SsangYong Rexton 2.2

Diesel Ultimate

SsangYong Rexton, 2021, front
SsangYong Rexton, 2021, nose
SsangYong Rexton, 2021, front
SsangYong Rexton, 2021, side
SsangYong Rexton, 2021, rear
SsangYong Rexton, 2021, rear seats
SsangYong Rexton, 2021, interior
SsangYong Rexton, 2021, tail
SsangYong Rexton, 2021, boot

THE SsangYong name may not trip off the tongue of your everyday motorist, but once seen there's no forgetting the new Rexton with its awesome on-road presence and that grille!

Then, when you factor in the asking price for the seven-seater, it's a car that's guaranteed to grab your attention because this high-end model, that's packed to bursting with tech and safety features, costs just over £40k.

The latest facelift model boasts more aggressive styling with a bigger, bolder grille that makes BMW's latest design moves look trivial by comparison. And this complements the updated front bumper, new light clusters and freshly designed fog lights to give the Rexton quite an imposing front end. It is one of those cars that, when viewed in the rear-view mirror, makes you think - what is that?Well, it's a SsangYong Rexton that's what.

At the rear, there are revised slimmer lights plus redesigned twin exhaust pipes integrated into the bumper. The side profile maintains its dynamic appearance and the interior oozes luxury with premium quality fixtures and fittings.

The range-topping Ultimate model is decked out in Nappa leather upholstery and there are soft-touch surfaces, woodgrain accents on the centre fascia, doors and console, LED mood lighting, a D-cut multi-functional steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats with power adjustment, and a separate panel for all the climate control functions.

Creature comforts are plentiful, including a new 12.3-inch high-definition screen with TomTom navigation, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker sound system, DAB radio, Bluetooth with music streaming and the option to link two devices at the same time, a rear-view camera, automatic dual air conditioning and plenty more besides.

The seats offer supreme levels of comfort and that means the Rexton is a great car to drive a few hundred miles in without the need of a chiropractor on speed dial at the end of the journey.

It is also a practical seven-seater with a pair of back seats that fold flat to the boot floor when not in use. They can quickly be raised when needed and access is fairly good to them too. In the second row, a trio of adults can sit comfortably and the large dimensions of the Rexton means they will have ample leg, head and elbow space.

On the subject of space, the boot is massive and with all seven seats in use, it can swallow 240 litres of luggage. This increases to 1,806 litres with the seats in rows two and three lowered. And there are numerous convenient storage compartments scattered throughout the car with a lockable glovebox, a deep central cubby, practical door bins, a large tray, front and rear cup holders, plus seat back pockets.

Powering this full-sized SUV is a 2.2-litre diesel engine, delivering 202PS and 441Nm of torque. It is mated to the company's latest eight-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel mounted paddles for added driver engagement.

When it comes to performance, the Rexton is no slouch, powering from 0-62mph in 11.9 seconds and onto a top speed of 114mph, while delivering a combined 32.9mpg with carbon emissions of 225g/km.

Despite its size, the vehicle is relatively agile and can be thrown into tight bends with confidence. The new transmission system delivers well-timed gear changes and the all-round performance is impressive with ample power on tap at all times from the punchy diesel unit.

Drive modes called Eco, Power and Winter alter the reactions and mannerisms of the vehicle and the elevated driving position offers superb all-round visibility. This is quite a bonus as you can see over the hedgerows on the narrow lanes. It also means you have a good view on the dreaded school run with pedestrians, children, bicycles and cars darting out from every angle.

On the downside, the suspension can be a little on the firm side so you will feel the full force of some unexpected bumps and dips along the way, but that was my only real criticism after a week behind the wheel.

And I speak from experience when I say the Rexton has very accurate parking sensors along with a clever 3D around-view monitor of the car. I parked in Cardiff city centre and returned to find a space of just four inches behind the towbar and five inches ahead of the front bumper. But thanks to the excellent all-round sensors, it was easy enough to get out even if I was a tad beep-crazy at the end of it.

The safety kit on the Rexton is comprehensive and includes the likes of brake assist, autonomous emergency braking, traction control, lane departure warning, smart high beam, speed limit warning, lane change collision warning, blind spot detection, hill start assist, trailer sway control, rear cross-traffic warning, up to nine airbags and lots more besides.

And it's a proper 4x4 with low ratio gears for more challenging driving in poorer weather or on demanding terrain. So, you will be well equipped to deal with any of Mother Nature's unforeseen mood swings.

I can often gauge the quality of a test car by the interest it generates from certain neighbours. The Rexton was a talking point throughout the week and a couple of people were really surprised and impressed with the luxury inside the vehicle and equally just as shocked when I revealed the price. They expected it to be far more expensive.

FAST FACTS

SsangYong Rexton 2.2 Diesel Ultimate

Price:£40,665

Mechanical:202ps, 2,157cc, 4-cylinder, diesel-driven engine with 8-speed automatic transmission and 4WD

Max Speed:114mph

0-62mph:11.9 seconds

Combined MPG:32.9

Insurance Group:35

C02 emissions:225g/km

Bik rating:35%

Warranty:7 yrs/150,000 miles

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