For anyone unfamiliar with the gameshow: The Price Is Right, the essence of the programme is a group of contestants guessing how much items cost, with the person furthest from the actual value being eliminated. To my knowledge, the SsangYong Rexton has never featured as one of said items, and that’s probably a good job because I think it’d present some real problems for every single contestant, unless one of them happened to be a SsangYong salesman, of course.
Why? Well, because if you look at what you get, it just doesn’t seem to equate to the price-tag. At all. Let’s take a few salient points; The new Rexton is a genuine 7-seater with genuine go-anywhere ability via its selectable 4WD system, complete with high & low ratio ‘boxes, hill descent and 3.5 tonne towing capability. There’s even a winter setting on the automatic version’s gearbox. All for £28,495, no – that’s not a misprint – £28,495 for the entry-level EX version, and that’s exactly what we’ve got for review here, albeit in automatic guise which’ll set you back an extra £2,000. Looks wise, it’s undoubtedly the most handsome SsangYong to date, being more than a little reminiscent of a Toyota Landcruiser.
One 2.2 l Diesel Engine
So, I’ve already given you the crux of the Rexton, but what about the finer details? Well, it’s a tad limited when it comes down to engine choice, very limited in fact; there’s one engine – that’s it. It’s a 2.2l, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel with 179bhp & 420Nm torque and, where SsangYong previously adopted Mercedes‘ engines, this one is their own. There’s a choice of 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic transmission, the auto is taken from Mercedes – a fact SsangYong make no secret of. Quite the opposite – it’s used as something of a selling point on their own website.
No Shortage of Space Inside
Inside the Rexton, the first thing you’ll notice is the abundance of space, and it’s useable, too, thanks to all 7-seats being easily adjustable. When you’ve got 4850 x 1960mm dimensions to play with, though, it shouldn’t really feel poky if we’re honest. Previous, and even some current SsangYongs have let themselves down is in terms of interior quality, with cheap nasty plastics and switchgear being liberally splashed around. The new Rexton’s something of a pleasant surprise, though. It may not be the most imaginative interior in the world, but the plastics aren’t scratchy at all, there’s even some wood-effect trim on the dashboard.
Loads of Equipment As Standard
What’s Not To Like?
Another issue is the ladder-frame chassis it shares with the Musso pickup. It’s fine for off-road use, but it does tend to shake over less-than-perfect surfaces. The Rexton does handle bends surprisingly well for an off-road biased SUV weighing in at well over 2 tonnes, but don’t expect Range-Rover levels of road manners.
Should I Buy A SsangYong Rexton?
The SsangYong Rexton is big, comfortable, full of equipment and represents such good value for money. It even comes with one of those 7-year warranties the South Koreans are so good at. It’s undoubtedly SsangYong’s finest offering to date and is really hard to dislike, just don’t go expecting too much for you money, and you won’t be disappointed.
By Ben Harrington
SsangYong Rexton 2.2 EX Auto Specifications
Engine – 2.2l turbocharged diesel, Transmission – 7-speed automatic, Layout – Front engine, 4WD, Power – 179bhp, Torque – 420Nm, Emissions – 218g/km CO2, Economy – 34.0mpg combined, Maximum Speed – 115mph, Acceleration – 11.9s 0-60mph, Price – £30,495 OTR, £31,900 as tested
The SsangYong Rexton is available now. For full details go to: www.ssangyonggb.co.uk
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