The first time I ever drove a pick-up truck I felt the biz. It was in Sydney, Australia in 2001 when my pals and I were moving into our just-leased apartment. We needed to get our gear from A to B and we hired a UTE as they call it over there. The feeling was great, and like any good pick-up driver would do, we had the window down with one arm resting out our respective windows. Yes, we probably looked like fools in our check shirts, but we felt good. Nothing beats the feeling of driving a pick-up truck. It makes you feel and look like you’re hard at work.
This week we look at the SsangYong Korando Sports, and may I say that the good feeling I just mentioned came back. From the second I sat into the cab of this little truck I felt right at home. The sun was shining, I had a job lined up which would take me from Dublin to Donegal and back again and I had a full load to fill the truck.
Immediately the first thing that struck me about this 4 cylinder 2 litre engine truck is that the engine seems much more suited to it than the engine of the regular Korando. It’s silent and it is well able to deal with the weight within the vehicle. For this test drive I created a two day trip to Donegal to help friends who were renovating a home, as part of this work there was a requirement to carry a full load to Donegal where it was dropped off. Even with the truck full to the brim it seemed extremely capable of dealing with the weight.
When it comes to handling it would be fair to say that for what this is it actually handles quiet well. I was expecting it to drive like a boat, or even a van, but I have to say that it surprised me. The turning circle is extremely wide, but again you would expect this from a car of this sheer size.
Sadly I didn’t get a chance to bring this car off-road, so I can’t vouch for its four wheel drive abilities.
In terms of comfort I say it again; the cab of this vehicle will make you feel good. It’s comfortable and spacious up the front. The back seats are ideal for the smaller of you or children, but if you’re in the market for a machine like this how often are you going to have people in the back? This is a work mobile. One unforgivable thing which I have to mention is that there is only one coffee cup holder up front!
The Korando Sports is probably the most photogenic car I’ve driven this year. It looks cracking and it’s one of the few test drives I’ve had were I’ve actually been stopped and asked about it. Its curves make it look very muscular. This is what you’d expect Lee Majors to be driving if he was still the Six Million Dollar Man.
Fuel economy and Price
This car surprised me at just how economical it was. I was getting a bit over 32mpg out of it, which considering the size of the vehicle is not too bad. I didn’t drive this car economically, so if I was to be more refined with my driving style I would expect to get closer to 38/39 mpg out of it. There are 3 trims available, the EX, the EX 6-speed automatic and the LX. All engines are 2.0 Turbo Diesel offering 155ps and 360Nm Torque.
The model I drove came with a moulded full rear canopy. This adds to the sporty look of the Korando Sport. You will pay €2,660 + VAT more for this particular canopy. There is also an aluminium top available at €1,850 + VAT.
The CBG.ie verdict
This car looks great and it is fun to drive. As stated above I am unable to comment on the four wheel drive capabilities of the car. This car is best suited to somebody who will actually use it for what it is – a pick-up truck.
Daragh Ó Tuama