Ssangyong Korando returns for 2011 as a crossover
If anyone remembers, there is a third manufacturer from Korea besides Hyundai-Kia and GM-Daewoo. That would be Ssangyong, the company that makes only three quirky SUV models and a ridiculous-looking minivan, all with Mercedes-Benz engines dating back 20 years. After its recent bankruptcy, the company is seemingly back again with an all-new model built on a new platform and with a new engine. It revives the SsangYong Korando nameplate, which used to be a midsize offroader, except that the new model is a compact crossover.
The 2011 SsangYong Korando has been designed and jointly developed in Europe by Italian styling firm Giorgetto Giugiaro, the company responsible such legendary cars as the Lotus Esprit, the BMW M1, the DeLorean DMC-12 and the Chevrolet Optra.
The only engine announced so far is a 173 hp 2.0-litre diesel, with a choice of manual or automatic, and front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. A petrol engine will be offered later. The company claims off-road ability, but that sounds like fluff, as there is no real equipment for that.
SsangYong says the “Korando” name is Korea’s longest surviving automotive brand. With its roots stretching as far back as 1974, the Korando started a new chapter in Korean car making as the first-ever Korean-developed four-wheel-drive model to come from the country in 1983. The next significant evolution in 1996 was the adoption of Mercedes-Benz diesel technology when the third generation model was introduced. Now the name is back after a five year absence from the world’s car market.
Keep track of local updates in the Ssangyong buyer guide.