SsangYong Rexton – unfamiliar name, premium feel

IT may be an unfamiliar name but SsangYong has been producing vehicles since 1954. The company currently has a three model line-up – the Tivoli, Korando and Rexton – plus the Musso pick-up range.

It’s the large Rexton SUV that’s the focus of our road test this time. There are two versions, the Venture and Ultimate, with the lead-in version priced from €44,489/£37,995. Both versions use a four-cylinder 2.2-litre diesel power unit mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and selectable four-wheel-drive with low ratio.

The standard equipment list is very generous even on the lower specification model. My Ultimate version is priced at €47,615/£40,665 and comes with leather upholstery, power adjust front seats, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, dual zone air conditioning, LED lights, power tailgate, electronic cruise control, auto dimming rear mirrors, auto lights and wipers, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, exit and start, 3D camera and seven seats. Phew!

To say the Rexton is large is somewhat of an understatement. With seven seats it’s not only a genuine family holdall but a properly capable off-roader too. Fold down both rear rows of seats and you have the carrying capacity of a small van, albeit a very luxuriously appointed one.

On the road the Rexton’s slightly old-tech 2.2-litre diesel isn’t the most refined unit, particularly under hard acceleration, but nonetheless has a decent amount of punch and returns excellent fuel economy.

If you found the roughest road surface possible I really don’t think it would upset the Rexton’s interior comfort, such is the suppleness of the ride. No vehicle of this size is designed for sports handling and twisting roads do highlight some body roll if you’re too exuberant.

The build quality is excellent and it has a premium feel throughout with sensible controls and buttons as opposed to the increasing trend of over digitalisation. Styling is very subjective but it’s fair to say the Rexton is distinctive, that overly large grille certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste. On the positive side it’s a welcome change from vehicles that all look the same.

At its price the Rexton is tremendous value, but residuals will not be to the level of more established badges. Having already driven the excellent Korando, SsangYong’s smaller SUV, the Rexton is a similarly impressive story. Even bearing in mind the residuals don’t let the relatively unknown badge put you off investigating the range more thoroughly.

Facts at a Glance

  • Model: SsangYong Rexton Ultimate
  • Engine: 2.2-litre turbo diesel
  • Gears: 8-speed automatic with selectable all-wheel-drive and low ratio
  • Performance: 0-100 kph (62 mph) 10.7 seconds/Maximum Speed 183 kph (114 mph)
  • Economy: 8.59l /100km (32.9 mpg) WLTP Combined
  • Emissions: 225 g/km WLTP

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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Written by

Mark Slack

If you're a petrol head you're in good hands with Mark Slack, whose expert take on the latest car releases will help you make your next purchase.