In the bin
are four tie-down points but a payload of 754kg isn’t great.
If you’re thinking this is all starting to sound too good to be true, you’re right.
The Actyon Sports gets a sub-standard three-star ANCAP crash safety rating. And that’s really not good enough— indeed Carsguide does not recommend anything with fewer than four stars.
Ford (Ranger), Mazda (BT50) and Volkswagen (Amarok) show that a ute is capable of a five-star rating.
Despite the poor rating, the Actyon Sports Ute gets the usual complement of active and passive safety features, among them ESP, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control, hill-start assist and two airbags.
The Ranger and Amarok, the accepted benchmarks in this segment, are in no danger from the Ssangyong.
The diesel has plenty of grunt and the six-speed auto does a reasonable job of directing the oomph. But the steering is entirely free of feeling, the ride is jiggly and the seating position is a nightmare. No matter how we adjusted the front seat we just couldn’t stop the sensation of constantly sliding forward.
In the bush we found the Actyon pretty capable, though let down by its limited ground clearance at the front (188mm — a Subaru XV gets 220mm) and quite a few of its vitals hang down just waiting to be knocked off by rocks.
But whether on graded dirt or super-smooth bitumen, there was no shaking the feeling that this ute lacks torsional rigidity. It felt like a malfunctioning massage chair. Not good.
Dear Ssangyong— you’ve tweaked the look and loaded it with kit but it’s still not very safe and it’s not all that great to drive either. 3 years/100,000km
57 per cent
3 stars 2.0L 4-cyl turbo diesel, 104kw/310nm
7.9L/100km, 201g/km CO 5m(l), 1.9m (W), 1.8m (H)