The new Ssangyong Rexton
The fourth-generation Ssangyong Rexton brings added sophistication to the interior and infotainment, but does this new SUV do enough to close the gap to its rivals?
This is Ssangyong’s flagship model, renewed for its fourth generation, offering an up-to-date suite of infotainment and electronic features and a surprisingly well-furnished interior.But many core Rexton features remain. It retains body-on-frame construction and comes with a part-time four-wheel drive system that includes low-range for ambitious off-roading.In the UK, the Rexton be sold with Ssangyong’s updated 179bhp 2.2 litre four cylinder diesel engine with either a six-speed manual or Mercedes-Benz-sourced seven-speed automatic gearbox.Ssangyong considers the Rexton’s key rivals to be the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Kia Sorento, both of which it is priced to undercut. The firm is also aiming the new Rexton at buyers of used, three-to-four-year-old Land Rover Discoverys, with the Rexton’s five-year unlimited mileage warranty a further draw.A major feature of the Rexton’s redesign is a substantial upping of the quantity of high-strength steel used in its body, upped to 81.7% from the previous car’s 16.1%.Kia reckon the bodyshell is stiffer than that of both the Audi Q7 and a Range Rover Sport, and that’s without the addition of a stout chassis that includes extensive reinforcements within its box sections. So, the Rexton should be very robust. Inevitably it’s also quite heavy, weighing in at 2095kg in its lightest form. As a consequence, the manual’s combined 36.2mpg and 204g/km do not compare well with the equivalent Santa Fe’s 46.3mpg and 161g/km nor the Sorento’s 49.6mpg and 149g/km. Both domestic rivals out-perform the Rexton, too.However, Ssangyong reckons the Rexton’s combination of 3.5-tonne towing capacity and off-road capability will appeal to a particular slice of buyers.There are three trim levels. Entry-level EX costs from £27,500 and provides an 8.0in infotainment screen, manual air conditioning, front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, high-beam assist and traffic sign recognition. Mid-range ELX adds to this two extra seats, 18in alloys, tri-zone air conditioning, Nappa leather, power heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a smart key and extra airbags.The range-topping Ultimate version tested here adds the automatic gearbox, 20in alloys, HID headlights, surround-view monitoring, a powered tailgate, heated and ventilated front seats and, most strikingly, quilted Nappa leather upholstery that helps lift this Ssangyong to previously unimaginable heights of comfort. …read more