- Practical, generously equipped and carries a decent price-tag too
- Nice to drive and well balanced on the open road
- Excellent 7-year, 90,000-mile warranty plus optional service plans
- Some rivals are more dynamic to drive
- Ride could be a little more refined
- Some competitors offer a better driving range on a single charge
The SsangYong Korando has been around since 1983 with the fourth-generation model breaking cover in 2019. Now, the Korean carmaker has introduced a fully electrified version called the Korando e-Motion.
There are three trim levels to choose from called ELX, Ventura and Ultimate and the five-door family SUV is very competitively priced.
A high-capacity 61.5kWh battery powers the vehicle and it has a driving range of 211 miles between charges.
Factor in a wealth of on-board tech as standard across the range plus a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, and this BEV is going to gain plenty of attention.
On The Road
The SsangYong Korando e-Motion is a fully electrified, front-wheel drive, five-door SUV that features a 61.5kWh lithium-ion battery working with an electric motor delivering 190PS of power and 360Nm of torque. That translates into decent enough performance figures with a 0-60mph sprint time of 9.0 seconds and top speed of 96.9mph.
It accelerates smoothly out the starting blocks in a nicely controlled manner. Some BEVs are so fierce they would put the fear of God into anyone who has never driven one before.
The power is constant which helps make light work of overtaking and it is also balanced through the twisting B roads. The e-Motion effortlessly cruises at 70mph on motorways and, in busier town centres, it is agile and easy to manoeuvre with great all-round visibility proving another plus point.
There are drive modes that alter the driving characteristics of the car and these are called Eco, Comfort, Sport and Eco+. The Eco mode is limited to 55mph and the driver can also adjust the levels of regenerative braking via the steering wheel-mounted paddles. There are three different strengths and, although single-pedal driving isn’t quite there, it does work very well in busier stop, start traffic.
There are more dynamic EVs out there and some offer added levels of refinement, but the Korando e-Motion is a very decent all-round package. The performance is certainly good enough and the 211-mile driving range between charges is perfectly acceptable too.
With its battery pack positioned low down in the body of the car, the Korando e-Motion has a centre of gravity that is on a par with a hatchback. In fact, it has a lower centre of gravity than its ICE siblings and that results in improved ride and handling when put to the test.
It is well grounded and stable through winding roads with minimal signs of any body sway in or out of corners. It sits on 17-inch alloy wheels which are an ideal match. Any bigger and the ride would be compromised as well as the range.
The car’s fully independent rear suspension set-up manages to smooth out the rougher road surfaces, but the ride can be a little firm at times.
The cabin is well insulated against outside road rumble or wind noise and SsangYong has added extra sound-deadening materials to the e-Motion, along with a thicker dashboard and padded floor mats.
The steering is nicely weighted with plenty of driver feedback and the Korando e-Motion is comfortable on longer journeys.
The high-end Ultimate model gains a heat pump that provides heat energy to warm the cabin. This energy is recycled by the pump which means the battery levels are not reduced or, in turn, the driving range.
While the dimensions and general appearance of the fully electrified Korando are the same as the standard petrol or diesel versions, SsangYong has introduced a number of exclusive styling traits to help it stand out.
It features a futuristic and aerodynamic ‘spread-wing’ grille, added air intakes and new LED daytime running lights with an assortment of blue trim highlights. The triple stacked LED fog lamps are integrated within the new front bumper.
There are blue mirror caps, muscular wheel arches, new 17-inch alloy wheels with low resistance tyres, a new-look rear bumper with blue trim highlights and freshly-designed tail lights with a distinctive double-V design.
That blue theme continues inside the cabin with a blue digital display, blue dashboard and blue accents on the air vent surrounds and door panels, along with blue stitching on the seats and front armrest.
The centre console houses the gear selection lever with the physical transmission replaced by a new select-by-wire drive selector.
There are buttons to quickly access the parking brake, heated seats, drive modes, parking sensors and auto-hold brake function. And some rather smart high-gloss black trim finishes off the cabin very nicely.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
With manually adjustable seats and plenty of steering wheel rake and reach, getting a comfortable driving position inside the Korando e-Motion is simple enough. Range-topping Ultimate models gain powered seats for added convenience.
The elevated seating results in excellent all-round driver visibility which is essential on a car that will frequently feature on the dreaded school run where you need eyes everywhere.
All models are well equipped as standard with plenty of kit to explore. The entry-level Korando e-Motion ELX features woven cloth seats, 17-inch alloys with all-weather tyres, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, eight-inch screen, an audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, dual zone climate control and lots more.
Step up to Ventura trim, as tested, and it gains LED headlamps, dual fabric and faux leather seats that are heated at the front, a leather covered steering wheel, a larger 9.2-inch high-definition infotainment screen, TomTom navigation, rear parking sensors, luxury carpet mats and a charging cable.
The Ultimate model adds soft leather, powered, heated and ventilated seats, a heat pump to conserve battery energy, a powered tailgate, a heated steering wheel, front and rear parking sensors, a wireless phone charger, rear privacy glass and an electro chromatic rear-view camera.
All the controls, dials and readouts on our test car were really easy to operate on the fly in this driver-focused cockpit.
Space & Practicality
Practicality is an area where the latest Korando e-Motion excels with bundles of room for occupants and plenty or storage space too.
It stretches 4,465mm in length, is 1,870mmm wide and 1,635mm tall. And with its 2,675mm wheelbase back seat passengers benefit from ample leg, head and elbow space. They even have seats that can be reclined slightly for added comfort.
The boot can swallow 551 litres of luggage which is class-leading and there is a dedicated compartment beneath the boot floor to store charging cables. Drop the 60:40 split-folding rear seats and the luggage capacity increases to 1,248 litres.
Throughout the cabin there are a number of practical storage options, including a deep glovebox, central cubby bin, door pockets with sections for two bottles, front and rear cup holders, plus some handy trays.
It takes 11 hours to charge the e-Motion’s battery from 0-100 per cent via a 7kW domestic wallbox, whereas a 20-80 per cent charge can be achieved in 33 minutes on a 100kW charger or 54 minutes when plugged into a 50kW charge point. A dashboard light shows whether the battery pack is charging or fully charged so owners can quickly see its status.
Wide opening rear doors offer easy access to a child seat and, with its upright design, anyone with mobility issues would find it a very accessible car to live with.
With high ground clearance and a wading depth of 300mm, the Korando e-Motion offers all the versatility needed from a family SUV. It can also tow a caravan or trailer weighing up to 1.5 tonnes (braked).
The SsangYong Korando e-Motion line-up costs from £31,995 for the ELX model (excluding the Government plug-in car grant), increasing to £34,995 for the Ventura (as tested) and finally, the range-topping Ultimate version costs £37,995.
Until recently, the mid-trim Ventura model would have been eligible for the Government’s grant, but the price cap has been reduced from £35k to £32k and the payment has also been reduced to just £1,500.
But for the £34,995 outlay, our Korando e-Motion Ventura was very well equipped and with its low running costs, there are many financial rewards still to be gained.
For example, the 0g/km carbon emissions figure means the vehicle is exempt from any road tax (or Vehicle Excise Duty).
Day-to-day running costs will also be favourable compared to ICE models as it will be much cheaper to charge the Korando e-Motion at home, from a domestic wallbox, overnight when tariffs are often cheaper than filling up at the pumps.
The insurance rating for our Korando e-Motion Ventura test car was 36.
Quality & Reliability
SsangYong has full confidence in the reliability and longevity of its vehicles and to back that up, the Korean carmaker offers one of the very best warranty packages in the business covering seven years or 90,000 miles.
In addition to the warranty, customers can purchase a SsangYong Service Plan for the Korando e-Motion. This costs £10.99 per month and includes the first three services along with three years of RAC breakdown cover.
And despite being less well known than Korean rivals Kia and Hyundai, SsangYong does perform very well when it comes to customer satisfaction surveys with many owners returning time and again, sticking with the brand.
It is also worth remembering that electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than diesel or petrol models, so in theory there is less to go wrong.
The dual fabric and faux leather seats in our test car certainly looked and felt well-constructed with both comfort and durability in mind and all the switchgear is of a high standard too.
There are a few hard-plastic surfaces that will easily wipe clean if there are spillages, but could prove prone to scratching over time. But generally, the cabin is upmarket and nicely designed.
Safety & Security
Euro NCAP tested the Korando powered by a diesel engine back in 2019 and awarded it the maximum five stars for safety. In December, 2021, additional tests were carried out on the Korando e-Motion and it was awarded the same maximum rating.
Developed from an ultra-high strength steel that optimises rigidity and safety, Korando e-Motion features a multitude of driver assist systems including an intelligent adaptive cruise control set-up that uses radar and a camera to detect vehicles up ahead and maintain a safe distance while keeping the car in the middle of its lane.
There is automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane change assist, driver attention warning, driver attention alert, safety distance warning, speed limit warning, smart high beam, tyre pressure monitoring, Isofix child-seat mountings, six airbags, plus a synthetic sound is generated when the vehicle is travelling slowly to alert pedestrians.
The Korando e-Motion is equipped with an anti-theft alarm with immobiliser to keep uninvited attention at bay.
We can expect to see all manner of BEVs being launched as we draw closer to 2030 and the Government’s cut-off point for the development of pure combustion engined vehicles. And that’s a good thing as the more choice customers have, the better.
The Korando e-Motion is a very worthy newcomer to the segment and definitely worth exploring if looking for a value-for-money, well equipped car that is safe, fun to drive and won’t break the bank.