By Mark Slack • 01 June 2023 • 7:46
Image - vSsangYong Rexton/Mark Slack
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 three versions, the Ventura, Ultimate and Ultimate Plus, with the lead-in version priced from €44,698/£38,745. All 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. Across the range you get a heated steering wheel, powered front seats, 3rd-row seating, front and rear heated seats and the front are also ventilated, cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, auto lights and wipers, LED lights front and rear, powered, heated and folding door mirrors, keyless entry and start, front and parking sensors plus camera, dual-zone climate control even for the rearmost seating, navigation and of course Bluetooth with Car Play and Android Auto connectivity. 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 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 decent 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 pinpoint 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 and it’s fair to say the Rexton is distinctive, that overly large grille certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste.
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.
Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.
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