SsangYong Rexton II 270 SPR – Ssangyong Car Review – 10-05-2008 | Used Car Expert

7 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on SsangYong Rexton II 270 SPR – Ssangyong Car Review – 10-05-2008 | Used Car Expert

SsangYong Rexton II 270 SPR – Ssangyong Car Review

FEAR of the unknown is arguably the worst of all. For car buyers that amounts to taking a chance on a new model and the possibility of a big hit in the pocket when it comes to selling.

Enter Ssangyong. Actually, re-enter Ssangyong because they have been in the UK before. A few times in fact.

Firstly they were brought in from Korea by the company which still imports Subaru – now we all know that name – then after a downturn in sales a new importer set up a distribution operation. They never made much headway and now Ssangyong has reappeared with a new importation company behind the badge.

A lot has happened since the original and current importation arrangements and it’s possibly very significant that the manufacturer is now part of the Shanghai Automotive company of China, which is also pulling the strings behind the re-emergence of MG in the UK. US and Far East.

Think long term, very long term and you begin to appreciate that Ssangyong could be staying around for much longer this time and, in future, just might be on sale in showrooms alongside some sports cars and hotter saloons.

It is not as if Ssangyong is unproven either – much of the technology is based on proven German and European components and it’s all put together rather well in the Rexton SPR I tested.

In terms of size and appearance, the Rexton is very close to a Mercedes-Benz M-Class but the cheapest of these is close to £39,000, or 50 per cent more than the cheapest Rexton.

The entry-level Korean comes with a choice of manual or optional automatic five-speed boxes and a 165ps 2.7 five-cylinder engine but without the leather trim, cruise control and side airbags which are standard on the Rexton SPR.

That also gets a more powerful engine to match the standard automatic transmission and there is a £5,000 price difference between the two versions.

The powertrain of the SPR is very good, with immediate start up, strong pulling ability over a wide range and a smooth and quiet nature. The changes are effortless and jerk-free whether going up or down the box and, even driven in manual mode, it is remarkably smooth.

The gear ratios are well chosen to give good acceleration from rest, when overtaking or settling down for a long motorway journey. Emissions are very high, however, and will attract punitive tax charges.

The sophistication of the powertrain is matched by the ease of steering which makes it highly manoeverable without being twitchy at speed and by the progressive and powerful brakes underfoot. A foot operated parking brake may not be to every user’s liking but it held the 2.1 tonne four by four on a steep hill.

Not only is it heavy but it’s generously proportioned and a very roomy five seater with good access inside and to the loadbed, which takes a minimum 250 litres rising to 1,338 litres. Seat adjustment is very good in the front and all the seats are well shaped and deeply padded for excellent comfort, particularly on long journeys.

You sit high and with a low waistline visibility is good all round but parking sensors are available either as factory or dealer fit option depending on model and are useful. Good lights and wipers are fitted.

Ride quality is on the soft side and it soaks up bumps with ease at any speed. Although you can hear the suspension system working at times you generally don’t feel the impacts.

It does roll on sharp corners, however, and the tendency is for the Rexton to run wide on curves, but ease off the throttle and it comes immediately and undramatically back on line.

The size of the Rexton makes it ideal for longer journeys but its towing limit of 3.2 tonnes is also very good for pulling boxes, trailers or boats and the permanent four-wheel-drive transmission makes it a genuine heavy duty off-roader as well.

While it cuts straight to the heart of the British 4×4 sector, offering a lot of car for the money, it still has to earn a reputation for reliability and reasonable resale value. The emissions are high and will attract swinging road tax in future and these factors are known, not unknown. Fear of the unknown is sometimes not as significant as fear of the known.


Ssangyong Rexton II 270 SPR 5dr

Price: £24,995

Mechanical: 186ps, 2,696cc, 5cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 5spd automatic gearbox

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