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SsangYong Rexton 2014 Review

EXPERT RATING
7
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the 2014 SsangYong Rexton.

Still operating at the edges of the new car market, a revitalised SsangYong under new owners Tata Motors, has introduced another "new" model at a sharp price. The large Rexton has been around for yonks relatively unchanged apart from tweaks to the styling and powertrain.

The looks have been tweaked yet again on $39,990 Rexton SX but this time it gets a new four cylinder turbodiesel engine driving through a five-speed auto with sequential stick shift with gearchange buttons are on the wheel. The previous model had a Mercedes-Benz-designed 2.7-litre five-pot diesel and we're pretty sure an Aussie-made tranny.

DESIGN

On the outside you can see the link between this and previous models but the new vehicle is much better looking around the frontal area and even at the rear.

Finally they got it right and now Rexton has a smart, distinctive face and attractive sheetmetal all round. It's highlighted by alloy roof rails, door courtesy lights, chrome accents LED rear lights and body coloured hardware.

The interior is a revised version of the previous model - functional, effective, boring.
It's a seven-seater with a folding third pew with reasonable access from the rear doors or - from the tailgate if you can swing a leg over.

As a five seater, there's a large load space with some storage compartments under floor and at the sides. The rear seat row has a reclining function

Upholstery is leather appointed and there's plenty of luxury kit like climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio, cruise, alloys, side steps, front and rear park sensors hill descent control, headlight levelling system and a multi-function wheel.

Towing capacity is 2.6 tonne with braked trailer. The old-school ladder chassis construction has plenty of appeal for hard headed fourbie drivers but it means the Rexton will probably only get a four star crash rating instead of five.

It does however score a swag of primary safety equipment including multiple air bags and electronic stability control. Though a reverse camera is not fitted as standard, no Rexton we are told leaves the dealers without a camera fitted.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

The new smaller capacity at 2.0-litres is EU5 compliant and is a better mouse trap in every way. The five-speed conventional auto is a Mercedes-Benz design from when the German company had an interest in Ssangyong. 

It's the same four pot engine as in the new Ssangyong Stavic people mover and is good for 115kW/360Nm output - plenty to push this almost two tonne large SUV around with purpose.

The engine achieves 7.8-litres/100km fuel economy on the combined cycle - a big improvement over the previous engine. But it's a better drive too thanks to prodigious torque from 1500rpm to 2800rpm. A genuine 4x4, Rexton boasts selectable 2WD high and 4WD low and high range available simply by turning a dial on the dash.

DRIVING

This is where the Rexton picks up points on some of the competition such as Holden Captiva7, Colorado7, Isuzu MU-X and others as it rides on a supple and controlled coil spring system. Not sporty by any stretch of the imagination, the Rexton sails over rough roads like they weren't there keeping the big body in check at the same time. 

The new engine is much smoother and quieter than the 2.7 and this adds to the vehicle's overall refinement. And it goes well with plenty of get-go once you overcome that 2.0-tonne weight. Roll-on is strong and it has plenty in reserve for all driving conditions. The auto seems up to the job accurately selecting ratios to suit conditions and making quick shifts up and down the range.

The 4WD system is easy to use and really handy when you go off road which the Rexton does with ease. It has the right suspension, engine, ground clearance and drive system to virtually go anywhere - subject to tyre grip of course.

Pricing guides

$5,990
Based on 7 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$4,999
Highest Price
$8,913

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
RX270 XDi (5 Seat) II 2.7L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $3,700 – 6,050 2010 Ssangyong Rexton 2010 RX270 XDi (5 Seat) II Pricing and Specs
RX270 XDi (7 Seat) II 2.7L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $4,999 – 8,913 2010 Ssangyong Rexton 2010 RX270 XDi (7 Seat) II Pricing and Specs
RX270 XVT SPR II 2.7L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $5,200 – 8,030 2010 Ssangyong Rexton 2010 RX270 XVT SPR II Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7