SsangYong Rexton Car Review

21 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on SsangYong Rexton Car Review



For most of us, it’s a truism that the first thing we look for when choosing a new car is the price tag. Of course, it would be fantastic if money truly was no object, but since Roman Abramovich is happily married, I’ll have to stay in the real world. Much as I’d like a Range Rover or a BMW X5, I’d have to cut my cloth to suit my tastes in this sector and as such I’d be taking a very close look at SsangYong’s Rexton 4×4. ‘A what?’ I hear you say.

SsangYong have had an interesting history here in the UK but the Rexton’s value proposition is unarguable. It’s got that great elevated seating position that makes you feel nigh-on invincible and it feels as if it’s built from girders. I get rather fed up with Freelander owners towering over my Corolla.

With the Rexton it’s time for payback.

Make no mistake, despite the shrunken price tags this is a true full-sized family 4×4. SsangYong offer three different engines, two trim levels, two different gearboxes and either five or seven seat configurations so you’re not going to be stuck for choice. I tried a five-seat version of the 2.7-litre diesel Rexton fitted with the Mercedes-sourced five-speed T-tronic automatic gearbox, and loved it.

Every year one car stands out for me as the most surprising package and so far nothing tops the Rexton. No, the interior isn’t BMW-style slick, but it’s been built with a keen eye on design and the quality is just as good as many more expensive Japanese rivals. Measuring fully 4,720mm from nose to tail, the Rexton is no half measure.

In fact that’s longer than the Mercedes M-class!

The cabin is light and airy, and the dash is reminiscent of a late nineties Volkswagen Group product – itself no bad thing. Two Rexton trim levels are available, S and SPR. There’s plenty to commend the car in the way it tackles off road obstacles, the 200mm of ground clearance and tight ramp and departure angles giving it a good deal of capability. That’s something that can’t always be said of vehicles of this ilk.

On road it’s rugged and feels safe, but it’s not the most composed handler. The automatic gearbox is well worth having but you’ll need to hold the Rexton against the brakes if you want to make a quick getaway.

As long as I could extend my garage a little, there’s no reason why I couldn’t get on very well with the Rexton. It may be big but it’s certainly not unmanageable, the tight turning circle and easy steering being a boon on city streets. I particularly relished the great fuel economy the my model returned, the running costs being very modest. CAP, the motor industry bible, even predicts modest depreciation for the Rexton.

Sales have been strong to date and it’s proven something of an underground success. The best value 4×4 you’ve never heard of might soon be getting a whole lot more play in the UK.

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