Although Korean carmaker SsangYong has been in the Australian market for the past 20
years it has never been able to get close to the success of its compatriots Hyundai and

The company has gone through financial difficulties over the years and been taken over at
different times by SAIC, Daewoo, Mahindra and, earlier this year, by a new entrant in the
automotive scene – KG Mobility.

SsangYong currently has three models in its range, the Musso ute and two SUVs, mid-
sized Korando and, this week’s test vehicle the medium-large Rexton.

Rexton languishes near the bottom of the large SUV segment well below the big hitters
like Toyota Prado and Kluger, Ford Everest and Isuzu MU-X, which is a pity because, after
our week behind the wheel, we came away highly impressed.

Drive-away prices starting from $47,990 make it a fair bit cheaper than these competitors
with a seven-year warranty adding to the value equation.

Like the ute-based Everest and MU-X, the Rexton sits on the same platform as the
SsangYong Musso.

Three variants are offered, ELX, Ultimate and Ultimate Sport Pack, formerly sold as the
Black Edition.

A third variant, called Adventurer, will be added later this year that will slot between ELX
and Ultimate in terms of both specs and price.

All come with seven seats, a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine, eight-speed automatic
transmission and 3500kg braked towing capacity.

The constraints of fitting three rows of seats don’t allow for much flexibility in the roofline of
large SUVs and Rexton has the same conservative profile as its rivals. Most of the work
therefore gets done at the front and rear.

Rexton has an attractive intricate diamond-style grille with the company logo, which few
people recognised, at the top/centre.

Both variants come with quad-style LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED
front fog lights.

At the rear the tail lights and number plate lights are also LED.

The high-mounted stop lights are integrated into the rear spoiler.

Wheels are 18-inch diamond-cut alloys.

Rexton Ultimate adds privacy glass, powered sunroof and tailgate and iIlluminated front
door scuff plates.

There are six colour choices: Grand White, Atlantic Blue, Fine Silver, Marble Grey, Pearl
White and Space Black.

The limited Black Edition is based on the Ultimate model and comes with a re-designed
front with diamond-shaped grille elements, deep gloss black finish and new-style LED fog

Other dark touches include black 20-inch alloy wheels and black painted roof rails.

There are only two colour options: Space Black or Pearl White.

Like most in its class Rexton has a fairly high stance which can challenge shorter
occupants, but on the positive side the high seating position provides ideal viewing.

There are thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) leather-look seats in all three rows.

The front seats are powered, comfortable and supportive as well as being heated and

Attractive quilted trim can be found on the seats and around the front console.

Storage space is good with sliding covers for the drink holders and phone charging bay.

The rear seats are finished in the same quilted trim while the second-row seats can tilt
backwards to about 50-degrees – subject of course to the approval of any third-row

The second-row also has a fold-down armrest with two cupholders and small storage area.

Ultimate adds driver’s seat and door mirror memory system, touch-sensing front door
locks, heated leather steering wheel, ambient interior mood lighting and third row air
conditioning controls.

Access to the third-row seats and space once there provides the usual challenges and are
best left for children.

Even then the seating is low and there’s only small, triangular windows which provide a
claustrophobic feel.

Boot space with all seats in place is limited.

The 2.2-litre turbo-diesel generates maximum power of 148kW at 3800 rpm and healthy
peak torque of 441Nm from 1600 revs.

Fuel consumption is listed at 8.7L/100km.

The eight-speed automatic comes with the convenience of steering wheel mounted shift

It has part-time 4×4 with low and high range and an automatic-locking rear differential.

Although Rexton hasn’t undergone ANCAP crash testing it does come with a good range
of safety equipment in both variants.

They include nine airbags, autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning,
lane change collision warning, safety distance warning, blind spot warning, smart high
beam, front vehicle start warning, rear cross traffic warning, tyre pressure monitoring
system, Isofix child seat anchors for the outer centre seats and trailer sway control.

There are front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera, with a 360-degree
camera in the Ultimate.

The larger of the two screens is the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster which can be
customised to suit different situations.

At just eight inches, the infotainment touchscreen is smaller than we’re used to in the latest

It’s also relatively basic and doesn’t include built-in satellite navigation in either variant.

There are six physical buttons and a round knob below the screen for the most commonly
used functions and more buttons and another knob for the air conditioning controls.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both wired and a wireless smartphone charger is
added for the Ultimate.

Despite its modest 148kW power output, 441Nm of torque means the combination of 2.2-
litre diesel engine and eight-speed auto transmission pulls the big vehicle along in a
smooth, relaxed and surprisingly quiet manner.

It certainly loses nothing in comparison with its better-known and more expensive

Steering is relatively light and there’s a fair bit of body roll through corners, but that’s par
for the course with large SUVs.

During our test we averaged 9.3L/100km, reasonably close to the listed 8.7 L/100km.

We haven’t tested a SsangYong Rexton for quite a long time and came away pleasantly

It’s very well priced but not at the expense of safety equipment, convenience features or

It not only beats competitors on price but comes with a seven-year unlimited warranty
together with seven-year roadside assistance.

Certainly worth a comparative test drive.

Looks: 7/10
Performance: 7/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 9/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 8/10
Tech: 7/10
Value: 8/10


Rexton ELX: $47,990
Rexton Ultimate: $54,990
Rexton Ultimate Sport Pack: $56,990
Note: These are drive-away prices and include all government or dealer delivery charges.

SPECIFICATIONS (SsangYong Rexton 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-door wagon)

Capacity: 2.157 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 148 kW @ 3800 rpm
Maximum Torque: 441Nm @ 1600 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.7 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 223 g/km

Eight-speed automatic

Length: 4850 mm
Wheelbase: 2865 mm
Width: 1960 mm
Height: 1825 mm
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 2130 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 70 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Seven years / unlimited kilometres


About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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