SsangYong Korando Sports DMZ Review

Cheap full-spec pickup

May 2016


  • Abrasive appearance
  • Tasteless name
  • Not as refined as latest generation of competing pickups
  • Doesn't have the largest towing or load-lugging capacity
SsangYong produce cheap, functional SUVs and pickup trucks and sell them to people who need function and comfort but aren't willing to pay big-brand prices. Most of their models, from the new Tivoli to the Korando Sports on which the DMZ in based, are easy to recommend. The DMZ is less so - it's a camouflaged version of the brand's popular pickup truck.

This car is inspired by the Korean military's own versions of the truck, and is named after the Demilitarised Zone that continues to divide the two warring sides of the peninsular. But the car's military pretensions stop there - underneath the camouflage paint, the DMZ is really just a high-spec Korando Sports.

And the Korando Sports is a very attractive car for certain buyers. It doesn't excel in any particular area except price and, arguably, handling, which is still bad compared to a car but benefits from the slightly less agricultural rear suspension than can be found on some rivals. Price-wise, the DMZ is one of the best five-seater pickup trucks you can buy, and probably the best-value choice for under GBP20,000.

The DMZ is powered by SsangYong's 2.0-litre diesel engine, which is powerful enough for both road and off-road use, as well as towing. The four-wheel-drive system is adequate for most users and there's enough load capacity for average to heavy use. In most of these individual areas, it loses out in real terms to rivals, but across the board it represents a good compromise.

The camouflage paint is likely to be the main deciding factor when people opt for the DMZ, though. It makes a change from the sea of greys and blues, and turns heads more than supercars worth ten times as much. But practically, its applications are probably limited.

Our verdict on the SsangYong Korando Sports DMZ
If you can cope with the DMZ's striking appearance, or genuinely need a camouflaged 4x4, then it makes a good-value five-seat pickup truck. The cab is comfy, the performance is adequate, and the price is lower than any other similarly-specced vehicle of the same type. This is unlikely to be a volume seller, though.