SsangYong has a bit if a history with building robust 4WD vehicles. Starting nearly 60 years ago when they built Jeeps for the US Army and carried on through the various models since. This is the third time SsangYong has tried to enter the market in Australia. However this time the outlet is a factory backed distribution and they mean to be the third Korean manufacturer to capture the market here.
SsangYong has been noted for a few things over the years, one is atrocious styling of some of its vehicles. However the new Rexton isn’t too bad. It looks fresh and subtle.
With a new family grill and integrated projection headlights there’s a cohesive appearance to the front. The projection headlight units also comprise daytime running lights. There are additional LED fog lights with cornering feature, side and indicator lights, while bright body detailing and wheels help convey a more luxurious image.
The rear of the car offers LED rear combination side lights, air spoiler with high-mounted LED stop light and LED number plate lights, while 20 inch alloy wheels add to the overall appearance.
Inside the Rexton is actually really comfortable. The electronically adjustable quilted leather driver’s seat was supportive front seats are also air conditioned.
The positioning for the driver to the steering wheel is good with both reach and height adjustment for the steering wheel. It frames the twin dial white on black instrument binnacle perfectly.
The steering wheel itself is a styled leather clad thick rimmed design with controls for the audio, cruise control and the many faceted 7 inch instrument cluster between the dials in the instrument panel.
Almost everywhere you would rest your elbows are soft touch points. The centre console is reasonably comfortable and a good height. Headroom will allow a hat to stay on the head.
Driver ergonomics are first class and all round visibility is good, with the usual caveat for a thick ‘A’ pillar. The whole centre console and stack is well laid out and surprisingly stylish.
Heated rear seats are comfortable and given the design there is reasonable leg, head and shoulder room. In fact it is better back there in the Rexton than the Pajero Sport. Visibility from the back seats also allows the kids to see what is happening outside.
Rexton Ultimate comes standard with seven seats. The second row of seats splitting 60:40 with a folding centre armrest, and giving easy access to the third row of seats, which fold 50:50. This seating combination gives greater passenger and load flexibility, equipping the car with one of the largest load spaces in its segment – more than 1800 litres.
Ultimate features an advanced 8 inch screened infotainment system that includes AM/FM radio with Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a reversing camera.
Other standard features include electric windows, cruise control, central locking, dual zone air-conditioning with fine dust filters and rear vents as well as a 12V/120W power outlet in the cargo deck area, electro chromatic mirror, sunroof and a ‘smart’ electronic tailgate.
There are a couple of features that are a slight negative, some in the process of being fixed, some a design feature.
The GPS system comes from your phone. Now that is not an issue for city based drivers.
Drive and Engine
Rexton is powered by the e-XDi220 Euro 6 engine delivering maximum power of 133 kW @ 4,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 420Nm @ 1,400 – 2,800 rpm, matched to Mercedes Benz 7-speed automatic.
Trying to use the auto transmission in manual mode means using an unusual flick button on the side of the transmission lever knob.
It runs a part time dual range 4WD system with shift on the fly between 2WD and 4WD High. There is an automatic locking centre differential and a limited-slip rear diff, unfortunately there is no rear diff lock as standard or an option. The system includes hill descent control and hill start assist to provide optimum grip, traction and safety.
The current Rexton has reasonable performance and very good road manners. The suspension set up certainly helps with a compliant and quiet ride.
The combination of firm but compliant suspension, responsive engine and steering and good chassis dynamics means that the Rexton rivals the best of the md sized 4WD wagons, in this price bracket and above.
SsangYong comes standard with (post December 2018 build date) six airbags including full-length side curtain airbags, and come standard with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and High Beam Assist (HBA). Ultimate adds two rear side airbags and a driver’s knee airbag, Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Lane Change Assist (LCA).
Additional features are a 360-degree camera, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution and ABS, traction control, active rollover protection and an emergency stop signal. The other key feature is 4 wheel disc brakes.
The top of the range Rexton also gets 3D around-view monitoring to provide a clear view of the area surrounding the car to increase safety and driver convenience during low-speed driving and parking, as well as rear cross traffic alert.
- Value proposition
- Outstanding owner support 777
- Build Quality
Not so good Bits:-
- Thin steering wheel
- Would like a little more power and torque
- Phone based Sat Nav (poor design on a 4WD vehicle)
Even amongst the 4WD wagon brigade, there are different wagons that are better suited to different purposes. The SsangYong Rexton is aimed at the recreational family buyer that heads off road and wants to tow something. It is good off road, but will probably be used more by the part time adventurous brigade, and even the Grey Nomads, who will appreciate the luxury and towing capability.
Given the slightly larger interior space it suits a family more than some other similar wagons. These buyers will also look for value over brand badging. The SsangYong Rexton fits this criteria well.
Rexton represents outstanding value. It is more luxurious that its competitors, has more internal room, has a higher towing rating with four wheel disc brakes and an astonishing 7 year customer care program. In short, the Rexton will surprise many who try it. It’s actually pretty bloody good.
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Facts and Figures Mazda 3 Next Gen Details
- Engine: 2.2L 4 Cyl Turbo Diesel Euro 6 producing 133kW/420Nm
- Transmission: Seven-speed AT
- Warranty: 7 years/ Unlimited km
- Safety: TBA
- Origin: Korea
- Price: from $52,990 RDAP*
*RDAP – Recommended Drive Away Price includes GST and LCT and includes statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. Does not include price of any options.