New platform, new design, new engine – SsangYong’s new Korando brings an entirely fresh approach to the crossover market. Introducing a number of significant firsts for SsangYong, the Korando is ready to take a bold step into one of the most buoyant sectors of the European car market. Merging the low running costs and dynamic abilities of a conventional family hatchback with the visual appeal, adventurous spirit and rough-road capability of an SUV, the Korando is aimed at the heart of the crossover market.
With the focus on quality and desirability, the Korando has been designed and jointly developed in Europe by renowned stylist Giorgetto Giugiaro. With one of the most famous names in automotive design behind it, the new Korando takes on a modern, stylish SUV shape reflecting the rugged appeal that lies at the heart of today’s SsangYong Motor Company.
Looking outside of Europe, the Korando brand is already one of the strongest in the SUV market. Indeed, Korando is listed in the Korean Guinness Book of World Records as the country’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 self-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, after a five year absence from the world’s car market, Korando is back in an all-new form to claim its place among the world’s new C-segment SUV crossover models.
Epitomising today’s economic ethos of spending less without compromising on quality, the Korando is perfectly placed to meet the needs of downsizing drivers. The compact C-segment sized SUV market now accounts for more than half of the total SUV market in Europe, and this proportion is expected to grow in the coming months and years.
Designed and developed over the last five years to deliver the environmentally conscious efficiency that’s expected of every class leading crossover, the Korando offers high fuel economy and low CO2 emissions to rival the best in class.
Add the proven strength and safety that comes from the DNA of an SUV specialist, and every need is met – environmentally friendly interior materials, comfort, refinement, practicality and versatility all feature to make the Korando a crossover that’s sure to stand out in a busy marketplace.
The new powertrain – efficiency and performance combined
An all-new model deserves an all-new powertrain – and the Korando’s new e-XDi200 engine is at the very heart of the crossover’s appeal. With a high power output of 175PS, superb combined cycle fuel economy of 6.0 l/100km (47mpg) and CO2 emissions of only 157g/km the Korando can challenge the very best rivals. Refinement is a key strength of the new 2.0-litre diesel engine which is offered with both manual and automatic six-speed transmissions to power both front and four-wheel drive Korando models. Furthermore, the Korando range will be extended next year with the introduction of a new even more frugal diesel engine as well as a high-value petrol unit.
Cabin comfort at the core of Korando design
Making the most of its commanding driving position, the Korando offers superb cabin comfort and interior ergonomics. No matter what the surface, a smooth ride quality has been achieved with the adoption of a double bush type sub-frame mounted suspension system, while extensive NVH engineering isolates occupants from external interruptions.
Specification that puts passenger safety first
Passenger safety comes first. Six airbags – dual front, side and curtain – are fitted as standard, while there is also multi-function ESP (Electronic Stability Program), which integrates anti-rollover protection, brake assist, hill start assist and ESS (Emergency Stop Signal). Other standard safety features include first row active head restraints and ISOFIX.
Crossover to the Korando
The Korando is a model which has been designed to reaffirm SsangYong’s position in the minds of the European car buyer. Far from merely fulfilling the basic needs of the consumer, design innovations have been offered to tempt buyers away from established competitors. The eco cruise control system efficiently manages the amount of fuel injected to maximise economy, a door mirror mounted LED puddle lamp helps passengers get in and out safely and comfortably even in dark areas and the Korando’s towing ability has been at the core of its development from day one.
Recognising the desires of many drivers to stamp their personality on their new car purchase, the Korando is offered with a choice of seven exterior colours and a combination of interior shades and materials including luxurious leather seats. Buyers also have the option of a special interior specification which features a unique orange highlight colour.
Korando will be revealed this autumn through the over 1,240 strong SsangYong international dealer network before starting on its journey to strengthen the SsangYong Motor Company’s brand. The first Korando models will be delivered to UK buyers in January 2011, when the following variants will be offered:
- Two-wheel drive, manual
- Two-wheel drive, manual – High Line
- Two-wheel drive, automatic – High Line
- All-wheel drive, manual – High Line
- All-wheel drive, automatic – High Line
As one of Europe’s most respected designers, Giorgetto Giugiaro was brought onboard from the early stages of development to position the Korando perfectly into the competitive crossover market. The result is an elegantly proportioned shape which is perfectly in-tune with the design themes of the moment.
The strong, charismatic front end of the Korando sets the tone for the sharp lines that punctuate the dynamic silhouette. Embodying the SsangYong design theme of ‘elegance within strength’, the Korando brings a fresh take on SUV styling to the crossover market.
Exterior design: robust aesthetics
When creating the fourth generation Korando, designers had strong themes in mind. Conveying the strength and toughness of SsangYong’s SUV building history with an adventurous spirit keen to explore both the wild countryside and the urban jungle, the Korando’s crossover body took shape.
The high bonnet line gives a sense of power and pays tribute to the go-anywhere abilities of SsangYong SUVs, while the perfectly balanced six-point radiator grille and angular headlamp shape are both poised and athletic.
The two-tone bumper shape was designed to express the SUV’s stability and toughness. This is complemented by the mesh radiator grille, bold air intake and chrome trim to make a strong and powerful statement.
At the rear the design statements are equally bold. A defined line runs from the front headlamp to the rear lamp cluster, following the contours of the body and emphasising the Korando’s shape. The rear light clusters have in-built lenses to appear completely red despite housing the turn indicators and reversing lamps.
One of the key design characteristics of any Giorgetto Giugiaro designed model is the perfect proportion. Study the Korando in profile and you will see how this pillar of automotive design has been applied to provide the optimum balance, with a beltline that begins as a diagonal and finishes as a curve to emphasise the presence of both toughness and speed.
The harmony of a neat glass area and the distinctive C-pillar shape is the essence of the robust design that gives a sense of power to the whole vehicle.
Adding visual strength to the Korando’s SUV shape, substantial wheelarches draw the eye to the raised ride height. However, the arches retain a utilitarian black finish to add to the feeling of robustness that’s lacking in so many compact SUV models.
With its perfect proportions, toughness throughout and the attention to detail achieved only by the finest automobile designers, the Korando comes equipped with the very finest European design.
Interior design: premium space
The Korando’s interior combines the Oriental ethos of moderation and elegance. The result is a cabin which uses subtle design detailing to punctuate a spacious and practical interior which meets the needs of the most demanding crossover buyer.
Central to the design of any automotive interior is the driving environment. The Korando’s instrument panel is simple and elegant, with two large dials separated by a digital display. A modern, uncluttered control layout features chrome coloured trim to highlight the flowing lines.
Particular attention has been paid to the look and feel of the main cabin controls. The tactility of the dials and switches has been developed to convey a feeling of quality and robustness in keeping with a crossover model.
Of course, practicality hasn’t been forgotten either, with drinks holders front and rear along with secure stowage spaces for everything from portable music players to maps. The luxurious seats offer an added dimension of versatility and comfort, with the option to fold the second row flat to leave an even more practical luggage area.
With the Korando’s interior, designers have succeeded in maximising space, comfort and practicality in a high quality, driver-centric cabin.
Colour design: the finishing touch
With the fundamentals of a class leading cabin design complete, choosing the perfect colour palette was the finishing touch to the Korando’s interior.
In order to satisfy diverse consumer needs, classy black and natural beige form the basis of the key interior colours. Paying particular attention to the young and active drivers for whom the crossover market often holds most appeal, a special orange highlight colour can be added to the black interior to add a sporty finish.
Just as important as colour is the material used to create each interior part. The Korando cabin is trimmed with everything from attractive chrome and metal accents to premium quality soft-touch plastics. Anti-bacterial paint is also used to enhance the wellbeing of occupants.
As for exterior colours, a total of seven tones are available including vibrant Vitamin Red and striking Ice Blue.
Leading the way with efficiency
The diesel engines used to power SsangYong models have long been one of the marque’s key strengths. Combining the traditional virtues of high performance and outstanding durability with superb economy and refinement, the new e-XDi200 diesel engine is the perfect powerplant for the Korando.
The 2.0-litre e-XDi200 engine provides a maximum power output of 175PS and peak torque of 360Nm, representing a 20 per cent improvement over its predecessor. Optimum torque is delivered across a low yet broad rev range of 2,000-3,000rpm, leading to effortless acceleration from low engine speeds thanks to SsangYong’s E-VGT (Electric Variable Geometry Turbocharger).
Not only is it fully compliant with Euro5 emissions regulations, but the e-XDi200 engine is also designed to fulfil the requirements of the future Euro6 rules. This has been achieved with the help of a range of technological advancements including third generation 1,800 bar common rail fuel injection, E-EGR (Electric Exhaust Gas Recirculation), swirl control valve and CDPF (Catalysed Diesel Particulate Filter). The swirl level has been made flexible for different gear ratios to achieve the cleanest possible diesel combustion.
The result is highly frugal combined cycle fuel economy of 6.0 l/100km (47mpg) and CO2 emissions of only 157g/km. Such impressive efficiency can only be achieved through the implementation of a range of measures throughout the Korando’s design.
The SsangYong’s kerb weight is only 1,672kg (manual version) thanks to various weight saving measures including the use of an oil separator integrated plastic cylinder head cover. Lowering friction has also played its part, with low tension piston rings, plateau honing and low viscosity oil all helping to reduce energy losses.
Advanced engine control devices have also been developed including a dual knock sensor and a system to optimise intake and fuel injection according to driving conditions. A rapid temperature elevation warm-up system is also in place to improve the engine’s performance in cold start and warming-up situations.
Efficiency and performance are only two-thirds of a modern diesel engine’s requirements – refinement is equally important. That’s why the e-XDi200 engine minimises NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) with decoupling technology and an advanced balancing system to drastically reduce booming noise in the mid to high speed range. The engine itself has also been made quieter by acoustically tuning the layout of the chain system to reduce unwanted noise.
The final test for any new engine is reliability, and the Korando’s new powerplant has passed the Mercedes-Benz durability test with flying colours. This is the world’s toughest examination for any new engine, designed to test it to the limit before it is fitted under the bonnet of a production model. The final seal of approval was given to the new Korando’s engine only after it had also undergone extensive real-world test driving in both the hottest and coldest of environments.
To suit the needs, expectations and budget of all types of crossover driver the Korando is offered in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive (AWD) forms. While variants feeding power only to the front wheels will offer the lowest price entry into Korando ownership, SsangYong’s advanced AWD system makes the most of the model’s dynamic abilities both on and off road.
The Korando’s AWD is an on-demand system. By monitoring the grip level, the technology can determine the driving conditions and traction available before distributing power to the wheels that need it most.
Under normal driving conditions 100 per cent of the engine’s torque is driving the front wheels so that the Korando can run with the efficiency of a family hatchback. However, as soon as the front tyres begin to lose traction, power is fed to the rear wheels to ensure safe, stable and dependable progress is resumed. The technology also comes into play when pulling away on a steep slope, allowing the Korando to drive off from a standstill smoothly and safely every time.
What’s more, the AWD even has a special in-built self-protecting function. If a driver fits a different type of tyre or has extreme differences in wear between front and rear tyres, the driving power going to the rear is reduced to prevent any damage to the transmission.
Calling on its 4×4 know-how, SsangYong hasn’t forgotten that many Korandos will find their way off the beaten track on a wintery adventure or towing a caravan on a sodden campsite. That’s why engineers have fitted an AWD lock mode to manually force the spread of power between the front and rear wheels at speeds below 25mph.
All this only adds to the Korando’s credentials as a class leading towing vehicle. The SsangYong has been engineered to pull a braked trailer weighing as much as 2,000 kg, while an unbraked trailer of 750 kg also poses no problems. Keen caravaners have already been impressed by the Korando’s statistics, and are sure to fall for its all-round abilities with a load in tow on the road.
With or without a trailer, at the core of the AWD Korando’s engineering is safety. When working with ESP (Electronic Stability Program) and ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), the four-wheel-drive system provides the best possible grip and control whatever the conditions.
Surpassing many of its rivals, the Korando offers a choice of two six-speed transmissions to crossover drivers.
In the UK the six-speed manual transmission is expected to be fitted to the majority of Korando models. Using a wide spread of ratios, the gearbox has been developed to improve launch acceleration while also offering low-engine-speed high-economy running at motorway pace. Efficiency and durability have also been improved by optimising oil lubrication, while particular engineering attention has been paid to reducing gear whine at all speeds.
Unlike many of its rivals, choosing the Korando’s automatic transmission doesn’t mean giving up any gear ratios. The six-speed auto takes the same wide-ratio spread approach as the manual to minimise its impact on economy, emissions and refinement. Drivers can also take manual control at any point using the shift lever or steering wheel mounted switches.
Technologies such as variable solenoid control, fully adaptive input control and electronic shifting have been used to automatically detect how the driver wants the gearbox to operate. Shift refinement has also been at the forefront of the transmission’s development along with efficiency. Just like every other aspect of the Korando’s mechanical systems, the transmission suffers minimal power and friction losses thanks to the use of variable line pressure control and low viscosity ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid).
Suspension & Running Gear
The new crossover Korando uses a combination of technologically advanced systems and engineering to achieve optimal driving performance and minimise Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH). Details of each system/area can be found below.
EPS (Electric Power assisted Steering)
SsangYong’s EPS uses an electric motor to provide the perfect amount of assistance to the driver when turning the wheel. The system is speed sensitive, offering maximum assistance during parking manoeuvres and greater feel out on the open road. A further advantage is improved efficiency over traditional hydraulic power steering systems.
Optimal Ride & Handling
To compliment SsangYong’s first monocoque construction, compact sub-frames are installed at the front and rear. This not only provides ride and handling characteristics much closer to a conventional road car rather than an off-roader, but it also dramatically improves the cabin’s insulation from bumps and ridges in the road. At the front, side load springs are used to minimise friction and in turn improve both noise levels and durability. Coil springs are fitted to the rear sub-frame to improve overall driving comfort. Extensive engineering development has gone into the blocking of any sub-frame leaning when cornering, helping the Korando to maintain a flat, neutral stance.
The drive shaft sends power to the AWD system and normally consists of steel tubes and universal joints. However, this set-up didn’t measure up to the high standards of NVH expected of the Korando. Instead, a constant velocity joint and rubber couple is used, achieving lower noise levels at high, constant speeds. What’s more, this set-up reduces shock and vibration when cornering, further improving refinement and comfort.
While the Korando is more at home on the tarmac than ever before, off-road capability hasn’t been sidelined. The Korando has a ground clearance of 180mm, approach angle of 22.8 degrees, departure angle of 28.2 degrees and ramp angle of 18.5 degrees. The result is a maximum climb angle of 48 per cent (AWD, 33 per cent for 2WD), a roll over angle of over 40 per cent and a wading depth of 300mm.
These statistics give the crossover model the sort of off-road ability that goes far beyond the expectations of many drivers, but which allows rough tracks and steep inclines to be tackled without costly body or mechanical damage.
Active & Passive Safety System: Secure safety through optimal chassis structure and state-of-the-art technology
One of the main attractions of an SUV is the feeling of safety and security afforded by a high driving position and robust body. The challenge with a crossover model is to offer genuine advances in safety without suffering the penalties of increased weight and reduced efficiency which afflict traditional off-roaders.
In order to meet the demands of the most safety-conscious crossover buyer, the Korando has an energy multi-dispersion structure which channels the force of a front-end impact to the vehicle body through three load channels, including the front sub-frame. This spreads the energy from a crash to minimise the forces felt by passengers and any resultant injuries.
In the case of a rear-end impact, a crash box made from high-tension steel acts as a buffer, absorbing crash energy together with the rear bumper to protect vehicle occupants. Both front and rear-end structures have also been designed to minimise the potential danger to pedestrians.
With many Korando buyers likely to have a young family, the addition of the international standard ISOFIX car seat mounting system is a vital feature, allowing child seats to be installed easily and securely every time.
While some rivals might charge extra for vital safety equipment, the Korando comes as standard with the full complement of six airbags. Dual airbags are fitted for the driver and front passenger, while side and curtain airbags will deploy in the event of a side-on crash. There is also a state-of-the-art safety restraint system in place to stop passengers from being thrown out of the car in a rollover accident.
Another safety enhancement comes in the shape of the latest active head restraint system. An electric signal is detected by the sensor in the event of a rear-end crash and instantly moves the front head restraints forwards and upwards to reduce any potential neck injuries.
However, there’s more to safety than merely considering the worst-case-scenario high speed impact – slow speed accidents also require engineering development to minimise repair bills and insurance costs. A high tension steel crash box is installed at both the front and the rear to reduce the damage caused by low-speed bumps. The design enables easy repairs to be carried out to vehicles which have absorbed collision energy into their crash boxes rather than costly chassis and body parts.
While reducing the consequences of an accident was at the core of the new Korando’s development, helping drivers to avoid collisions in the first place was equally important. The newly developed ABS/ESP system compares the driver’s inputs to the steering, throttle and braking with the vehicle’s status and controls the engine, transmission and braking systems to ensure maximum possible safety in every instance. The system can even detect an abnormal situation, for example when the accelerator and brake pedals are accidentally pressed at the same time, and operate an override function in which the engine will return to idle to help prevent any potential accidents.
What’s more, the Korando’s ESP system also works along with HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist) to apply the maximum braking force in an emergency, decreasing stopping distances when the driver isn’t able or experienced enough to apply full pressure to the brake pedal. ARP (Anti Rollover Protection) provides further driver assistance by preventing instability during sudden changes of direction. To make pulling away on a slope easier and safer HSA (Hill Start Assist) is also fitted, while ESS (Emergency Stop Signal) warns following vehicles of emergency stops and ABS activation.
All the comfort of an SUV with the convenience of a family hatchback
Despite having dimensions compact enough to fit into the city, the Korando offers the practicality required of a family car. Its wide interior offers the practicality of an SUV with the proportions and running costs of a conventional compact family hatchback, making the Korando the perfect transport for both everyday use and leisure activities.
The convenience begins in the driver’s seat. Various storage spaces are available including a centre fascia tray, a door pull handle tray and a large map pocket. The prominent digital read-out also gives the driver all the information they need when heading out into the great outdoors for a spot of mountain biking or canoeing, including both external and internal temperature and humidity. This trip computer also displays information about fuel consumption and range capability.
Over on the passenger side, the glove box contains a partition tray and a credit card holder, while there’s also the added convenience of a hook to secure a carrier bag.
The Korando’s wide track ensures that passengers will be comfortable whether they are sitting in the front or the rear. Those in the back benefit from a flat floor without an intrusive transmission tunnel, while the second row seats can be split 60:40, fold & dive and recline to provide various seat variations.
Lift the Korando’s tailgate and you’ll find a spacious 486 litre luggage area complete with a large under-floor tray. The luggage cover is also removable, while a hanger on the roof and a hook to fix a load net add to the SsangYong’s practicality.
With a level of convenience normally only offered by premium saloons, the Korando provides plenty of attractive features. Top of the list for many will be the standard fit Bluetooth audio system, which not only allows calls to be made and received via a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone but also provides the ability to stream music via a suitable device.
When the driver uses the remote key fob to unlock the vehicle, both the interior and door mirror mounted puddle lights are illuminated to light the way. Both are also lit automatically when the driver removes the key from the ignition and opens the door.
Other convenience features include automatically folding/unfolding mirrors, which are operated when the doors are locked/unlocked using the remote key.
When the Korando reaches 18.6mph (30km/h) the doors are automatically locked, but in a crash situation in which the airbags are deployed, the locked doors will automatically unlock, the interior light will turn on and the hazard lights will be activated.
Looking after the wellbeing of occupants is at the core of the Korando’s cabin design. That’s why various switches have been treated with paint that prohibits the growth of microbes to prevent the spread of germs.
Security is also assured thanks to a standard fit alarm and immobiliser.