 181bhp is backed up by 295lbf.ft at 1400rpm in manual form, and 310lbf.ft at 1600rpm in autos. It raises its voice when your foot goes right down, but is quiet enough not to cause a disturbance at higher speeds. Again, though, we can’t yet comment on motorway cruising.

What we can say is that from this first, brief look, the Musso does appear to do a good job of taking the good stuff from the Rexton and applying it to the pick-up market. It’s solid, spacious inside and, without rewriting the rules, represents a quantum leap forward from the truck it will replace, vaulting SsangYong from the bottom of the one-tonne pile to a position in which it can compete on a level footing with the rest of the pack.

It also comes with a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, and with running costs mattering so much to most people that could go a long way to convincing some buyers. So too could prices which SsangYong says will start at less than £20,000 plus VAT – these are yet to be confirmed, as has the exact spec of the three-strong UK range. But it’s clear that value for money will continue to be a key part of the proposition.

Weigh all that up against fuel consumption and emissions of 35.8mpg and 211g/km (32.8 and 226 auto), and residuals which will likely be on the weak side, and you have a number of questions to ask yourself. By no means are they clear cut, though – and for the first time in the UK pick-up market, SsangYong certainly does have an answer.

SsangYong have shown their e-SIV concept in Switzerland. The SUV is the fifth electric concept SsangYong have produced, and aims to combine efficiency, driving capability and an advanced approach to connectivity.

e-SIV stands for ‘electronic smart interface vehicle’, and the interior is aimed at ‘busy people’ and works with modern technology to become a ‘mobile communication space’. This will be achieved via a learning voice recognition system, internet connectivity and autonomous driving ability.

 

Aspects ranging from charging, infotainment and in emergency conditions even driving the vehicle could be controlled via a smartphone app.

The e-SIV would have a cruising range of up to 450km, and charging will take the battery from flat to 80% in fifty minutes.