SsangYong Rexton (2017) Review
SsangYong Rexton (2017) At A Glance
Insurance Group 35
On average it achieves 87% of the official MPG figure
The Rexton is not only well equipped, it offers seven-seat practicality and could tow a horsebox out of a peat bog if it needed to. The sacrifices you have to make in ride comfort and handling means it won’t suit everyone as well as a Skoda Kodiaq or a Kia Sorento might, but this is nevertheless a very decent all-rounder that you should’t rule out.
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Everyone likes a bargain, and on the face of it, that’s exactly what the Ssangyong Rexton gives you. It’s an absolutely enormous seven-seater SUV, yet it costs the same as a mid-range Volkswagen Golf. How’s that for value for money?
That’s not where the Rexton’s list of talents ends, either. It’s also quite nice to look at, and it has a nice interior, lots of interior space, a massive boot, lots of equipment, an intuitive and easy-to-use infotainment system, a strong diesel engine and very passable on-road refinement. So, where’s the catch?
Well, we’d love to tell you there isn’t one, but we’d be fibbing: there are one or two sacrifices you have to make. The first, and the for that matter, the biggest, is on ride comfort. That’s not to say that the Rexton is an uncomfortable car - that would be harsh - but it could do a whole lot better on that score.
The issue is that the car uses a ladder-frame chassis with its bodywork bolted on top, and that’s the sort of low-tech construction technique that you usually find on pick-up trucks rather than conventional modern road cars.
It means that you constantly feel shakes and tremors through the whole structure of the car, no matter what sort of surface you’re on, and that gives the ride a distinctly unsettled feel.
The handling is less-than-ideal, too. There’s lots of body lean, even in relatively slow corners, and you don’t have to be going too fast to have the tyres chirping, struggling to keep this enormous, heavy machine going in the right direction. It’s not helped but slow, vague steering, either.
Perhaps the biggest pity with the Rexton, though, is that it’s not as great on value as it once was. You see, you need the seven-seater version for it to really make sense, and when it was first released, the entry-level EX version gave you the extra chairs.
That made it really temptingly priced next to other seven-seaters. As time has gone on, though, the EX has been made five-seat-only, so the cheapest seven-seat version is now the mid-range ELX. This is considerably more expensive, and as a result, doesn’t look like such great value.
That said, if you’re buying used and you find an early EX, you could be getting a real bargain. Our advice? When hunting down an EX, check under the boot floor for concealed chairs before buying.
But while the Rexton only does a disappointing job in a couple of areas, and does a more-than-acceptable job in most others, there’s one area in which it truly excels: towing.
Its colossal weight isn’t great news for its efficiency, but it does help give the car a maximum towing weight of 3.5 tonnes, which is huge. Standard on-demand four-wheel drive and a low-ratio gearbox also make the Rexton pretty good in the mud. If that sounds good to you, then it’s definitely worth a look.