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Daewoo Korando 4WD

front view

The Daewoo Korando (was Ssangyong Korando) is said to have been inspired by the Jeep Wrangler and shares something of the latter's looks, although with a few styling twists that you either love or hate. It has the traditional style bonnet (hood) with narrow-set head lights and separate wings, but the corners of the wings have been rounded and incorporate side-lights and turn indicators.

The nose is quite long and one wonders if a future revision might lop a bit off it; there is plenty of space behind the radiator grille to play with if the designers want to. The nose is a limiting factor in the approach angle (29°) for off-road usage.

front view

Moving back brings us to the main box in the basic two-box shape. The rear overhang is very short, giving a good step-down angle (35°), but limiting load space behind the rear seats; you can't have it both ways. The Korando could be an expedition vehicle, but only for two occupants. With four or five on board, luggage space is definitely restricted. A couple of inches from the nose could be usefully "spent" here.

It is said to be difficult to make money on short wheelbase four wheel drives in Australia. The obvious competitors are the Jeep Wrangler, Mitsubishi Pajero (SWB), and Holden Jackaroo (SWB); some manufacturers do not import their SWB models at all. With 235/70R15 tyres of 29" o.a.d. and independent front suspension, the Korando effectively has less ground clearance than the Wrangler and is more in company with the Pajero and Jackaroo.

front view

Badging now says Daewoo (although the moulding in the nudge bar still indicates Ssangyong).

front view

Mercedes designed 3.2 litre six cylinder provides plenty of power, and flexibility, to give good performance. Note the ABS / traction control unit far right of the engine bay.

front view

Right: The doors are long and open wide to let people step through into the rear. Front seats fold forward, the passenger seat slides too, but neither has a "memory" when replaced.

The dashboard has two "humps" for LHD and RHD models. The driver gets the instruments of course, while a grab-handle fills the space in front of the passenger.

The seats are quite comfortable, the backs especially and the driver gets a lumbar support, but the bases are a tad short for long legs. or could they better be angled up more? In any case, the driving position is impressive. Rear-seat occupants also have plenty of leg room, and get arm-rests that can be folded up when there is a third person in the back. Head-room is good and a 6-footer can wear a hat although not a top-hat.

Below: The rear door, its hinges and stay are sturdy. There is not a lot of room behind the rear seats, if occupied. The rear seat backs can split-fold 50:50, and the entire rear seat unit can fold up against the back of the front seats to make a flat load-bed, equipped with tie-down points.

front view
front view

Creature comforts include a good radio / CD-player (but no tape unit) that plays through four speakers, two front, two rear. The engine spins at a lazy, and therefore quiet, 2100rpm in 5th gear at 110kph (2500rpm in 4th), and it is relaxing to cruise along the freeway listening to something uplifting. Air-conditioning is fitted and worked well in the recent hot and humid weather.

Gadgets include electrically operated windows and mirrors, also central locking, oh yes, and cup holders! The doors automatically lock as the speed passes 55kph, unnervingly the first time, and unlock when the engine is turned off. Just make sure that they are unlocked before a river crossing and they will not lock at a sensible speed.

Short wheel base 4WD's can be made to pitch on choppy surfaces, but the suspension effectively insulates the passengers from corrugations. Potholes and larger corrugations can have the back-end moving side-ways. Firmer damping might help here, but it is easy to keep the back behind the front. There is some rattle from the front windows unless they are fully up (the rear windows are fixed). The power steering is lighter than I would like (as usual) but nevertheless gives the driver a feeling of confidence in placing what is quite a wide vehicle.

front view
- 4wd.sofcom.com/4WD.html -
Front suspension is by double wishbones and torsion bars. The lower arms and suspension cross member are the first low points in ground clearance, with a chassis cross-member and the fuel tank further back.
front view

Rear suspension is by live axle, five links and coil springs. Note the ABS / traction control plumbing to the rear disc brake calliper.

4WD Lo / 4WD Hi is selected by a rotary switch on the dash and with the clutch depressed.

Brakes are discs all round, with ABS and traction control. Stomping on the stop-pedal in the rain or on gravel brings the Korando to a halt in a straight line, with just a little feedback and noise from the ABS system doing its job. While on safety features, the driver has an SRS air-bag. The outer rear passengers get lap-sash seat-belts, the central occupant a lap belt only.

The handbrake acts on drums within the rear discs. The test car had the odd effect of the handbrake grabbing if applied with any forward motion still on the car (this was later determined to be caused by a faulty brake lining and a misadjusted spring). There was no similar effect in reverse. The handbrake does need a good deal of force before it will hold the car on a steep bush track. The lever is on the left hand side of the transmission tunnel (suits LHD) and it takes a day or two of grabbing at thin air to get used to this.

Fuel consumption over a mixed set of driving conditions including freeway cruising, stop-go traffic, and gravel roads worked out at about 13 litres per 100km or 21.6mpg (imperial).

- Larry Stanley

2/1999 -->

Daewoo Korando 1999 - 2000, manufacturer's figures

  • SWB, 5 seats, 2 doors, driver's airbag, ABS
  • loa: 4330mm, width: 1841mm, height: 1840mm
  • wheelbase: 2480mm (98"), track: 1510mm/1520mm, grnd clearance: 195mm
  • approach: 29, departure: 35
  • turning radius: 5.3m
  • weight: 1840kg (manual, unladen), towing: 750kg (unbraked)
  • IL63200, 3199cc, petrol, 6-cyls, mpfi, 4-valves/cyl, dohc
  • bore: 89.9mm, stroke: 84.0mm, c.r.: 10.0:1
  • power: 161kW at 5750rpm, torque: 310Nm at 4000rpm
  • LPG conversion not recommended
  • transmission: 5m or 4a, full-time 4WD, hi/lo
  • suspension: double wishbone & torsion bars/ live-axle 5-links & coils, brakes: disc/disc
  • tyres: 255/70R15 (29" o.a.d.), fuel-tank: 70L
  • standard: driver's airbag, ABS, TC, air con', power windows and mirrors, immobiliser, CD player, alloy wheels
  • prices (2/1999): $39,500 (man'), $42,500 (auto) ($au)
  • prices (dropped 7/1999): $37,500 (man'), $40,500 (auto) ($au)
  • included: scheduled servicing for 3 years/ 100K km, dealer charges, Daewoo roadside assistance
  • warranty: 3 year / 100K km
  • rivals: GM Holden Jackaroo, Jeep Wrangler, Mitsubishi Pajero (SWB)
  • UK: on sale from March 1999 and available with a 2.9 litre turbo-diesel
  • NB. Withdrawn from sale in Australia May 2000

Go to the 4wdonline Daewoo and Musso pages

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