Ssangyong Berjaya Motor Philippines (SBMP) has been officially signed as a brand new local distributor recently marking the comeback of the South Korean automaker in the Philippines. This sole distributor recently debuted its model line-up, which includes all-new Rodius, Korando, and Tivoli at the biggest trading auto show, Manila International Auto Show 2016. Manufactured to cater the individuals wanting the practicality and trendy designs of SUV, without burning the hole in pockets, Ssangyong Korando is expected to rub its shoulders with the likes of the recently launched Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, and even the BYD S6. The five-seater compact SUV has made its presence known in the country with the starting price of PhP 1,090,000.
Launched alongside two other models of Ssangyong, the Korando sits second in the range, which is available in four variants and three engine options. Powertrain options for this compact SUV include a 2.0-litre gasoline and a 2.0-litre turbo diesel both delivering the same power output of 149 PS while the turbodiesel yields larger torque of 360 Nm as compared to gasoline's 197 Nm of torque. Its range-topping SXD model encloses yet another 2.0-litre turbodiesel yielding 175 PS and all three engines are mated to transmission options of 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic or a 6-speed manual gearbox. True to its name, this compact SUV gives a good enough top speed of 185 kmph clocking the 0-100 kmph in 9.9 secs but with fuel economy, ranging between 11-15 kmpl in city stops you to go all adventurous with this compact SUV.
The new Korando is styled by the legendary car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro and is an epitome of true SUV with its complete package of functionality, style, and elegance. While its minimalist front fascia including double section grille with a large Ssangyong badge and swooping headlights give it a classy appeal, its prominent features like flared wheel arches with 17/18-inch alloy wheels, an angular line of the front bumper and matte black accent all around the body make it appear more sporty and robust. The theme is carried throughout the vehicle with new rear light clusters and new body paints. Its dimension of 4410 mm x 1830 mm x 1710 mm (L X W X H) with a ground clearance of 2650 mm makes this compact SUV to take on the likes of Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.
The interior of this 5-seater compact SUV will greet you with premium luxury features making it modern and driver-friendly in its functionality. The inside of the SUV is decorated with the mix of wood veneer and faux aluminum complementing the leather upholstery spread inside the SUV. Made for 5 occupancies, the interior is made roomier with enough headroom as well as legroom and its 60:40 rear split seats further increase its luggage space of 486-litres to 1312-litres. Its entertainment segment is further enhanced by a new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, automatic single-zone climate control, multi-function steering wheels and high-quality six speakers audio system with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.
An equal attention has been given to the safety of the occupants with improvised standard ABS with EBD and brake assist while the top-spec ELX variant is equipped with an Electronic Stability Program. Passive safety is provided by front and side curtain bags along with front seatbelt pre-tensioners to ensure the further safety of the passengers and driver. Although, the new Korando lacks in better handling and often runs out of grip on the road.
Its practical feature and comparatively low prices along with the comeback of Ssangyong in the country will definitely help this compact SUV to become the heart-throb among the SUV lovers in the Philippines.