Revealed in South Korea in January, then in Europe at the Geneva Motor Show two months ago, the restyled Korando has been at Ssangyong's rate since last week in France. This allows us to come back to this discreet SUV, which benefits from being known on our territory.

The unknown soldier

Without looking like it, the third Korando saved Ssangyong. The 2000s were indeed cruel for the Korean brand, which passed from hand to hand. Weakened by the Asian crisis, Ssangyong (a former Mercedes-Benz ally) was bought by Daewoo in 1997. Then General Motors bought Daewoo in 2001 and immediately announced that it was not interested in Ssangyong. GM therefore sold the brand to the Chinese SAIC in 2004. At the end of 2008, in the middle of the financial crisis, Ssangyong found himself over-indebted and in great difficulty. SAIC, not wanting to pay off the debt, left on tiptoe, not to mention seizing South Korean technology for the needs of its own Chinese brands. So here we are in 2010, when the Indian Mahindra & Mahindra, bought Ssangyong and launched a few weeks later the third generation of the Korando, one of the few projects that the outgoing shareholder SAIC had been willing to finance. Do you find Korando 3 consensual? It's deliberate! Let's move back to 2010. For the past ten years, Ssangyong has been in the news with a succession of models with a difficult and questionable physique (Actyon, Rodius, ...). Faced with this eccentricity, which certainly did not help the brand's development, the Korando had to prove that Ssangyong was entering a new era... and in line.  It paid off, since as soon as it was launched in 2011, the Korando sold well and, with Mahindra's help, managed to bring the brand back into the green. Seen from France, one cannot realize the role that this model has played at the global level, as the French network of Ssangyong does not allow it to be known to the general public. Moreover, the brand is courageous to persist in a French market where even well-known brands such as Honda, Mazda or Mitsubishi are already failing to make a real impact. Ssangyong in France in 2016, it is less than 1,000 sales (963 to be exact) and only 204 Korando. And again! These figures are significantly improved compared to 2015! If in 2010 the Korando could have a style in the air with its small 4×4 look, things have changed a lot 7 years later. Already restyled in 2014, the Korando will only see his replacement arrive, at best, in 2019. That's why Ssangyong has planned a little powder coating to keep it going until then. As we will see, the budget has been revised on the front panel. New headlamps with a sharper style and LED daytime running lights, new grille, new front bumper, new fog lamps: the change is subtle, but it shows. Unfortunately, it stops there: profile and rear part do not benefit from any evolution, except maybe the new rims 18″ Diamond Cutting. Unfortunately, it stops there: profile and rear part do not benefit from any evolution, except maybe the new rims 18″ Diamond Cutting. The Korando fights in the Qashqai/Kadjar/Kuga/Tiguan/3008/etc. category. As always at Ssangyong, its price is well located while offering a wide range of equipment. Moreover, there is only one finish with a sports pack included in the French catalogue. Its content: - aluminium rims 18″ Diamond Cutting - 225/55R18 Mud&Snow tires - tinted rear windows and rear window - dual chrome exhaust tailpipe - door thresholds marked "Korando" - 6 airbags - hill start aid - emergency brake assistance - electric defrosting of windscreen wipers - Backup radar with camera - body-coloured exterior mirrors, electrically foldable and defrostable - 2 x 12V sockets - heated front seats - automatic climate control - 4HP audio system + 2 tweeters with steering wheel-mounted controls - jack, USB and HDMI socket The Korando is finally getting up to speed by finally adopting generalized equipment from all competitors: automatic lighting, automatic wiper activation, keyless access and start. But it does not include others: motorized tailgate, traffic sign recognition, leather upholstery, parking assistance, Apple Car or Android Auto compatibility, etc... The touch screen of 7″, if not a more generous size, has at least the merit of being complete: bluetooth, GPS Tomtom, rearview camera. The presence of a spare wheel is to be welcomed, even if it is of the galette type (155/90R16). The only option available is metallic paint for 500€). Under the hood, it's also simple with a single 178 hp 2.2L eXDi 4-cylinder diesel engine available in two-wheel drive (combined with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission) or in four-wheel drive (only in manual transmission). Nothing above 30,000€ for the Korando prices! Here are the 3 versions available on the French market: - 2.2L eXDi 178hp, 2-wheel drive, 6-speed manual gearbox: 25.990€ - 2.2L eXDi 178 hp, 2-wheel drive, 6-speed automatic transmission: 28.490€ - 2.2L eXDi 178hp, 4-wheel drive, 6-speed manual gearbox: 27.490€ Finally, a brief reminder of the Korando's odds: - Length: 4.41m - Width: 1.83m - Height: 1.68m - Wheelbase: 2.65m - Weight 1.598 kgs - Trailer weight: 750 kg (unbraked trailer) or 2 tonnes (braked trailer) - Chest 486 litres - Trunk 1,312 litres (folded seats)