Dual in the depths

Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring - - BIG WHEELS - PETER BARN­WELL peter.barn­well@news.com.au

THERE’S only one ute sold here that’s made in Korea th­ese days and it’s the Ssangyong Ac­tyon Sports. Most are built in Thai­land — some are good.

Ssangyong’s Ac­tyon Sports dual cab still car­ries ben­e­fits from Mercedes-Benz’s own­er­ship a decade or so ago. It’s now owned by In­dian con­glom­er­ate Mahin­dra.

Look un­der­neath the Ac­tyon Sports and you’ll see ev­i­dence of that straight away — it’s all prop­erly en­gi­neered, ro­bust com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle stuff with a dis­tinct Euro­pean ap­pear­ance to it.

The Ac­tyon Sports ute came out with a hideous front a few years ago — that’s hap­pily gone but the deep tray back and dis­tinc­tive arc­ing rear guard styling re­main.

Par­tial up­grades for the in­te­rior in­cluded the steer­ing wheel con­trol but­tons for a num­ber of func­tions, Blue­tooth phone and au­dio and eas­ier to use switch gear.

Ssangyong didn’t go as far as an in­fo­tain­ment screen, which could have in­cluded a re­vers­ing cam­era and sat­nav.

Two ver­sions are sold here, the Tradie base model and the SX we tested. You can get the Tradie in rear-wheel drive and se­lectable 4WD in six-speed man­ual or five-speed auto. The base model man­ual is $26,990 and the bet­ter equipped SX in the same spec is from $28,490. Each runs a 2.0-litre turbo diesel.

Our SX, with five-speed auto (it also has se­quen­tial shift­ing), feels stronger than the num­bers sug­gest, as it’s quick off the mark and has plenty of get-go across the rev range.

One thing that an­noys is the sta­bil­ity con­trol’s slug­gish­ness when re­set­ting — it kicks in if the rear wheels break trac­tion (even a tiny bit) such as when ne­go­ti­at­ing a round­about then af­ter some un­com­fort­able sec­onds you get power back.

The en­gine is rea­son­ably eco­nom­i­cal with a claimed 7.3L/100km. Given the 75-litre fuel tank, a range of 1000km is a rea­son­able ex­pec­ta­tion.

In tan­dem with the 16-inch wheels shod with road-ori­ented rubber, the rear coil spring setup de­liv­ers ex­cel­lent ride qual­ity. The tray load ca­pac­ity is about 400kg de­pend­ing on the model.

The deep tray is 1275mm long by 1600mm wide, the load lip is high but load­ing is rel­a­tively easy, while the plas­tic load tray liner and the strap hooks in­side the tray are quite handy. The 4x4 setup should be re­garded as a light duty of­froader rather than a soft roader — some of the un­der­pin­nings are a touch ex­posed if you go rock hop­ping.

Five fit eas­ily in the roomy cabin and, while there are some luxo fea­tures, the info read­out is rub­bish.

Stan­dard on each spec are air­con, cruise con­trol, power win­dows, heated wind­screen wiper el­e­ments, drink hold­ers, re­mote key­less en­try, lum­bar ad­just on the driver’s seat. Blue­tooth au­dio stream­ing proved too dif­fi­cult.

The Ac­tyon Sports has plenty to of­fer and feels good on the road, es­pe­cially in the sus­pen­sion depart­ment, which out­points most if not all com­peti­tors for com­fort.

As a work­horse, we’d prob­a­bly just set­tle for the 4x2 Tradie.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.