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Korea’s fourth largest carmaker is about to make another comeback in Australia and this time, it might just succeed.

One of the key drivers behind the brand’s revival is the all-new Korando C – a stylish enough compact SUV crossover with a monocoque platform, that has somehow managed to avoid the ugly stick.

Not excited? What if I told you that the Korando C will be powered by a state of the art German designed two-litre diesel engine using a two-stage turbocharger with an advanced high-efficiency exhaust gas recycling (EGR) intercooler producing a solid 130kW and a stomping 450Nm of torque. Is that something that might interest you?

In 2008 there were 43 Ssangyong dealers across Australia. Two years later, there were just 25 of those dealers willing to hang on in the hope of more prosperous times ahead. You could hardly blame them given the rocky road the brand endured over the years, not to mention various owners who were guilty of having more passion than dollars.

Enter Peugeot Australia distributor Sime Darby, the massive Malaysian conglomerate who bought the Australasian rights to the Ssangyong brand in 2008, and has spent millions of dollars over the last 18-months maintaining something of a brand presence in readiness for its upcoming relaunch.

It’s no surprise then when a recent recruitment campaign asking for Ssangyong dealers, drew a response of 17 applications, of which five of those have already been appointed, taking the total to 30.

With the backing of Sime Darby, who just happen to be the world’s third largest BMW distributor (including China) as well as retailing Rolls Royce cars in Hong Kong and Suzuki in Macau, Ssangyong has a better than average chance of establishing a sustainable business in Australia, provided the product delivers not only the latest technology in a reliable, yet, attractive package, but above all, remains a value for money proposition, which has always been a core asset of the brand.

When the Korando C is launched in Australia in the fourth quarter this year, Ssangyong Australia will offer the vehicle in front wheel drive and all wheel drive versions with a choice of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, developed by Australian company DSI in Albury.

From the photos CarAdvice has been supplied by Ssangyong, it’s clear why Sime Darby is optimistic. The Korando C appears to be a thoroughly contemporary design with an upmarket interior treatment. Of course, the proof will be when we finally drive the car and look at the pricing structure.

Ssangyong Motors Australia General Manager, Mr Jeff Barber, has seen and driven the Korando C and believes it has what it takes to win the hearts of at least 2000 Australians during the first year of sales.

He also said that it “will hold it’s own against any compact SUV on the market today”

Despite the fact that the current Ssangyong line-up is an all diesel affair, and the company’s catchcry is “We Live Diesel”, don’t be surprised if the Korando C is eventually offered with a petrol engine.

The company is also developing both a hybrid and an all-electric version of the Korando C, given those technologies were on display at the recent Pusan International Motor Show in Korea.

The EV Korando employs a 100kW electric motor and the latest in battery technology with a 30kWh 300V high voltage lithium Polymer unit capable of propelling the car at a speed of 150km/h for a distance of 180 kilometres.

CarAdvice will keep you posted on the launch of the Korando C and updates to the current range of Ssangyong vehicles in Australia.


  • Shak

    Looks and sounds solid enough. If they can just fix the rear, it may find some buyers who want a cheap Korean with German tech…

    • Shak

      Can i also ask, where have we seen those headlights before?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=668475019 Jake Williams

        Audi Q5 :).

      • Jack

        Holden Captiva5

      • Vibe

        I was thinking new Astra.

        • Shak

          thats what i initially thought.

  • Karl Krankschaft

    Looks like a solid effort . Engine specs sure sound impressive and the front is quite smooth . Unfortunately the rear is fussy and looks like is melted. If the back was fixed it could sell well but the brand might find it hard to shake the image of bland ugly cars ( rexton stavic actyon). And the names ???? Korando is supposed
    to mean Korea can do. But it ends up sounding like a wrap you buy from a Mexican food joint

    • Fenno

      I’ll have two Korandos with refried beans and some salsa please…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1435885244 Yani Hendriawan

    from the front it looks pretty much perfect. i agree with shack, fix the rear

  • Al Juraj

    I can’t help it but I think the front looks very similar to the Commodore.

  • Karl Krankschaft

    Shak the headlights are similar to an audi. I can’t quite get the car but I know it looks like something . Obviously caradvice didn’t look at the back before writing “somehow managed to avoid the ugly stick”. :). ( no offense , love the site) . But yes reasonably good looking . The drivetrain sounds like a winner so IMO ssanyong should take a leaf from kias book and employ a well known designer

    • Shak

      Smart idea, but i dont think any well known designer is just ready yet to put their name on a SsangYong, no matter how cheap or loaded they are. No offense to this new product, but some reputations are harder to lift than others.

      • Baddass

        Well Ken Greenley designed the original Korando and Stavic. He is an estinguished member of London’t Royal College of Art. He said that the Stavic’s design was inspired by yachts. I thought it more similar to a crashed barge with a seeing-deck at the back.

    • timmy201

      The side profile and kick near the back doors is very similar to Mazda’s CX models

  • Stoney!

    Looks like a Captiva…..

    Stoney!

  • Devil’s Advocate

    Well at least it isn’t using the “design language” used in the Stavic, if you could call it that!!!

  • steven

    Um, where is the boot? This looks like a great car except they forgot to add the boot! Compare this to a Forester or RAV4 which have decent sized boots for putting stuff in the back.

    • Shak

      What do you mean? You can clearly see a boot shut line. You havent seen the boot yet, so how can you assume it is tiny.

  • Kampfer

    Some how the bodyline on the side remain my the Hyundai Tucson City, specially the rear quarter.

  • Karl Krankschaft

    True Shak , but money always helps. When Peter Schreyer moved to Kia , they were churning out some seriously nasty cars. (2005 Kia rio).and their reputation was far from good. Kia took a big gamble and paid him loads so he would move to their cheap brand and it worked. Just look at the new Optima. Anyway this is what Ssangyong should do because as I said their drivetrain sounds pretty impressive and if it had the looks to match it could be a winner.

  • Karl Krankschaft

    Yes definitely new Astra with a little Audi mixed in . Looks like they have finally escaped the old design language used in the previous cars, actyon etc etc . It’s like they had Bangles Korean cousin design their cars. Ssangyong Stavic .. What were they thinking

  • Hung Low

    Looks like a CX7 cross Captiva!

  • Daniel

    A blatant rip-off of the Captiva. How can its styling be praised when it’s taken almost without change from another vehicle?

  • notoc

    Love that interior.

  • Micky

    Anthony, are you aware that Ssangyong has withdrawn from the New Zealand market? Not a good sign. I don’t see them having a future here in Australia.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheaquinn Will Phoenix

    The front grill screams Volvo xc60 :/

  • Hyundai45

    now the price is most important,

  • http://good nyamaa

    good car