SsangYong reckons its all-new Korando is a game-changer for the Korean brand.

The small SUV, available in two- and all-wheel drive, will come in two Limited Edition diesel models initially — the ELX LE and Ultimate LE.

Both are powered by a 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine, with 100kW of power and 324Nm of torque, mated to a Japanese Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission.

The front-wheel drive ELX LE model returns a claimed 5.5L/100km.

Korando has been developed with an emphasis on occupant and pedestrian safety and scores five stars from Euro NCAP, but hasn’t been tested here yet.

It’s fitted with Autonomous Emergency Braking System (AEBS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Front Collision Warning (FCW), Blind Spot Detection (BSD), High Beam Assist (HBA), and Reverse Camera across the range.

Korando is well equipped too, with cloth trim, airconditioning, 18 inch alloys, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, a new 10.25-inch full colour LCD instrument cluster, 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus auto on/off and auto levelling headlights, rain-sensing wipers and heated auto folding side mirrors.

Ultimate LE models add power adjustable heated and cooled front seats, heated leather steering wheel, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), LED headlights, power tailgate and dual-zone climate control.

The cars are covered by SsangYong’s 777 Customer Care Package, with 7-year warranty, 7-year roadside assist and 7-year service price menu — for both private and fleet customers.

It ain’t cheap though with the ELX LE priced from $32,990 driveaway and the better equipped Ultimate LE, $39,990 driveaway.

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.