Big value real pick-me-up – that’s SsangYong Korando Sports

SsangYong Korando Sports

SsangYong Korando Sports - Credit: Archant

Pick-ups make ideal workhorses for active families - especially when they also offer loads of value, says motoring editor Andy Russell

SsangYong Korando Sports

SsangYong Korando Sports - Credit: Archant

It wasn’t until I visited a beach and saw people with jet-skis, canoes and all the paraphernalia which goes with them that I fully realised why pick-ups have become a popular alternative to the family car.

These five-seat, twin-cab pick-ups are just as capable as lifestyle vehicles at weekends meeting the diverse needs of the modern, active family as they are willing business workhorses during the week.

One of the latest to move into this market is the Korando Sports from SsangYong with the Korean manufacturer enjoying a new lease of life in the UK with a new importer and dealer network.

The name is a little confusing because the Korando (without the Sports) is a sport utility vehicle and a very different offering. The Korando is not small but looks so against this pick-up – the first thing that strikes you about the Korando Sports is how big and imposing it is, closely followed by the fact that it looks really quite stylish.

SsangYong Korando Sports

SsangYong Korando Sports - Credit: Archant

Given its size, the 155PS 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine does a fine job, making good progress from little more than 1,500 revs and surprisingly quiet and refined enough to cruise comfortably on motorways.

The Korando Sports can go off-road with electronically-selectable four-wheel drive with high and low-range ratios. Chances are it will spend most of its time on the Tarmac where it acquits itself pretty well with decent ride quality.

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Much of that is down to the Korando Sports having multi-link rear suspension with coil springs, the set-up used on most modern cars, rather than leaf springs.

The soft suspension is geared more for soaking up bumps and lumps – on and off-road – but the Korando Sports drives competently considering its bulk and the amount of road it takes up.

If you are after a lifestyle loadlugger you can see the appeal of a twin-cab pick-up. This SsangYong can carry five adults although kneeroom in the back is tight unless those up front move their seats forward but that’s not a hardship.

The interior clearly shows its utilitarian nature with lots of hard, black plastics which are functional rather than fancy but are well screwed together and should prove durable and easy to wipe clean.

The dashboard looks dated but the big, clear dials and straightforward controls are intuitive to use.

The Korando Sports has a huge, well-protected cargo area and the rear springs have now been uprated to increase the payload to 1,000kg from 643kg, which should, with HMRC defining pick-ups as commercials if they have a one-tonne payload, lighten the tax burden.

Equipment is strong with SX including air-conditioning, 16in alloy wheels, remote locking, four electric windows and heated door mirrors, front fog lights and stability control but you only get front airbags across the range. EX adds leather seats (heated in front), cruise control on the auto model, power folding mirrors, rear parking sensors and 18in alloys.

The Korando Sports is a great value pick-up, with a five-year, unlimited mileage peace-of-mind warranty, which puts the style into lifestyle transport and can double up as a workhorse for both the firm and the family.

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