Review: SsangYong Rexton W (2013 – 2017)


Very good value for money, has a strong towing ability making it ideal for caravanners, feels strong and robust, impressive five-wear warranty cover a wide range of components.

A revamp of the old Rexton which was crude and dated, automatic gearbox is slow to respond.

SsangYong Rexton W (2013 – 2017): At A Glance

SsangYong is giving its ageing Rexton a new lease of life with the launch of the Rexton W. The facelift brings a new look as well as much needed improvements to the interior. The new front end gives the Rexton a much neater appearance than the ungainly model it replaces, although the basic shape remains unchanged.

As before it uses a body on frame construction with double wishbone and coil spring suspension to the front plus a five link rigid axle with coil springs at the rear. Cutting edge it may not be, but the Rexton is designed as a proper off roader.

Power comes from SsangYong's own 2.0-litre diesel engine with 155PS and 360Nm of torque which peaks from just 1500rpm making it ideal for towing. It has a three tonne towing capability too which is ideal if you have a full-size caravan or a double horsebox. A six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard or there's a five-speed Mercedes-Benz sourced T-Tronic automatic which costs an extra £1500, however, it's an automatic that feels dated.

The inside has been overhauled with new aluminium-effect and chrome finishes, plus soft-touch materials while it retains the third row of seats which flip out of the boot floor. And as you'd expect from a brand like SsangYong, standard equipment levels are high with all models getting cruise control, air conditioning, electrically operated and heated door mirrors, a leather covered steering wheel plus iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.

A high spec ELX model was launched in 2015 and comes with extras such as navigation, special 18-inch alloy wheels, a new multi-function steering wheel and updated instruments plus heated rear seats. It also has a plusher interior. It's more expensive at £27,995 but you're still getting an awful lot of kit for that money, especially when compared to the competition.

The Rexton comes with SsangYong's five-year unlimited mileage warranty. All the major mechanical components are covered including wheel bearings, suspension joints and bushes, steering joints, shock absorbers and even the audio system. Wearable components such as clutch discs and brake friction materials which could have their life reduced by poor driving are covered for one year or 12,000 miles plus the battery and paintwork for three years.

It may not be the most fashionable of cars - or the most modern - but when it comes to value for money in a big SUV, not a lot can match the Rexton W.

What does a SsangYong Rexton W (2013 – 2017) cost?

List Price from £35,995
Buy new from £31,308
Contract hire from £496.50 per month

SsangYong Rexton W (2013 – 2017): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4755 mm
Width 1900–2160 mm
Height 1840 mm
Wheelbase 2820–2835 mm

Full specifications

The Rexton W’s interior is on a par with a number of similar models from Kia and Hyundai. The trouble is, these are the Kia and Hyundai models from ten years ago (or more) like the original 2002 Santa Fe - not the beautifully-built Volkswagen-esque cars that we know today. It lacks finesse, feels incredibly dated and has some awkwardly-sited buttons and switches.

But if you look past that, there are plus points. The first is the fact that all Rexton Ws are seven-seaters as standard, which is unusual at this price. Those rearmost seats are great for small kids, but the shallow footwell makes them unsuitable for older children or adults.

The middle row of three has a decent amount of head and legroom - even for three passengers - which is also repeated for those up front. Legroom for the front passenger is very good and the driver gets a commanding view of the road ahead.

On the downside, the rear view is limited by the small rear quarterlight windows (something that is exacerbated when the car is full of people). There’s no reach adjustment on the steering wheel but there is plenty of seat adjustment (electrically on EX models) which mitigates the problem. As well as a roomy interior, the boot is a decent size, too.

The standard level of equipment represents good value for money. Even entry-level SX models get climate control, cruise control, alloy wheels and Bluetooth. The EX models get electrically adjustable leather seats, a sunroof, rear parking sensors and privacy glass. Optional extras include DAB radio and satellite navigation.

A top of the range ELX version was launched in April 2015 and has a new beige/grey leather interior, a redesigned multi-function leather covered steering wheel, heated seats,  updated instrumentation, LED daytime running lights and navigation. 

Child seats that fit a SsangYong Rexton W (2013 – 2017)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the SsangYong Rexton W (2013 – 2017) like to drive?

The biggest difference between the original SsangYong Rexton and this new W variant is what's under the bonnet. Where as the old car had a 2.7-litre Mercedes-Benz derived diesel engine, this updated car uses a 2.0-litre diesel of SsangYong's own design.

Despite being a smaller capacity, the more modern SsangYong engine generates a similar amount of power to its predecessor, generating 153PS, compared to 163PS from the old engine. Official fuel consumption has improved from 31mpg to 38mpg, too.

In practice, the Rexton's 2.1-tonne weight continues to blunt the performance. It's the kind of car that builds speed steadily and doesn't like to be hurried too much. Once up to speed, it's happy enough to cruise, but the engine can be rather raucous if push too hard.

With a 0-62mph time of 11.6 seconds, it's hardly sprightly, but most buyers will be more interested in the fact that it can tow up to 3000kg - a full 1000kg more than the 2.2-litre diesel Hyundai Santa Fe and well ahead of everything else in this price bracket.

The 2.0-litre diesel is paired with either a five-speed manual or the Tiptronic automatic gearbox, which unlike the new engine, remains sourced from Mercedes-Benz. Although smooth, it has the feel of a previous-generation automatic gearbox - it's too long geared and far too slow to make changes. It does nothing to make up for the engine's shortcomings.  

The Rexton has failed to keep up with many of the advances we've seen in off-roader technology in recent years. It sits on an fashioned ladder-frame chassis, which means the body of the car sits on a chassis, rather than the body and chassis being part of the same structure.

While four-wheel drive systems have come on leaps and bounds in other models, the Rexton W doggedly sticks to a low-ratio gearbox. It defaults t  rear-wheel drive, but switches to four-wheel drive when the dash-mounted dial is turned. That's not a bad thing in itself, but it requires more thought - and work - than modern equivalents.

Out on the road, the old-school ladder chassis and soft suspension mean that the body can roll and lean into corners. There's noticeable sideways movement from the body even on straights. That said, the ride is acceptable and you can mitigate some of its handling issues by making stately, rather than swift, progress.

Again, much of this becomes irrelevant if you're using the Rexton W to tow and plan to drive at more sedate speeds. But switch to a more modern off-roader and you will instantly notice the difference.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
2.0 38 mpg - 196 g/km
2.0 Automatic 36 mpg - 206 g/km
2.2 40 mpg - 184 g/km
2.2 Automatic 38–40 mpg - 194 g/km

Real MPG average for a SsangYong Rexton W (2013 – 2017)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

26–37 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the SsangYong Rexton W (2013 – 2017)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Do we have a right to a replacement vehicle for our new SsangYong Rexton?

I own a January 1, 2016 registered SsangYong Rexton ELX 2.2 diesel automatic. Whilst it has performed as expected, I have experienced repeated (five) visits to the dealer to resolve the issue of the engine light coming on. On each occasion I have been informed that they have cleared the fault and that the vehicle would be fine. I am now on my second long absence from the vehicle as they have now had it for two weeks (a week previously and three wait and fix visits) as they continue to try and resolve the fault. Whilst the vehicle performs okay, it is very unnerving and my wife and I are at the point of losing all confidence in driving or being a passenger in it. It would appear that there is an inherent fault within the vehicle software management system. Whilst the dealership have done all that SSanyong GB have advised them to do, we are still not confident that the problem will be resolved. The fault first appeared approximately 22 weeks into ownership and we wondered what our legal position is. Could we insist that the dealer or Ssanyong replace the vehicle with a like for like vehicle? We keep being promised that this time it will be fixed but we feel they have had enough opportunities to repair the vehicle. Have you heard of similar issues with this vehicle or have we got a lemon?
Since the vehicle is now a year old, I don't think you have a right to a new replacement, though you may be able to successfully argue your case for a replacement of the same age. Law here:
Answered by Honest John
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