SsangYong Korando e-Motion review: 'Affordable electric car comes with 7-year warranty'
What we need right now is more affordable electric cars. Audis, BMWs and Mercs are all very well, but they’re expensive motors, as are the excellent Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.
Down at the bottom end we have the electric Fiat 500, which comes in at under £25k but has a rather limited range, and the MG ZS EV and MG 5 estate.
The latter two are the most affordable and accomplished electric cars you can buy for under 30 grand. This week, however, we welcome a newcomer that might well fit the brief. It’s the SsangYong Korando e-Motion, the first of three electric SUVs that the Korean company plans to introduce before 2025.
The Korando has been around with petrol and diesel engines since 2019 and is a direct rival to cars like the Hyundai Tucson and Peugeot 3008. SsangYong has raised its game over the last few years and the Korando is not a bad vehicle, if a little rough around the edges.
But how does it work with electric power?
The e-Motion is fitted with a 61.5kWh battery of which 55.3kWh is useable. SsangYong claims a maximum range of 211 miles. That’s useful but the Hyundai Kona electric, which is another rival, can get close to 300 miles on its 64kWh.
The better news is that the e-Motion comes as standard with 100kw rapid charging which means that you can get up to 80% in 40 minutes – assuming you can find a rapid charger.
A 188bhp electric motor drives the front wheels and provides enough shove to get the e-Motion to 62mph in 9.0sec.
That’s about average, and of course you feel that familiar potent EV acceleration from 0-30mph.
So far, so good for our £30,495 entry-level ELX. This is the only version that is eligible for the government’s PICG which shows how short-sighted it was to reduce the cut-off for the grant (at £32,000) while there are still so few affordable EVs available on the market.
Step inside the Korando e-Motion and you’re faced with a lot of rather cheap looking plastics. Although you can’t expect leather and walnut in cars like SsangYongs, MGs and Dacias, those latter two brands fit much better quality hard plastics than does SsangYong.
But you do get an eight-inch infotainment screen, smartphone mirroring and a 12.3in driver’s display with nice sharp graphics.
Another upside is the Korando is very spacious inside. Four six-footers will be comfortable and the fitting of a large battery hasn’t robbed too much luggage space – the e-Motion’s boot holds 551 litres which is considerably more than most rivals can swallow.
The Korando e-Motion scores on these practical features as it does on price and its 90,000-mile/seven-year warranty.
However, to drive the car is distinctly average.
There’s quite a lot of tyre noise, the steering is vague and the ride unexceptional.
This electric version is considerably more pleasant to drive than the diesel car, so if you’ve owned one of those you’re in for a nice surprise. The best plan is to drive the Korando gently to maximise range and not overtax its chassis.
The next trim level up from the ELX is the Venture at £34,955, and above that comes the Ultimate at £37,995.
Although both of those add more goodies such as LED headlamps, heated front seats and a bigger touchscreen, the more you pay for your Korando e-Motion the more it struggles against the opposition on interior quality and design.
Cheaper is certainly better with this car.
SsangYong Korando e-Motion SUV
Engine: Single electric motor, 61.5 kWh battery, 188bhp
0-62mph: 9.0 sec
Range: 211 miles