SsangYong is a brand that’s traditionally been known for its big, diesel SUVs and pick-ups, and this is a segment it’s successfully managed to carve out for itself – its models particularly appealing to caravanners and farmers.
That said, in more recent years, the South Korean manufacturer has launched more crossovers, such as the Tivoil and Korando. The latter model has been one of the firm’s best cars to date, and has helped it get closer to rivals than ever. This Korando is now serving as the basis for the brand’s first EV.
Called e-Motion, the SUV has now gained an electric powertrain and smoothed styling, including revised bumpers and lights. Aiming to rival the MG ZS EV and Kia e-Niro, is this Korando e-Motion worth considering?
The Korando’s power comes from a single electric motor hooked up to the front wheels. Producing 188bhp and 360Nm of torque, it’s not only more powerful than the petrol and diesel engines found in this SUV, but also than many of its rivals. SsangYong hasn’t given out a 0-60mph time, but it seems to take around eight seconds, while reaching a top speed of 97mph.
A 61.5kWh battery (of which 55.3kWh is usable) allows for a claimed range of 210 miles, which based on our testing, shouldn’t be too hard to match. It can also be charged at up to 100kW, meaning a 20-80 per cent charge should take just over half an hour. Plugged in at home with a 7kW wallbox, it will take 11 hours.
Ride and handling
The standard Korando’s worst aspect is the way it drives, with its unrefined engines and hesitant gearboxes letting the side down. So immediately this EV is at an advantage, and it really is very quiet on the move, with impressive refinement secured by additional soundproofing and reduced vibrations.
Performance isn’t neck-snapping, but it’s more than brisk enough, while three levels of regenerative braking offer plenty of flexibility in this respect. It also handles well for a car of this class, and though the ride is still a bit stiff, the smaller 17-inch aero alloy wheels are preferable to the large alloys on standard Korando models.
The interior of the Korando is one of the best things about it, and this EV is no different, as it’s well put together and actually looks and feels quite premium. There’s a fantastic 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster on offer, while the e-Motion gets plenty of blue trim throughout, including on the top of the dashboard and steering wheel buttons.
It’s also very roomy, and more so than similarly priced rivals. Headroom and legroom in the back is especially generous, while the 551-litre boot is a great size, and aided by a useful divider.
There are three trim levels available on the e-Motion – ELX, Ventura and Ultimate,
ELX still includes plenty of equipment, such as 17-inch alloy wheels, a digital instrument cluster and eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plenty of safety kit is also offered, such as lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.
Mid-spec Ventura brings LED headlights, a larger nine-inch touchscreen and heated front seats, with flagship Ultimate cars being kitted out with leather upholstery, electric and ventilated front seats and a powered tailgate. A heat pump, which helps to extend the driving range, is also included.
The Korando e-Motion is quite competitively priced in this class, with the entry-level ELX model just qualifying for the £1,500 government grant, bringing the starting price down to just over £30,000.
Higher-spec models do get quite expensive, though, with the Ventura costing from £34,995 and the Ultimate from £37,995.
It’s worth noting the seven-year, 150,000-mile warranty is considerably longer than that of most rivals too.
This electric Korando has been a long time coming, but we reckon it’s worth the wait. For a manufacturer that’s never had anything to do with electrification, it’s a good effort, as it’s refined, practical and has a decent real-world electric range of 200 miles.
While it’s not good enough to sit among the best in this class, stick to the more affordable versions and this e-Motion is worth considering – not least because it becomes the pick of the Korando range.Enquire on a new SsangYong Korando e-Motion