SsangYong Rexton (2017 – 2024) Review

SsangYong Rexton (2017 – 2024) 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 85% 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.

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, that tough ladder chassis and a low-ratio gearbox also make the Rexton an excellent mud-plugging 4x4. If that sounds good to you, then it’s definitely worth a look.

Ask Honest John

What's the best family car to tow with?

"I am looking for a vehicle which can take a family of four on holiday but also tow up to 3.5t on occasion. With a budget of £17k I am looking at possibly a pick up style vehicle however realise these are limited space wise on the second row of seats which may be uncomfortable for tall kids on long journeys. Do you have any suggestions of other vehicles I should be looking at? "
A SsangYong Rexton could be a good choice if you can find one in budget. It's popular with towers thanks to its 3.5t towing capacity. You'll get a newer one for the money than a more mainstream or premium SUV, while it'll be more comfortable on long journeys than a pick-up truck. Alternatively, take a look at the Volkswagen Touareg.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What's the best vehicle for towing a horse box?

"I need your advice for the most suitable towing vehicle for a horse box (with two horses). I need something that will be able to tow 3000kg to 3500kg. What would you recommend used please? My budget is £20,000."
A SsangYong Rexton could be a good choice - it's a very popular tow car thanks to its 3500kg towing capacity. You'll also get a much newer one for your money compared to premium alternatives. We'd also recommend a Toyota Land Cruiser - although its reputation for being indestructible means values are very strong.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can you recommend a 4x4 for towing?

"I need a car with 4wd in order to tow glider trailers out of farmer's muddy field. However, most of the driving will be on ordinary road so I need the option of 2wd. The Suzuki Jimny has 2wd/ 4wd high and low ratio and a 4wd high ratio with locked differentials and so fits the bill. However, it is small, noisy and under powered. I had a Toyota Rav 4 with supposedly 4wd but it got stuck towing a trailer in the snow. Can you advise which cars have the proper 4wd, (like the Jimny) and could pull a 2000kg glider trailer or a 4 berth caravan with a bit of comfort and could still get through mud and snow? I am looking for an automatic, second hand car with a maximum of 30,000 miles. Budget of less than £20,000. Any ideas? I am happy to consider a plug-in hybrid if it can tow. "
You will struggle to find a 'proper' 4x4 with selectable ratios and locking differentials in budget. All small-to-midsize SUVs have moved to a more economy-biased selectable all-wheel drive system. Other than the Jimny pretty much all of them are large SUVs or pick-up trucks that cost a bit more. That said, have you checked out the latest SsangYong Rexton? It's a proper 4x4 with plenty of SUV comfort and an automatic gearbox. There's also the Mitsubishi Shogun (very old-school but spacious and affordable) and the Toyota Land Cruiser (over-budget but probably the best proper 4x4 around). For pick-ups we'd be looking at the Mitsubishi L200 or Ford Ranger.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

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
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