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SsangYong Korando Sports and CSX – style and substance
The SsangYong line-up includes two commercials – the Korando Sports 4×4 pick-up and the Korando CSX Commercial, a van version of the Korando crossover

SsangYong Korando Sports and SsangYong Korando CSX Commercial

What are they?

Ssangyong is one of the less familiar names among light commercial makers in the UK, but this Korean company has been building 4×4 vehicles since 1953.

The SsangYong line-up includes two commercials – the Korando Sports, which is a four-wheel-drive double-cab pick-up, and the Korando CSX Commercial, a van version of the four-door Korando crossover.

In its previous incarnation, SsangYong’s offerings in the UK were all slightly odd – the Musso and former version of the Korando – were rather ponderous and uninspiring vehicles.

How things have changed. SsangYong has recruited Italian ‘master’ Giogetto Guigiaro as designer, and the results are apparent. Both the Korando and Korando Sports ooze stylishness. They also have a marked feeling of substance about the build and quality.

If you need a vehicle that offers seating for five, plus load capacity and creditable four-wheel-drive performance, then the Korando Sports is more than worthy of consideration.

It lines up against Ford, Great Wall, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota in the double-cab 4×4 pick-up sector and stands up well, although its payload figure of 640kg falls short of the normal parameters for this type of vehicle.

SsangYong Korando Sports and CSX – style and substance
The Korando Sports’ interior is well appointed and comfortable

But if weight is of secondary importance, then the Korando Sports has much else to offer. It’s perhaps the most car-like in terms of appearance, especially when fitted with the colour-matched rear canopy, which is an option on SX and EX models and standard with the EXT.

It’s car-like to drive, too. The EX test model’s cab has leather seating, electrically adjustable driver’s seat, front seat heaters, and leather steering wheel and gearknob.

Other refinements include electric windows, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, air conditioning and rear parking sensors.

SsangYong Korando Sports and CSX – style and substance
The Sports’ dual-range transmission gives creditable off-road performance

Making things even more civilised, the test vehicle was fitted Kenwood touch-screen sat nav MP3 CD/DVD with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity (£999), side bars (£630), towbar and electrics (£460), and front and rear skid plates (£148/£200), as extras. The metallic paint adds another £500 and the matching loadbed canopy £1750.

The Sports’ 2.0-litre diesel engine develops 155hp and, with 360Nm of torque on tap, it’s no slouch on the open road.

Neither is it uncomfortable – unlike most rear leaf-sprung pick-ups, the Korando’s front independent suspension and coil-spring multi-link rear suspension give a ride more akin to that of a saloon car than a workhorse. The trade-off is that slightly disappointing payload figure.

The EX  is equipped with a slick six-speed manual transmission. In common with other 4×4 pick-ups in this class, the Korando Sport has a dual-range ’box with a low gear set for off-road use.

All in all, it’s a distinctively stylish yet practical carrier for your tools, equipment or goods, provided you don’t require a large payload, and will happily double as refined and comfortable family transport when off duty.

 

Korando CSX Commercial

If you run a business that needs 4WD, but doesn’t require the load capacity of a pick-up or dual-range gears, then the Korando CSX Commercial could be a good bet.

It’s based on the SsangYong Korando passenger-carrying four-door crossover model but powered by a lower CO2 version of the Korando power unit. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine develops 149hp, and produces 360Nm of torque, while CO2 emissions are reduced to 157g/km.

SsangYong Korando Sports and CSX – style and substance
The CSX Commercial is based on the SsangYong Korando passenger-carrying four-door crossover model

Like its Sports stablemate, the Korando CSX seems well-built, with a high standard of fit and finish. You’d never know you were driving the commercial version apart from the mesh bulkhead behind the two front seats and the fabric-covered load platform in the back.

The power unit is smooth and responsive and pulls well, even with a load in the back. It’s every bit as comfortable as the saloon it’s based on.

Indeed, with the rear doors retained, it looks more like a car than a van, despite the blanked rear windows. And the side doors are an absolute blessing when loading and unloading, making for very easy access to the cargo area.

The Korando’s Torque-on-Demand 4×4 system remains in two-wheel-drive under normal conditions, which helps economy. The system employs sensors to detect potential loss of grip, when the transmission is switched to four-wheel-drive mode.

SsangYong Korando Sports and CSX – style and substance
The CSX Commercial is every bit as comfortable as the saloon it’s based on

If you need to drive on very low-traction surfaces, in off-road conditions or ice and snow, the 4×4 system can be locked to equalise drive between front and rear wheels, and it’s very effective.

The Korando CSX Commercial also comes with a high level of standard equipment. The test model was additionally equipped with Kenwood DAB Touch-screen Sat Nav, MP3 CD/DVD with iPod & Bluetooth connectivity (£999), metallic paint (£500), bulkhead (£345), detachable towbar and electrics (£602), spare 16in alloy wheel and tyre (£200), and carpet mats (£48).

The CSX has a pretty good load area for a car-derived van that will also take a Euro pallet, although the payload at 433kg could be better. Where it comes into its own is its ability to keep moving where ordinary two-wheel-drive vehicles will flounder.

If that’s important in your business, then you should take at look at this nifty piece of kit.

SsangYong Korando Sports and CSX – style and substance
The CSX Commercial has a good loadspace and will swallow a Euro pallet

 

What’s hot?

Korando Sports EX

  • Striking looks
  • Quality feel
  • Car-like and comfortable
  • Good ride
  • Well specified, even in standard form
  • Creditable off-road performance
  • Five-year, unlimited mileage warranty

Korando CSX Commercial

  • Stylish design.
  • Quality feel.
  • Car-based with comfort and ride to match.
  • Clever four-wheel-drive system.
  • Good load space with easy access.
  • Five-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

 

What’s not

Korando Sports EX

  • Loadspace is good but payload at 640kg falls short in this class.

Korando CSX Commercial

  • Like the Sports, it offers a good-sized cargo area, but lacks somewhat in payload capacity.

 

Business Vans verdict

These are two quite different vehicles. The Sports pick-up can carry five, drives like an executive car, has a dual-range 4×4 transmission and will swallow a Euro pallet in the load bed.

The CSX is a car-derived van that’s quick, comfortable and has a reasonable load space.

It also has a clever on-demand four-wheel-drive system to keep your business moving in adverse conditions.

Both disappoint slightly on payload, but if either meets a specific need for your business van, then you should give them full consideration.

They are remarkably well priced, and the build quality is underlined by the five-year unlimited mileage warranty offered on all SsangYong vehicles.

What you need to know

Korando Sports EX

On the road price (ex-VAT and optional extras) £16,708
Load length (max) 1275mm
Load width (max) 1600mm
Load height (without canopy) 525mm
Load capacity (without canopy) 2.04sq m
Payload 634kg
GVW 2740kg
Towing capacity braked/unbraked 2300kg/750kg
Engine 2.0-litre, 4-cyl diesel
Power/Torque 155hp/360Nm
Economy (combined) 37.7mpg
CO2 emissions 199g/km

Korando CSX Commercial

On the road price (ex-VAT and optional extras) £15,995
Load length (max) 1525mm
Load width (max) 1350mm
Load height 900mm
Load capacity 1.3cu m
Payload 433kg
GVW 2260kg
Towing capacity braked/unbraked 2000kg/750kg
Engine 2.0-litre, 4-cyl diesel
Power/Torque 149hp/360Nm
Economy (combined) 45.6mpg
CO2 emissions 157g/km

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Both vehicles are registered by SsangYong as commercial vehicles so VAT registered businesses should be able to reclaim the VAT on purchase.

    Although both these SsangYong commercials have sub 1000kg payloads, VAT is reclaimable on commercial vehicles if they meet HMRC exceptions – such as car derived vans and combi vans.

    I have asked SsangYong to confirm that both vehicles conform and will be listed on the updated HMRC exceptions list. When I have heard back I shall let you know.

    Ralph Morton, editor

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