Saangyoung - more than a match for its rivals

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SSANGYONG has finally unveiled the production-ready Korando Sports pick-up after its debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Billed as a car with added pick-up practicality, SsangYong is claiming a driving experience and ride quality similar to that of its Korando compact SUV.

According to the company, the Korando Sports will “blend the suspension, engine and cabin finesse of a passenger car, the silhouette, space and seating for five that’s typical of a double cab, and the rugged workmanlike ability of a commercial pick-up”.

Part-time four-wheel drive is standard, which sends drive to the rear wheels when the fronts start to slip. It can tow up to 2.3 tonnes and achieve respectable fuel economy figures from a 2.0-litre diesel engine.

Producing 153bhp and 266lb.ft of torque, this e-XDi engine delivers peak torque across a broad rev range and starting low down, from 1,500rpm to 2,800rpm.

Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK, says: “This is more a passenger car with pick-up versatility.

“Consequently, it offers refinements that few of our competitors can match.

“SsangYong has a growing reputation for building extremely competent off-road vehicles, and the new Korando Sports draws on this pedigree. It’s an honest, reliable and highly capable vehicle yet extremely well equipped, and pound for pound will outclass many more expensive rivals.”

Two trim lines will be available, with air conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity standard fit. Placed above the entry-level SX, the EX also comes with heated leather seats, 18in alloy wheels and rear parking sensors. EX models will also have the option of an automatic gearbox with cruise control instead of the standard manual.

Prices are yet to be confirmed.