SsangYong is a brand that a lot of Americans might be unaware of, since it isn’t sold here and lives in the shadow of bigger Korean automakers even in the markets where it is sold. It is noteworthy for being the company that built the Rodius, the first generation of which has been argued to be ugliest production car of all time, even uglier than the Pontiac Aztek. SsangYong has avoided taking too many chances with styling since then, but a newly unveiled concept has shown that someone at the company is still thinking about how to make SsangYong cars stand out.

Called the XAV-Adventure, the concept is meant to be a futuristic version of the Korando crossover currently being produced. The concept is both a design study and a platform for several advanced technologies that SsangYong has yet to introduce for production vehicles. SsangYong doesn’t appear to have any plans to change the Korando into this vehicle, but the right amount of follow-up on a vehicle like this could give the perpetual underdog a bit of a boost, and a chance to compete with the relative giant that is Hyundai, even if it doesn’t make it to the U.S.

Continue reading to learn more about the SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept.

  • 2015 SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Displacement:
    1.6 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:


2015 SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 646474
2015 SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 646475
2015 SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 646473

The exterior of the XAV-Adventure is completely different from that of the Korando, to the point that there is none of the current car’s design is evident in the XAV’s bodywork. The design looks a lot like a shorter version of Jeep’s 2007 Jeep Trailhawk concept, complete with the not-quite-a-convertible roof. This was surely not intentional though, and it seem a lot more likely that SsangYong was blending together elements of the original Korando (a licensed copy of the Jeep CJ-7) and the Korando Family (also a licensed copy, this time of an Isuzu Trooper).

This is hinted at in the press release, in a bid to give the concept some off-roading pedigree. This shouldn’t be taken as a criticism though, the XAV has a very well-executed design, and the carbon-fiber roof with a sliding center portion is a particularly nice touch. It has a concept look, but not one so wildly impractical that it couldn’t be implemented if SsangYong really wanted to commit to making it.

Exterior Dimensions

Overall length 4,190 MM (164.96 Inches)
Overall width 1,880 MM (74.01 Inches)
Overall height 1,650 MM (64.96 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,600 MM (102.36 Inches)


Considering how big a departure from the Korando the exterior of this concept is, the interior is startlingly similar. The layout is essentially identical, it just uses updated and better quality components. It uses a similar three-spoke steering wheel and the same center console, and the climate and infotainment controls are in all in the same places, they just look more expensive. Even the vents are in the same locations. It looks a bit plastic-y, especially on the doors, but compared to the relentlessly hard plastic interior of the Korando, it’s still an improvement. The black and brown color scheme works well too.


2015 SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 646472

The XAV has a choice of two different engines, one gasoline and one diesel, both with 1.6-liter displacement. That’s smaller than the 2.0-liter versions of each that are offered now, but that’s because this vehicle is a hybrid. It is the second Korando-based concept to use a hybrid powertrain (there was even an EV version in 2010), but none of these systems have made it into the production vehicle. This version is different from the previous hybrid though, in that it is an electric all-wheel-drive system, with the internal combustion engine driving the front wheels and a pair of electric motors driving the rear wheels.

Such systems are popular with top-tier endurance racing teams like Porsche and Audi, but are only just starting to show up on production-ready concepts. The concept also has a system to read terrain and use that information to adjust the air suspension to give the best ride possible. This isn’t an unheard of thing, but would certainly be a first in the Korando’s price bracket.

Drivetrain Specifications

Motor 10kW front motor & generator /
30kW x 2 dual rear wheel motor
Engine 1,600cc petrol, 1,600cc diesel
Generator 2.1kWh lithium ion battery


2015 SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 646471

SsangYong is not a company that has had an easy time of things. It has been dumped by numerous owners, went bankrupt in 2009, and is still in the process of recovering under new Mahindra ownership. The XAV-Adventure isn’t an entirely new idea for the company, but it is an advanced concept that has finally been brought out at a time when the company could conceivably actually build it. Who knows, it might even finally rid SsangYong of the bad taste from the first-gen Rodius.

  • Leave it
    • previous concepts never saw production, this one probably won’t either
    • lots of plastic
    • styling is derivative of any number of concepts

Press Release

XAV-Adventure is the latest compact SUV concept from SsangYong. It offers a glimpse into the future, and illustrates how the current Korando crossover could be reinterpreted as the fourth iteration of this long-lived and highly successful vehicle brand.

2015 SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 646471

The XAV-Adventure concept was showcased at the Seoul Motor Show earlier this year, and will help redefine the future direction of compact SUVs produced by SsangYong. Together with Tivoli, these new vehicles are being designed to meet the needs of the more active younger generation, who require their cars to crossover between their daily transport needs, and the activities they pursue on vacation and at weekends.

Styling concept

XAV-Adventure is a true SUV. Its chunky proportions and masculine body style draws on the look of those iconic 4x4 ‘trucks’ of yesteryear: strong, robust and with a capacious, square and useable interior space to meet the needs of those who carry large, cumbersome sports equipment.

The design of the interior appears simple, yet is wide and highly practical. The blend of black and natural brown colours creates a contemporary and luxurious ambiance, while the design imaginatively reflects the requirement for practicality. By example, a storage compartment in the rear door enables the loading of all those extra items needed for a leisure activity trip.

2015 SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 646473

The inner element of the carbon roof is a convertible canvas roof, and affords a wide-opening space that draws you closer to the natural surroundings while providing the pleasure of ‘open top’ motoring.


The vehicle is offered with the choice of 1.6 litre diesel and 1.6 litre petrol engines and is also equipped with a hybrid electric E-4WD system. The E-4WD system comprises a lithium ion battery and two rear mounted electric motors that give the option of two driving modes: hybrid fuel economy mode and hybrid performance mode. The system also provides for secure off-road and urban driving.

The car features the SsangYong 3S-CUBE system. This includes a special sensing device, which together with a smart motion control system, electric air suspension and ‘stereo vision’, automatically determines the road conditions and adjusts the suspension for optimised ride comfort. On rough terrain, the suspension adjusts itself to make the ride softer while during high-speed driving, the suspension becomes firmer to increase car control by lowering the vehicle’s ride-height to prevent roll and pitch.

2015 SsangYong XAV-Adventure Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 646474

The XAV-Adventure is engineered for real off-road adventure. It offers a high ground clearance and good ramp break-over angle, and is capable of water-wading and climbing steep gradients. Run flat tyres are another safety feature on the car, with the tyre pattern suitable for on and off road driving.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: