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SsangYong Korando Sports
With an increased payload is the Korando Sports now the most practical pick-up in the market?

IF you were looking for a macho 4×4 truck, our guess is that SsangYong would not be one of the first manufacturers to spring to mind.

The firm’s vehicles hail from South Korea and while they may not be the very latest in hi-tech fangle-danglery, they do offer good no-nonsense fare at amazingly low prices.

SsangYong has recently been taken over by Indian conglomerate Mahindra – and what this translates to as far as your are concerned is that all SsangYong CVs now get new engines

SsangYong has recently been taken over by Indian conglomerate Mahindra – and what this translates to as far as your are concerned is that all SsangYong CVs now get new engines. Gone are the old 2.7-litre five-cylinder units and in come a set of 2.0-litre four cylinder ones which offer smoother power and better fuel economy.

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty with the truck on test here, the Korando Sports EX, there are a couple points to bear in mind if you are thinking of leaving the safe harbours of the recognised brands and dipping your toe into the relatively uncharted waters of the lesser-known marques.

Firstly, manufacturers like SsangYong are desperate to break into the lucrative European markets, so are offering ridiculous levels of standard spec for equally ridiculously low prices. That means good deals for us all.

Secondly, that desire is matched by equal confidence in build quality, so that SsangYong is offering an unrivalled five-year unlimited mileage warranty. So if things go wrong in a big way, buyers won’t be left high and dry.

Those two points, in our book, make SsangYong a serious consideration for anyone looking for 4×4 double-cabs.

So what exactly is on offer with the Korando Sports?

The 2.0-litre powerplants offer 155bhp and a meaty 360Nm of torque, while the truck’s towing capacity is 2,700kg. Official combined fuel economy is 35.3mpg.

Standard specification on the EX, which costs £18,495, is comprehensive. It includes a six-speed auto gearbox, leather upholstery, powered heated front seats, 18-inch alloys and rear parking sensors, along with the usual array of safety features such as ABS and ESP, which are now a legal requirement for all commercial vehicles. The Korando also has active rollover protection (ARP) and hill-sold assist (HSA) for those dodgy off-road moments.

In the back, the cargo area will carry a one-tonne payload, making it eligible as a commercial vehicle for VAT recovery, and will swallow a Europallet. Meanwhile, a load liner and lashing points come as standard.

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