Unjustifiably overlooked: KYRON K200 XDI 4WD

author: AutoManiac date: 2016-06-23
Cars unjustifiably overlooked:

SSangYong... Brand with the name so appealing I would place it, on a marketing success scale, right there next to Pyongyang. Couple of years back, even I thought it was a Chinese company, and when I finally found out it was actually produced in Korea, I was 100% sure it was the North one. The turbulent history of the fourth-largest automobile company from the Korean Peninsula only contributed to the puzzled faces of people when some of its models are mentioned. Since the cooperation with Mercedes-Benz in the beginning of the 90s, through several years of slavery under the Daewoo / GM group and dubious takeover by the Chinese SAIC, to the Indian Mahindra, which is now the majority owner - all this was survived by our shy slant-eyed manufacturer of off-road vehicles. And now, as if they had not been tormented enough - I'm writing about them. Horror.

Kyron, which appeared in 2005, as the first model under the leadership of SAIC, replaced magnificent, but already outdated Musso that maintained presence in the segment since 1993. By targeting the European market, the company set its focus on the Mercedes-Benz engines and the body whose design was signed by Ken Greenley, one of the leading figures at the London's Royal University of Fine Arts. At least that's the story, but it seems to me that someone spilled coffee over the draft of this car's back side, thus making the signature mysteriously stained as well. By the time the dossier was dried and cleaned it became clear that it was time for redesign, in order for the appearance of this unusual SUV's back side to become at least bearable.

Something, however, that was carefully considered was the 2.74 meters long wheelbase and a ground clearance of more than 20 centimeters, with a serious adaptive drive to all four wheels, providing significant off-road ability of the model. Pair this with the Mercedes-Benz transmission and the chain-driven 2.0 liter diesel engine, decent 141 horsepower and 310 Nm of torque and you can get an effective combination for any occasion. Well, except for traffic light drag-racing where you should not even enter if you appreciate your dignity. Unfortunately, until you reach 100km/h the other driver will largely forget that you even raced...

But that's not the point. The mentioned engine is a derivative of the famous Mercedes's 5-cylinder 2.7 CDI series, except that one cylinder was removed an some additional changes to the piston stroke were made. Most parts of the engine are descended from the same production line as other parts of the German manufacturer's power-trains. However, it was specially designed for SSangYong SUV vehicles with emphasis on durability and longevity, not performance. So far, this approach has proved successful because there are no critical problems reported for this vehicle, and even the economy is at a high level, given the segment to which it belongs.

As far as the interior, this car has one and that's about it. Well, SSangYong did their best to enrich Kyron with equipment and various electronic devices, and some cattle gave their lives and skins for the sake of the interior of each of the cars, but ... The plastic quality level is, on a scale of Dacia Logan to Mercedes S-class, somewhere there with Skoda Fabia. Comfort and soundproofing were, let's say, less important to engineers during the design of this SUV. By less important I don't mean less important than the looks of the center console, since they seem to found that to be totally irrelevant. All in all, it takes a long stare at the back of the vehicle before you sit behind the wheel, so that the interior could appear acceptable.

Well hell, now you're wondering, is not this the place where you're introducing some lesser-known cars worthy of our attention?! That's exactly the thing! Kyron is well worth your attention indeed. For only 6,000 euro, which is the starting price of the original model in yellow pages, or 7,500 for the restyled version, you get a very capable SUV, with far more serious characteristics than most of those who are now sold under the umbrella of J-segment and barely represent slightly lifted city cars. If you enjoy touching soft plastic on the dashboard all the time, this car is not for you. However, if you plan, like me, to get lost on the way to a remote mountain ski-center and end up in a village with catacombs coated with cobwebs of asphalt instead of a road - Kyron is certainly a good choice. I am still haunted by the look a bewildered cat gave me as it was, in horror, for the first time in its nine lives, watching a motor vehicle using that poor excuse for a road. I don't know how many times, for those few kilometers, I wished that this vehicle was Kyron, but probably on average every 250 meters.

Mercedes-Benz engine that drives it promises a lot of kilometers with relatively decent fuel consumption and maintenance costs. Also, the trunk which is increased from 622 to 2322 liters by folding rear seats can replace a smallish camper in an adventure under the open sky. Your just need not to be burdened by the brand and your expectations should primarily be the off-road ability, not admiration of gathered people in the parking lot of a popular club. Still, whenever possible, park to the wall - and do it in reverse, no need to scare random passersby.
Engine info ( issues & breakdowns )
SSangYong / Mercedes Benz

2.0 OM DE20

4 - Inline
16, 4 p/ cylinder
fuel type:
Vehicle information - SSangYong Kyron
not tested
2007. - 2009.
body style:
5 door
625 - 2322
fuel tank:


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