Colin Goodwin says automaker SsangYong has upped its game in recent years and the Korando e-Motion SUV isn’t a bad vehicle, if a little rough around the edges
What we need now are cheaper electric cars. Audis, BMWs and Mercs are all very good, but they’re expensive engines, as is the excellent Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.
Down at the low end we have the electric Fiat 500, which costs under £25k but has a fairly limited range, as well as the MG ZS EV and MG 5 estate.
The latter two are the cheapest and most accomplished electric cars you can buy for under 30 grand. This week, however, we’re welcoming a newcomer who might well fit the quest. It’s the SsangYong Korando e-Motion, the first of three electric SUVs that the Korean company plans to launch before 2025.
The Korando has been available with petrol and diesel engines since 2019 and is a direct rival to cars like the Hyundai Tucson and Peugeot 3008. SsangYong has grown in recent years and the Korando isn’t a bad vehicle, if a bit rough around the edges.
But how does it work with electricity?
The e-Motion is equipped with a 61.5 kWh battery, of which 55.3 kWh can be used. SsangYong states a maximum range of 211 miles. That’s useful, but the Hyundai Kona Electric, another competitor, can go almost 300 miles on its 64 kWh.
The better news is that the e-Motion comes standard with 100kW fast charging, which means you can charge up to 80% in 40 minutes – assuming you can find a fast charger.
A 188 hp electric motor drives the front wheels and provides enough thrust to bring the e-Motion to 100 km/h in 9.0 seconds.
That’s about average, and of course you’ll feel the familiar strong EV acceleration from 0 to 30mph.
So far so good for our £30,495 entry-level ELX. This is the only version eligible for the government’s PICG, showing how short-sighted it was to lower the subsidy cap (to £32,000) when there are still so few affordable electric vehicles on the market.
Climb into the Korando e-Motion and you’re confronted with a lot of pretty cheap looking plastics. Although you can’t expect leather and walnut in cars like SsangYongs, MGs and Dacias, the latter two brands go with much better quality hard plastics than SsangYong.
But you do get an 8-inch infotainment screen, smartphone mirroring and a 12.3-inch driver’s display with nice, sharp graphics.
Another advantage is that the Korando is very spacious inside. Four six-footers will be comfortable and the fitment of a large battery hasn’t robbed too much luggage space – the e-Motion’s trunk holds 551 litres, which is significantly more than most competitors can guzzle.
The Korando e-Motion scores with these practical features as well as with the price and its 90,000 km/7-year guarantee.
However, the driving is decidedly average.
There’s quite a bit of tire noise, the steering is vague and the ride isn’t exceptional.
This electric version is much more comfortable to drive than the diesel car. So if you’ve owned one of these, you’re in for a nice surprise. The best plan is to ride the Korando gently to maximize range and not overwhelm its chassis.
The closest trim level up from the ELX is the Venture at £34,955, and above that comes the Ultimate at £37,995.
Although both add more extras like LED headlights, heated front seats and a larger touchscreen, the more you pay for your Korando e-Motion, the more it battles the competition in terms of interior quality and design.
Cheaper is definitely better with this car.
SsangYong Korando e-Motion SUV
Engine: Single electric motor, 61.5 kWh battery, 188 hp
0-100km/h: 9.0 sec
Area: 211 miles
https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/motoring/car-reviews/ssangyong-korando-e-motion-review-26937043 SsangYong Korando e-Motion Review: "Affordable Electric Car with 7 Year Warranty" - Colin Goodwin