2011 SsangYong Actyon Q100 4x4 dual cab 2.0 litre turbo diesel from Australia and New Zealand
Well engineered, well built, and a pleasure to drive
I bought this car very cheaply as it was a "repairable write-off" from a mining company. It had spent two years and 85000k at a iron ore mine in the hot desert, until it was accidentally driven into a ditch and then written-off by the insurance company.
This is a list of the damage sustained and the condition of the vehicle when I got it:
1. Both engine mounts cracked and gave way from the vertical drop into the ditch.
2. The engine sump/oil pan was holed, as the engine fell onto the front diff housing as the engine mounts broke.
3. Radiator fractured due to the impact and the engine dropping 100cm onto the diff.
4. Air-bags and seatbelts deployed due to the impact.
5. Windscreen cracked due to passenger air-bag deploying.
6. The body work was "straight", but the paintwork was pitted on the front from following other vehicles on gravel roads.
7. Chassis and under-carriage extensively 'sand-blasted' from driving on gravel roads. Even the plastic mudflaps had worn away.
8. Surface rust only on the bare metal exposed.
9. Every nook and cranny underneath was jam packed with red gravel, sand and dust.
10. The cab interior was dusty with sand and gravel up to 25mm thick in the foot well (more on that later).
11. Transmission gear selection out of alignment. As you can see, it had a hard life.
12. Front brake rotors worn out from the abrasive and acidic environment.
13. The eight bolts mounting the cab to the chassis were bent 30 degrees and the cab was about 20mm forward, so there were some horizontal forces involved in the impact.
14. Torn lower control arm bush.
I was told that the engine still ran, but I did not know the extent of any internal engine or transmission damage, so I was keen but worried to find out ASAP, and I had no intention of dismantling them to find out. Using second hand parts I replaced everything, and much to my relief, the engine and transmission had no problems.
I felt confident I could re-register the vehicle, so I replaced all filters and fluids, new disc rotors, second-hand 'crash-kit' for the dash, air-bags, seat belts and crash CPU, and a new windscreen. I extensively pressure blasted, scraped and cleaned the underneath of the vehicle (several times) and estimate I removed three buckets of dirt from the chassis rails alone. Repainted all the bare metal with several cans of anti-rust spray paint.
I then stripped out the entire cab and doors to remove dust, dirt and gravel, and had to replace the dash, air-bags and seat belts. This is where I really started to see the great quality of manufacture; the dust ingress was very minor and had only come from a body grommet on the floor that had not been refitted properly when wiring had been retrofitted in Australia for mining duties (not Ssangyong). The gravel and dirt in the foot-wells had only come in from the workers' boots. The pollen filter was thick with red dust and I simply washed it out. This car had remained sealed as tight as a drum, even after two years of corrugated gravel roads; I was impressed! To take this point even further, the car does not rattle or squeak, and I have not detected any fatigue in brackets and hinges etc. Two years is a long time for a passenger vehicle to be on a mine-site in Australia!
I eventually got the vehicle examined and registered, and it is my daily drive. It is very quiet and very smooth, and drives like a sedan. I have had no problems with it, and I would buy another without hesitation.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th January, 2015