SsangYong Rexton (2017) Review

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SsangYong Rexton (2017) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The SsangYong Rexton is really appealing in a number of ways. It gives you a colossal car for not a lot of cash, and the car you get looks good inside and out.

+Lots of car for the money, seven-seat cabin and surprisingly good quality, great off-road and when towing.

-Feels rather agricultural on the road, fuel economy and emissions aren’t great, entry-level car misses out on seven seats.

New prices start from £28,995
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.

Looking for a SsangYong Rexton (2017 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

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.

Ask Honest John

Is the SsangYong Rexton a reliable tow car?
"is the SsamYong rexton a reliable towcar"
Yes. The SsangYong Rexton makes an excellent tow car – the latest model can officially tow a braked trailer weighing up to 3500kg. As a brand, SsangYong performs very well in our Satisfaction Index:
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best car for towing a horse trailer?
"I am looking to buy an affordable car for towing a horse trailer. We need a seven seater. My research points to the Skoda Kodiaq which can tow 2000kg. The Nissan X-Trail also comes up but the salesperson at Nissan wouldn't even show me the car as he said it wouldn't be strong enough (also 2000kg). I'm so confused. Is 2000kg strong enough?"
The maximum towing weight provided by car manufacturers is the absolute max you can legally tow with a vehicle. Usually this is more than the kerb weight of the vehicle (the kerb weight is the weight of the car without any occupants or luggage). Generally, it's strongly advised that you should never tow more than the kerb weight of the tow car - and, for inexperienced towers, you shouldn't tow more than 85 per cent of the car's kerb weight. For example, a 7-seat Kodiaq 4x4 has a kerb weight of around 1720kg depending on spec, so going by the 85 per cent rule the maximum it can comfortably tow is 1462kg. Now, assuming you're a fairly competent tower (I'd recommend lessons if you're not experienced), you'll need something that weighs at least 2000kg if you're hoping to tow 2000kg. This takes you into the realm of pretty serious 4x4s. Things like the Volvo XC90 or Land Rover Discovery will do it, but they're expensive. Alternatively, a Mitsubishi Shogun is an excellent tow car, but it feels old fashioned. I'd look at the SsangYong Rexton - it represents excellent value for money, is a very capable tow car and won't break the bank.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I want to tow a horse box - what car offers the best 4WD?
"What's the best 4WD vehicle for towing a horse box?"
If price and reliability is key, a SsangYong might suit your needs as they’re all affordable and backed by a comprehensive five-year-unlimited mileage warranty. The Musso is one of the cheapest double cab pick-ups you can buy right now, with a 3.5 tonne towing capacity and four-wheel drive as standard. The cabin is also large enough for four adults to ride in comfort: For best stability, the trailer should be less than 85 per cent of the weight of the towing vehicle. If you think the Musso will not qualify for that, the Rexton might be a better alternative. It’s large, comfortable and good off-road, with a 3.5 tonne towing capacity that should easily cope with horseboxes: If budget isn’t an issue, the Audi Q7 is one to consider. It’s luxurious and refined, while its 3.5 tonne towing capacity will cut it with the best. The 3.0-litre TDI diesel comes in two versions - the more popular 272PS model which averages a very respectable official 47.9mpg. Alongside this is a more efficient 218PS version extracting 52.3 miles from every gallon. For our top 10 tow cars, see:
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you recommend a 4WD vehicle that had a large boot?
"I am looking to swap my 2011 Land Rover Freelander. For work reasons, I need $WD but I need a bigger boot space than the Freelander. I have looked at the Skoda Kodiaq, which has a sizeable boot butI'm not really sure the 4WD system will actually get me across muddy fields and through snow when needed (I'm an equine vet)? The older Land Rover Discovery would be okay, but it is a bit pricey. I'm looking to spend £20,000 - £25,000. Is a pick-up too big for day to day driving? Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated."
When it comes to large and capable 4x4s, the prices are sadly quite high. However, if you’re willing to make a few sacrifices on refinement, you can still get a great and practical SUV for your business needs. The Dacia Duster, for example, is available with four-wheel drive and is handy off road. It’s affordable too and well within your budget: The SsangYong Rexton is probably the largest proven 4x4 SUV that’s within your budget. It’s not the smoothest of cars to drive on the road, but the boot is huge and it’ll cope with everything a muddy field or harsh winter will throw your way: If your business is VAT registered, you can reclaimed the tax on a pick-up and there is lots of choice: For our top 10, see: For our guide on commercial vehicle tax, see:
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a SsangYong Rexton (2017) cost?