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by Tim Beissmann

The starting price of the Ssangyong Korando has been cut by $6000 thanks to the addition of a new front-wheel-drive manual variant.

The new Korando S 4×2 petrol six-speed manual is priced from $21,990 driveaway, making the compact Korean one of the cheapest SUVs on the market. A six-speed automatic version is available for an extra $2000.

The rejigged Korando S slots beneath the SX front-drive petrol auto, which effectively takes the place of the previous base model at $27,990 driveaway – though will be offered at the cheaper price of $25,990 driveaway until at least the end of April as part of a pricing offer.

Remaining at the top of the range is the Korando SX all-wheel-drive diesel auto, which costs $32,990 driveaway.

Ssangyong has pulled a number of features out of the MY14 Korando S to create the cheaper MY15 version. In addition to getting a manual transmission rather than the previously standard auto, the Ssangyong Korando S now gets 16-inch alloy wheels (down from 17s) and misses out on front foglights, tinted windows, front mudflaps, rear spoiler, partial leather seats, heated front seats, cargo net and cover.

The MY15 Korando S isn’t a compete stripper, however, still coming standard with a full-size spare wheel, rear parking sensors, heated door mirrors, anti-glare rear-view mirror, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming functions.

As with all Korandos, it also includes six airbags and electronic stability control, and is backed by a five-year/100,000km warranty and roadside assistance package.

The 2015 Korando S is mechanically unchanged, carrying over its existing 110kW/197Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. Combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at 6.2 litres per 100 kilometres for the manual and 6.6L/100km for the auto.

For $4000 over the S auto, the Korando SX auto adds larger 17-inch alloys, front foglights, auto-folding mirrors, rear spoiler, tinted windows, part-leather seats, heated front seats, cargo net and cover, and chrome interior door handles and scuff plates.

For another $5000, the SX diesel brings the 129kW/360Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine and all-wheel drive, as well as auto headlights and wipers, climate control and heated rear seats.




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