Embattled carmaker SsangYong introduces its new crossover SUV in South Africa – and we have the price. There’ll be one model at launch - a 2-litre turbodiesel 4x2 with a six-speed manual transmission - and its R294 995 sticker price includes a five-year or 105 000 km service plan, a three-year or 100 000 km warranty and five years of roadside assistance. A petrol motor plus an additional turbodiesel unit are expected to be rolled out in South Africa through the course of 2011. It must be SsangYong’s wish that this attractive crossover, styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro and part-developed in Europe, will be a primary component in the Korean carmaker’s resurgence. After all, it does have new ownership to boast after India’s Mahindra and Mahindra sealed a deal with SsangYong in November 2010. Given vehicles’ typical life cycles, the Korando would have been in the works long before a deal was under consideration, but it does give the Mahindra-headed operation something shiny and new with which to push forward. And in South Africa, SsangYong hopes the new Korando will attract buyers keen to downsize...MONOCOQUEThe all-new Korando is new from the ground up and represents SsangYong’s first application of a monocoque structure. The company also talks of fuel economy and CO2 emissions to rival those in its class, while Korando’s materials, levels of refinement and practicality are said to be the qualities to give it an edge over the marketplace. The Korando’s new powertrain should also play a role. The all-new common-rail diesel engine uses a variable geometry turbocharger to generate 130kW at 4000r/min and has a peak torque figure of 360Nm available between 2000 and 3000r/min. SsangYong quotes a combined fuel consumption figure of 6.1 litres per 100 km and CO2 emissions of 159g/km. In terms of Korando’s safety, in South Africa the new crossover comes standard with front occupant airbags, active head restraints for those up front and Isofix child seat mountings. Seven exterior colours and a range of cloth and leather upholstery are offered on Korando, too.