Custom. Not the ‘traditional behaviour’ type of custom. We’re talking about the ‘specifically designed’ kind of custom. Why? Well, when SsangYong launched the second-generation Korando in 2019, it also made it available in a trim level called Pioneer, which was aimed at those who regularly tow caravans.
Indeed, the spec of the Pioneer trim level was created using feedback from those self-same caravanners. If that isn’t custom-made, we don’t know what is.
What’s the SsangYong Korando like inside?
The best tow cars will, among other things, provide decent head and legroom. When it comes to the Ssangyong Korando, it’s pretty big inside, and the front seats both offering a good range of adjustment, as well as good leg- and headroom.
The good news continues behind the front seats, with ample space for three at the back, and the centre rear passenger shouldn’t feel too hard done by, because the central tunnel isn’t very big.
However, the boot is where there’s some controversy, because the feedback from caravanners suggested most people want a full-size spare wheel, which has a detrimental effect on boot space.
Pioneer models offer 407 litres, whereas others have 551 litres. So if you tow, but need lots of boot space, perhaps avoid the model aimed at those who regularly tow. However, if the 407-litre boot will be fine for you, the Pioneer is a great option.
The interior is a rather attractive space, with good-quality plastics all around, and plenty of standard kit. A touchscreen dominates the centre of the dashboard, and the Korando comes with heated front seats with partially synthetic leather trim, cruise control, DAB radio and four-season tyres, plus parking sensors fore and aft, and a reversing camera.
How does it drive?
The ideal model for towing is the 136bhp 1.6-litre diesel, which is paired with an automatic gearbox as standard. This is also available with four-wheel drive, although when we tested the car in 2019, it still struggled for traction on slippery surfaces and during hill starts.
Towing on the open road, the Korando remains pretty stable, but it does tend to get pushed around a bit by sidewinds and when passing large lorries. Performance is reasonable as long as you aren’t in a hurry, and the standard automatic transmission swaps ratios smoothly.
Pioneer models are fitted with 17-inch alloys, and this version rides better than the higher-spec ones, which have 19-inch rims. That said, the odd sharp ridge does get through to disrupt your day. Steering is light but vague, which isn’t great on a twisty road, but fine when parking.
The SsangYong Korando is perfectly acceptable when you’re not using it to tow – comfortable, roomy and thrifty. It comes with the bulk of the seven-year warranty intact, too.
As a tow car, it’s fine on a warm, still day, but be aware that it can get flustered by crosswinds and the wake from large vehicles. A test drive is essential. You can also take a look at our guide to the best used tow cars for pre-owned ideas.
Interested in a SsangYong from 2022? Then take a look at our review of the Ssangyong Musso
What to pay
- High: Price: £27,000, Model: 2021 1.6D Ultimate, Miles: 2700
- Sweet spot: Price: £21,250, Model: 2020 1.6D Pioneer, Miles: 7300
- Low: Price: £18,750, Model 2019 1.6D Pioneer, Miles: 7500
What will it tow?
- Kerbweight: 1700kg
- Towing limit: 2000kg
- Noseweight limit: 105kg
- 85% match: 1445kg
- 1.6D Pioneer
- Insurance group: 24
- Annual VED: £165
- Average economy: 47.8mpg
- Interim/full service: £102/£153
- Servicing prices supplied by Servicing Stop, 0844 324 5262,
The really good news is that the SsangYong Korando has been recalled just once in its life.
The problem concerned a fuel pipe, which could weaken and crack over time. Fuel could then leak into the engine bay, presenting a fire risk. More details about this recall can be found at www.check-vehicle-recalls.service.gov.uk.
If this recall has been carried out, the Korando will have much of its seven-year warranty still to run, so you can buy without worries.
Or you could try:
The Qashqai is comfortable on a long journey, just what you need when heading off on holiday with a caravan in tow, but not so soft that it feels in any way unstable.
The 1.5-litre diesel is smooth and economical, but if you don’t like the idea of diesel, the 1.3-litre turbo petrol will be just about strong enough. The good news is that most versions are well equipped and feel solidly put together.
The Arona is a small SUV that really does it all. It’s good to drive, and has plenty of cabin and boot space. Better still, all models are fitted with a height-adjustable boot floor.
There’s a vast range of engines, many of which are available with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, which will make towing even easier. Better still, every Arona will do north of 50mpg, which has to help these days.
The Vitara is a rugged SUV that lives up to its looks. That’s because it had the option of four-wheel drive, so it is very capable towing on slippery surfaces.
There’s plenty of space inside and it feels well put together, although the plastics seem to have been chosen more for ruggedness than style. No matter which version you buy, its standard kit will include air conditioning, cruise control and DAB radio.
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