Listen to this article

SUVs are out, but urban vehicles embodying similar virtues without the unnecessary off-roading skills are still on the rise. The latest among them, Ssangyong's C200, debuting at the Seoul Motor Show. The concept was shown in Paris last fall. Ssangyong calls the C200 a "compact urban vehicle (CUV)," and it goes into production at the end of this year. Sales in the UK are expected to commence in about twelve months.

The little debutante is sized similarly to the Toyota RAV4, and is reasonably handsome thanks to styling by Giugiaro's ItalDesign studio, and the tall, chunky body lacks much of the off-putting styling that has characterized Ssangyong products in the past. Interior photos of the C200 Eco show color-matched green trim and an airy cabin. Monocoque construction and extensive use of aluminum in the suspension mean that decent handling is likely.

The C200 was shown in two distinct models, with a choice of three engines. A choice of 175-horsepower 2.0 liter turbodiesel or 1.8 liter gasoline engines is available in the C200 Aero, while the C200 Eco features a diesel-hybrid engine. A choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions is available, and the vehicle can be had with front- or four-wheel drive. The C200 steps up to become one of the smallest, lightest vehicles in Ssangyong's lineup, with a compact 4.4 meter overall length. Fuel economy should be good considering the vehicle's small size, and Ssangyong reports that CO2 emissions are cut by 50% in the Eco model. Euro NCAP crash testing is pending.

Got a tip for us? Email: