SsangYong at the Paris motor show 2008

Published: 02 October 2008

Ambitious SsangYong is targeting down-sizing drivers with its new CX200. The Toyota RAV4-size SUV is the first front-wheel drive car from the Korean concern. Crucially for its continued advancement it’s also the platform used to demonstrate a new 175bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, a new six-speed manual transmission and intelligent four-wheel drive.

Tell me more about the SsangYong CX200

Unlike the boxy old-fashioned looking Kyron and Rexton SUVs, the CX200 is a more modern design altogether. Heck, it even uses a monocoque, unlike the rest of the range which feature a separate body and chassis. It’s called an urban compact SUV, meaning it has little off-road ability. It will be the first of SsangYong’s five-year 20-car product offensive when it hits the streets, virtually unchanged from the concept, in 2009. Expect it to retain the firm’s budget prices so it’ll sell for around £12,000.

What else is new on the SsangYong stand?

The CX200 makes the firm’s Paris stand a bit of a one-trick pony. Unless of course you get off on the odious Rodius…

CAR’s verdict: SsangYong at the Paris motor show 2008

SsangYong has got a lot of work to do if it’s to catch up with even its fellow Korean budget makers. But the car it unveiled in Paris proves it is moving in the right direction. And anyone who’s driven the firm’s existing 2.0-litre turbodiesel will rejoice that it’s finally been junked.

SsangYong’s Paris stand score: 3/5

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Paris motor show 2008