When it comes to moderns automobiles, Korean brands are just as good and famous as any European or Japanese name. It makes perfect sense considering how much Korean cars have developed over the past 20 years to be on par with Western brands in terms of technology, performance, and design, just to name a few. Design is where carmakers in Korea have had significant leaps if you know how their designs used to be quickly out of date though there are some iconic shapes inspiring more contemporary styles. In this case, we want to talk about SsangYong. This brand certainly doesn’t make the best-looking cars in the market but they do not age fast either, which is something buyers can rely on.
The SsangYong Musso first came out in 1993
To young consumers, the Musso may be no more than a beefy pickup truck. Created in 1993, this is a mid-size SUV that came out of a collaboration between SsangYong and Daimler-Benz. The car featured a selection of engines that were both turbocharged and naturally-aspirated. This model is not the ugliest car we will mention in this post, it even won the Auto Design Award in the 1994 and 1996 Birmingham Auto Show. However, its look still falls into a spectrum where we find it a bit odd.
Its fascia appears flat, featuring upward-angled headlamps that were ridiculously small. This makes the car look top-heavy. On the other hand, the tail lamps on the Musso are too big while the rear overhangs are comparable with those used on the Nissan Patrol from the same age.
The SsangYong Korando had awkwardly small headlamps
In 1974, the Korando was created in a joint effort of Shijin Motors and American Motors Corporation. The first iteration of this car model was essentially a local version of the American Jeep. In 1996, the second iteration came out, designed by Professor Ken Greenley from the Royal College of Art in London. The hood is longer than that of the predecessor, tapered to the fascia, and there’s an indentation down the middle of the car’s front. Meanwhile, the front fenders remind you of the Jeep design but it’s not really there yet. While the headlamps are humble small rounds placed on the front, the rounded corners of the front are occupied by the turn signal indicator.
The SsangYong Rodius received a bunch of criticism for its design
The Rodius is a multi-purpose vehicle that was first introduced by SsangYong in 2004. This car was also designed by Professor Greenley, who tried to make it look somewhat like a luxury yacht. This car was highly appreciated for its affordability, utility, underpinnings, as well as warranty. Nevertheless, its design received more criticism. The bad comments are focused on the oversized front end with a curved base of the grille that overall look awkward. At the same time, the character line stretched across the body of the car, dipping at the rear quarter windows, which creates the top edge of the tail lamps.
The SsangYong Actyon tried to combine Young and Action, but failed
The Actyon was introduced in 2005 as a compact SUV, whose name combines two words “action” and “young.” The first iteration of this car came in 2 body styles including the Actyon SUV (standard) and the Actyon Sports. The car offered a range of features like a common-rail diesel engine, geometry turbo, keyless entry, electronic stability program, along with speed sensing door locks.
When it comes to the design, the Actyon is sort of strange to look at. The fascia is designed in a way that will make you think of the nose of an airplane but not so close while the headlamps could resemble something out of this world like a spaceship or bolt. In some iterations of this model, there grilled sported vertical slats, making it look like a grinning baleen whale. Innovating the car design in addition to the technology is a good intention but you carmakers have to be very careful when it comes to consumer products because a well-intended but awkward design can be a deal-breaker for many and cause the company to lose its own money and effort trying to sell those cars.