Bill Cullen doesn’t do an awful lot too wrong, you known, even if the recession managed to bite his posterior rather deeply.
So, when it was announced that the high flying millionaire, who made his name in the Renault stable, had ventured into Ssangyong in a new business, it was time to sit up and take notice. Ssangyong? Wouldn’t have had a great profile in Tipperary and would have been a few question marks about resale value etc. But, from limited knowledge, the vehicles were perfectly good, nice to drive and flexible.
So, it was with much anticipation that we took possession of the new Ssangyong Korando from Fahy and Ryan Car Sales in Templemore. Not really knowing what to expect, it’s fair to say that we were impressed. The Korando ticked a lot of boxes and certainly made a good first impression as far we were concerned when it came to Ssangyong.
Martin Fahy himself is excited about the brand and has reported a lot of interest in the vehicles. It’s no wonder either - the Korando, much like a Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Rav 4 or Dacia Duster, offers a lot of cabin space, nice driving height, flexibility with seating divisions, economy and affordability. In fact, there was little enough to complain about with the Korando, apart maybe from the fact that the boot space was tight - Ssangyong have given more space over to legroom for backseat passangers and this proved a hit alright.
The Korando is pretty high on specs, coming in three different ranges. They start at €25,000 and have many extras as standard, the only real difference between the second and third spec being half leather as opposed to full leather. We loved the privacy glass in the rear, very easy to manage dials and controls - especially the air con - and the sense of space in the cabin. There is plenty of storage space also in and around the driver and front seat passanger and the general feeling inside, is of comfort and control.
So what does it drive like? Pretty good actually. The 2.0litre diesel engine had plenty of pep with the manual transmission smooth and the road holding pretty impressive for a higher variety vehicle. It looks great too with the mesh type radiator grille giving it a sporty look from the front, high wheel arches adding to the muscular feel, and a wide C pillar helping with the robust image. The Korando comes in seven different colours also, for good measure.
The commerical vehicle won the Irish Commercial SUV of the Year 2014 and it’s no wonder - with a return of about 53mpg, loads of space and comfort, it was always going to shake up the commerical market.
Martin Fahy, who is also the Skoda specialist for North Tipperary in new and second hand cars, and runs the Seat franchise, is expecting swift interest in the Korando once Ssangyong establishes itself as a player in the market. That is happening already and we predict that Ssangyong will make an impact and will drive competition even harder than the market currently experiences.
Why not check out the Korando for yourself by calling to Fahy and Ryan, Roscrea Road, Templemore for a test drive. You’ll find, as we did, that this vehicles has got ‘Seoul.’