Ssangyong Rexton 2.2 Ultimate 5dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Diesel
  • 32.9 mpg
  • 5 door suv
  • 225 g/km CO2
  • 202 bhp Engine power
  • 225 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 32.9 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 10.67 secs 0 to 62 mph

Ten Second Review

Want a large SUV that can walk the walk as well as talking the talk? What about one you probably aren't familiar with, the vastly improved fourth generation version of SsangYong's Rexton? If you are secure enough in yourself not to care too much about badge equity and want a large, capable, well equipped seven-seat 4x4 for sensible money, it makes a lot of sense.

Background

Increasingly, large luxury SUVs are all about image, all about badge-equity, all about fashion. Or at least most of them are. Here's one that's more practically grounded - the improved version of the fourth generation SsangYong Rexton. Of all this South Korean brand's products, the Rexton is probably the one provoking most familiarity amongst UK buyers. That's because it's been around so long - since 2001 in fact, sold in first generation form until 2006 when a second generation version offered much the same kind of solid, practical proposition - and much the same aging 2.7-litre Mercedes diesel engine. A big step forward though, was made in 2013 with the launch of the MK3 model 'Rexton W', which got a properly modern 2.0-litre e-XDi diesel engine later uprated to 2.2-litre capacity. This fourth generation design announced in 2018 borrowed that engine, but not a lot else, showcasing the recent steps forward that SsangYong had made in technology and quality. It's the improved version of that MK4 design that we look at here.

Driving Experience

Under the bonnet, this improved Rexton gets an uprated 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine manufactured by SsangYong, which delivers maximum power of 202PS (up from 181PS) and maximum torque of 441Nm (up from 420Nm.) This powerplant delivers progressive acceleration from a standing start - the rest to 62mph sprint takes 11.9 seconds. More important is the way that this proven e-XDi 220 unit has been tuned primarily for the strong low-end torque typical of the Korean maker's powerplants. Transmission is now a Hyundai-sourced 8-speed automatic. Like most SsangYong SUVs, this one will be ideal for those wishing to tow. Thanks to a braked towing capacity of 3.5-tonnes, it can deal with heavier items like a double horsebox, a large caravan or a commercial trailer. Like other SUVs in this class, the Rexton features a part time 4x4 system with power delivered permanently to the rear wheels. Unlike German premium brand SUVs, you get a low ratio gearbox for when off-road conditions become more demanding. Off road electronic safety aids like hill start assist and hill decent control are standard and the Rexton is best-in-class for approach and departure angles - 20.5 degrees and 22.2 degrees respectively. On-tarmac, SsangYong says that this Rexton's refinement is much improved over the car it replaces, due to its stiffer body, improved aerodynamics and better engine isolation.

Design and Build

This revised Rexton has a much more commanding presence, thanks to a more imposing front grille, surrounded by re-style LED headlamps, which gives it a more powerful, sturdy stance. The rear end has been revised too, with revised LED tail light clusters. Under the skin though, it is of course just the same, which means that you get the solid body-on-frame construction that rival brands have long abandoned. SangYong has now standardised 18-inch alloy wheels. The Korean brand says this SUV is one of the strongest and safest cars in its class thanks to the high-strength steel construction of its body, which makes this car stiffer than many monocoque-built competitors in this category. Inside, SsangYong has re-designed the digital cluster and multimedia packages, so the car now feels more comparable to European rivals, particularly with the top 'Ulltimate' model, which offers quilted Nappa leather seat upholstery. There's a choice of 8.0 or 9.2-inch centre-dash screens, depending on the trim level you choose. The previous five-seat variants have been abandoned, so you only now get a 7-seat cabin configuration, the second row of seats splitting 60:40 with a folding centre armrest, and giving easy access to the third row of seats, chairs that also fold individually 50:50. This seating combination gives greater passenger and load flexibility, equipping the car with one of the largest load spaces in its segment: four golf bags can fit in the boot. There's 236-litres of luggage spare with all the seats upright; if you fold the second and third rows, that rises to 1,977-litres.

Market and Model

Prices are quite a lot higher than they were at this generation model's original launch but still represent decent value in the segment and now include auto transmission and seven seats with both variants. The Rexton line-up now sees an entry-level seven-seat 'Ventura' variant at around £38,000, but most will want to find another £3,000 for the plusher 'Ultimate' model. As expected equipment levels are generous. Even the base 'Ventura' derivative comes complete with 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, LED headlamps, a 12.3-inch full digital console, dual zone climate control and an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto. Plus there's power assisted steering, a heated leather steering wheel, power adjustable, heated, and ventilated front seats,faux-leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. Safety kit includes 9 airbags, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Safety Distance Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Front Vehicle Start Warning, Speed Limit Warning, Smart High Beam and Trailer Sway Control. Step up to the Rexton 'Ultimate' and you also get a larger 9-inch central HD audio screen with TomTom navigation, plus interior mood lighting, stainless steel door finishes, a rear view camera with a 3D 360 monitoring system, Lane Change Collision Warning, Blind Spot Detection Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Warning, premium leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power seats, and a 'smart' electronic tailgate.

Cost of Ownership

SsangYong has done a reasonable job in bringing the running cost returns of this Rexton up to date courtesy of its own 2.2-litre Euro 6 e-XDi diesel engine. Combined cycle fuel economy is rated at 32.9mpg and the CO2 figure is 225g/km, both readings slightly down on those of the pre-facelifted model. The magazines will tell you that these returns aren't up to the levels of cars like Kia's Sorento or Hyundai's Santa Fe. Well of course they're not. Those two models aren't as tough and capable, nor do they have a proper - but inevitably heavy - low range 4x4 transmission. So we need to be comparing apples with apples and pitching this car against proper tough SUVs that as well as seating seven, can easily tow heavy loads and, if necessary, take you through the Serengeti rather than simply through the odd muddy carpark. Once you do that, this Rexton actually stacks up pretty well, with running cost figures pretty similar to those of a properly rugged rival like Toyota's Land Cruiser. Residual values should be good too. Used Rextons are in high demand across SsangYong's dealer network. Perhaps the best bit though, is the peace of mind that comes as standard with this car thanks to SsangYong's impressively complete class-leading seven year/150,000 mile warranty.

Summary

Let's get down to the facts here. There is no other properly capable large SUV in the same price bracket as this SsangYong Rexton, which has a little more of a premium feel in this improved guise. If you want something really comparable with seven seats that can tow as much or go as far off the beaten track, then you'll need to pay around 30% more for a Land Rover Discovery or Toyota LandCruiser. This basic point appears to have been ignored by most reviewers who seem to insist on comparing this SsangYong to rivals not capable of even thinking about tackling the tough tasks this Rexton will take in its stride. Yes of course the properly tough underpinnings necessary to achieve this mean that this car won't tackle the tarmac twisties like a BMW X5 - but then no SUV that's this big and practical can do that. Approach a drive in a Rexton remembering this, with expectations based around the things this car has been designed to do, and you're likely to be very satisfied with what it delivers.

  • Keyless ignition with push button start
  • Smart power tailgate
  • Variable rear boot shelf
  • 6 speaker sound system
  • Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming
  • DAB radio
  • iPod connection
  • Radio/CD + MP3
  • Steering wheel mounted controls
  • USB and auxiliary socket
  • Black and silver roof rails
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Body colour door handles with hidden key buttons
  • Chrome trimmed statement grille
  • Grab handle in B pillar
  • Rear bumper with dual pipe deatil
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Rear spoiler with high mounted LED stop light
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Touch sensing front door handles
  • Visual VIN plate
  • 12v with 2 USB sockets in rear centre console
  • Chrome interior door handles
  • Coin tray
  • D - cut Leather covered steering wheel with bright accents
  • Front centre console and armrest
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Height/reach adjust steering wheel
  • Illuminated front door sill finisher
  • Illuminated glovebox with lock
  • Illuminated sun visor with sliding extension
  • Overhead console with touch controlled LED cabin lamps
  • Premium nappa leather upholstery
  • Stainless steel front and rear door trim
  • Woodgrain accent on centre fascia, console and door trim
  • 2nd row seatbelt with pre-tensioners and 3 point centre seatbelt
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Active roll over prevention protection
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Childproof safety locks
  • Curtain airbags for front and rear passengers
  • Door impact beams for added protection from side collisions
  • Drivers knee airbag
  • Dual front airbags with passenger off switch
  • Front seatbelt pretensioner
  • Front side airbags
  • Front vehicle start alert
  • Height adjustable seatbelts
  • High strength steel construction
  • Manual child lock in rear doors
  • Rear side airbags
  • Safety distance warning
  • Seatbelt reminder for driver and front passenger
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Ultra rigid quad frame for greater strength
  • Alarm/immobiliser
  • Smart key system with window control and auto closing function
  • Steering column lock
  • CO: 0.08
  • CO2 (g/km): 215
  • HC: 0.055
  • HC+NOx: 0.071
  • Noise Level dB(A): 69
  • NOx: 0.018
  • Particles: 0.0025
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 225
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 226
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 191
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 308
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 224
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 2157
  • Compression Ratio: 15.5:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 86.2
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 92.4
  • Engine Code: 672 960
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Fuel Delivery: COMMON RAIL
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 8.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 8.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 11.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 8.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 32.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 32.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 38.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 24.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 33.1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.2
  • Badge Power: 202
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: N
  • Coin Series: Ultimate
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 34U
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 6
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Service Interval Mileage: 12500
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 150000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 7
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 10.67
  • Engine Power - BHP: 202
  • Engine Power - KW: 149
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 3800
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 325
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 45
  • Engine Torque - NM: 441
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1600
  • Top Speed: 114
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 255/60 R18
  • Tyre Size Rear: 255/60 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: DIAMOND CUT
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Height (including roof rails): 1825
  • Length: 4850
  • Wheelbase: 2865
  • Width: 1960
  • Width (including mirrors): 1995
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 70
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2950
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1806
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 240
  • Max. Loading Weight: 770
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 3500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2180
  • No. of Seats: 7
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11