Less than 1,900 units sold in the first ten months of this year make the Korando the most sought-after model of the brand, and even the seventeenth best-selling car on the Czech market. Korando is baked from a dough that Czech motorists like – it is non-confrontational in appearance, normal inside and pleasant to drive. Moreover, you can buy it for great money.

The range of the Korean brand has grown this year with another SUV named Torres, but its design is the exact opposite: fresh, extravagant and full of all kinds of frills. In short, a car that everyone turns to. No one would even say that they are actually cars built on the same platform, my colleague and I say when they pose for us side by side as part of a photo shoot. However, upon closer examination, we find more differences.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

No way, you won’t confuse these two cars. Torres not only has a distinctive and innovative design, but is also more powerful at first glance.

Class difference

It may not seem so from the attached photo gallery, but there really is a difference of one class between the two cars. For our people, the most accurate comparison will probably be with the products of the Mladá Boleslav car company: It’s like putting a Karoq and a Kodiaq next to each other.

The difference in the wheelbase is a tiny five millimeters, but the Torres is a significant twenty-five centimeters longer, which is noticeable mainly on the overhangs. Thanks to this, its luggage compartment can also hold much more luggage. Both cars still offer the possibility of a full reserve, without which the trunk can hold 551 and 839 liters, respectively. The impression of a more robust car compared to the Korand is underlined by the constellation of design elements as well as the ten numbers greater height.

Dimensions Korando Torres Difference
Length 4 450 mm 4 700 mm +250 mm
Width 1 870 mm 1 890 mm +20 mm
Height 1 620 mm 1 720 mm +100 mm
Wheelbase 2 675 mm 2 680 mm +5 mm
Trunk 407-551 l 703-839 l +296-288 l

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

Centimeters to the good are manifested not only in the larger trunk of the Torres, but also in the space for the rear passengers. They have more room in front of the knees and above the heads.

Tradition vs. modern

If you have already sat in one of the modern ssangyongs, the controls in both cabins will be familiar to you. But you will quickly begin to perceive the first differences. The Korando has a more traditional driver’s workplace with regular-sized digital clocks, a central multimedia screen recessed into the dashboard, and most notably a separate panel for temperature settings. You can easily adjust the levels blindly using the rotary controls.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

If the over-engineered cabins don’t mean anything to you, you will be satisfied in the Korand. Digitization is moderate, most functions are controlled by classic buttons.

In this regard, Torres has loosened up more and set out to meet modern trends. The digital shield in the hood is more discreet, the display is in the middle above the instrument panel (and retains the physical buttons on the sides). However, the most noticeable difference is the additional screen between the vents and the gear lever. Here, the air conditioning is adjusted exclusively by touch, similar to Audi cars. The sharpness and colors of the image are not so “premium”, but the controls are quite easy to get used to. Although I like modern technology in cars, in debates about buttons vs. screens, I still prefer to lean towards the sensors.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

Torres is bolder inside. Note the digital instrument panel. It is so decent that it is practically invisible in the photo. But it’s there, don’t worry.

There is only one engine to choose from

The same platform means, among other things, the same engine. Both cars have a turbocharged 15-liter gasoline engine under the hood with an output of 163 horsepower and 280 newton meters of torque. A six-speed manual and front-wheel drive are standard for both, but the customer can get an automatic transmission and four-wheel drive on request. There is even an almost unheard-of combination of all-wheel drive with manual gear shifting available today.

The paper data probably won’t scare you, except for the need for dynamic acceleration from higher speeds – usually connecting to a fast highway lane – but you won’t complain about the lack of power. One-five can handle safe overtaking maneuvers with ease, you just need to hold the gas pedal to the floor a little longer to get to the ideal revs.

Photo: Lukáš Kukla, Garáž.cz

Same engines, different approach under the hood. Korando relies on physical strength and a classic stick, Torres has struts.

Any weaknesses? At highway speeds, I notice increased aerodynamic whistling and rolling noise from the wheels in both specimens. But mainly it is higher fuel consumption. The Korando with an automatic transmission and a four-wheeler cruises through districts with over eight liters, a brisker pace or frequent highway movements will claim nine and a bit. Torres in the same configuration is usually a liter thirstier. If you still enjoy shifting and you go to the mountains once a leap year, front wheels with a manual can certainly be more economical.

On the other hand, there is not much to complain about in terms of driving. Both chassis are stiffer, but pleasantly comfortable and legible in terms of steering. We tested the cars with the largest possible shoes – Korando in his nineties, Torres in his twenties – and the truth is that the larger of the siblings can handle the pitfalls of the Czech districts with greater grace. If you sweep a really big pothole here and there, Korando can stomp quite vigorously from below.

Special price comparison Korando Torres
Base price 509,900 CZK 659,900 CZK
Automatic transmission 42,900 CZK 49,900 CZK
4×4 drive 48,900 CZK 49,900 CZK

Events where you look

Koranda prices start at CZK 509,900, but the higher equipment level Style+ (from CZK 539,900), which gives equipment worth CZK 30,000 for free, is the main attraction in the price list. For example, two-zone air conditioning, front and rear parking sensors, LED front fog lights, heated front seats and steering wheel, or 18-inch light alloy wheels. In addition to this promotion, the Koreans will throw in another discount of CZK 30,000 on stocked cars.

Torres didn’t want to be left behind either, for whom SsangYong prepared a Christmas discount of up to CZK 40,000 on stock cars, which applies to all trim levels. So you can currently buy the hot new product from 659,900 CZK, so it starts in the same spheres as competitors a class smaller. But if the extravagant SUV will become as popular in the Czech Republic as its smaller sibling, we will only be able to see that in the coming months.

Which SsangYong SUV from this pair do you like more?

A total of 4 readers voted.