Ssangyong C200 at the Seoul motor show 2009

Published: 02 April 2009

What’s new on Ssangyong’s Seoul motor show stand?

There was palpable relief on the Ssangyong stand in Seoul as the motor show press day followed a company conference where its rejuvenation package had been outlined to worried importers. This is being led by the C200, a Nissan Qashqai-style crossover SUV that will come in both two -and four-wheel drive formats. Production of Ssangyong’s first ever monocoque car starts in November 2009 and it’ll be on sale in the UK for March 2010, promising a cheap alternative to traditional makers. The C200 was in sporty Aero and Eco versions, the latter using a diesel hybrid engine which the company is convinced represents the future of motoring. 

CAR highlight

Considering SsangYong has form as long as your arm when it comes to designing pig-ugly cars, the C200 is remarkably tame. The company has also twigged that its current engines don’t cut the mustard so it’ll be powered by an all-new 2.0-litre diesel and a 1.8-litre petrol turbo.

What were they thinking?

Even on a motor show stand with a model draped over it, the Rodius remains possibly the ugliest car on the road. And while the firm’s evidently gone to an enormous effort to make its Chairman model even more Mercedes S-class-like than a Mercedes S-class, the cheap plastics and fake wood inside is a massive letdown.

In a nutshell

Ssangyong is preparing for a brave new future. Wisely it’s leaving big SUVs behind and moving into on-road focused cross-over vehicles. The C200 looks like a sensible start.

CAR's rating for Ssangyong's stand: **
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