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SsangYong Rexton 2005 review

This is the five cylinder, turbo diesel version of the mid-size Ssangyong 4WD.

The engine is a clone of the same unit you'll find in the current Mercedes-Benz M-Class 4WD and so is the five speed automatic transmission.

You can bet other mechanicals owe their existence to Mercedes engineering.

But Ssangyong has been careful to ensure the entire vehicle is up to scratch in all other areas including the 4WD system, suspension, steering brakes and body integrity.

The Rexton is built on a ladder chassis with the body bolted on and the drive system is torque on demand 4WD with high and low range activated by push buttons on the dash.

The Rexton is a competent off roader and makes easy work of beach driving, rugged trails and pretty well anything you throw at it. There's plenty of ground clearance, limited a tad by the accessory side steps, and approach and departure angles are steep. We have so far chickened out on deep wading but reckon it wouldn't be a problem either.

But the heart of the test vehicle is its excellent engine and transmission. There is around 340Nm of torque available at low engine revs and the 121Kw power output propels the Rexton like a V6 passenger car. It accelerates quickly and has easy cruising capacity with virtually no noise or vibration.

Then after about 800 to 1000km, you have to fill up the tank. Not bad for a two tonner that offers luxury on and off road driving for five people – and a stack of load space in the back. A seven seat option is available.

The interior is quite stylish, conservative, with mock wood veneers and an attractive dash. The test vehicle had leather upholstery which takes it further up the luxury chain. Aircon is climate control and the audio is impressive.

It needs a three point seat belt in the middle rear pew and we are still not convinced about the automatic door locking function that activates after about the first 500m of driving. Smacks of American paranoia.

The Rexton looks good, has smooth paint and the doors close like a Honda Odyssey or similar prestige Japanese model. For the money, the Ssangyong Rexton 270Xdi is difficult to look past.

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

RX270 XDi Limited 2.7L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $2,860 – 4,400 2005 Ssangyong Rexton 2005 RX270 XDi Limited Pricing and Specs
RX270 XDi Sport Plus 2.7L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $3,190 – 4,950 2005 Ssangyong Rexton 2005 RX270 XDi Sport Plus Pricing and Specs
RX290 Sport 2.9L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $3,080 – 4,730 2005 Ssangyong Rexton 2005 RX290 Sport Pricing and Specs
RX320 Limited 3.2L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $2,640 – 4,180 2005 Ssangyong Rexton 2005 RX320 Limited Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


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