The All-New Ssangyong Rexton Arrives
By Kyle Lindsay
Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 14:30
The new SsangYong Rexton 4×4 is now on sale in the UK, heralding major advances in style, quality, safety and technology for the brand.
Impressing with its sheer presence and beautifully balanced exterior, new Rexton is a large D/E-segment four-wheel drive that offers a prestige cabin for passengers to travel in supreme comfort, while disguising its tough and rugged off-road capability.
Representing a huge step forward in every area – looks and style, interior ambience, structure and safety, performance and technology, this new car stays true to SsangYong’s core brand values with extremely competitive pricing from £27,500 on the road.
Commenting on the new car’s launch, Steve Gray, marketing & communications director of SsangYong Motor UK says: ”Following hard on the heels of Tivoli when SsangYong set new standards for value-priced compact SUVs, new Rexton is further evidence of the brand’s re-generation after Mahindra made significant investments in the company. It demonstrates the rapid progress being made as a specialist producer of 4x4s and SUVs.
“Rexton is the second addition to our all-new model line-up. SsangYong is committed to introducing a new car every year for the next three years, which includes a pick-up truck derived from Rexton early in 2018. The company is also focused on creating further growth by developing petrol powered, EV and other eco-friendly vehicles.
“For what is generally perceived as a value-brand, I think everyone will be astonished by the quality of this new car – it’s a huge advance.”
In what might be called the ultimate ‘test drive’, five SsangYong Rexton SUVs completed a 50 day, 8,000 mile drive from the SsangYong factory at Pyeongtaek in South Korea to Europe, via Beijing and the Silk Road. Designed to test the vehicles in extreme conditions, the Rexton Trans Eurasia Trail travelled through ten different countries, including China, Kazakhstan and Russia.
All five cars arrived in Frankfurt in time for press day at the IAA motor show, before two of the cars completed their epic journey by driving to the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in Oxfordshire. (See separate press release).
The new Rexton is a large, D/E-segment authentic 4×4. It is powered by a 2.2 litre turbo diesel engine delivering maximum power of 181PS and maximum torque of 420Nm, with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed Mercedes-Benz automatic transmission.
It measures 4,850mm in length, 1,960mm wide, 1,825mm high, and has a 2,865mm wheelbase.
Style and space
Developed under the project name of Y400 and seen as the LIV-2 concept at the Paris motor show in September 2016, the new car is known internationally as Rexton (G4 Rexton in Korea), and takes its inspiration from the ‘Dignified Motion’ of SsangYong’s design language, ‘Nature-born 3 Motion’.
This imposing, authentic four-wheel-drive features a body-on-frame construction to create an extremely robust and durable car, yet features a dignified and beautifully balanced style throughout.
With a fresh, modern yet restrained look, there’s a cohesive appearance to the front where the radiator grille and headlights blend together harmoniously. The grille resembles the spread wings of a bird in flight – first seen on Tivoli, and now adopted as the new frontal look across all new SsangYong models to create a distinctive and recognisable identity for the marque.
The projection headlight units also comprise daytime running lights, LED fog lights with cornering feature, side and indicator lights, while bright body detailing and wheels help convey a prestigious image. The rear of the car offers a gracious yet purposeful look, with LED rear combination side lights, air spoiler with high-mounted LED stop light and LED number plate lights, while the option of 17”, 18” or 20” alloy wheels, add to the overall appearance of style and luxury.
The sense of refinement and luxury is continued with the beautifully executed interior, where again the step-up in quality is notable. With a well-balanced design, the ambiance is fresh, contemporary and well laid out, with a choice of seating including full high grade nappa leather trim, and with the luxury touch of quilted nappa leather seat and interior trim on the top of the range Ultimate model.
The driver’s seat is 8-way power-adjustable, the front passenger seat 6-way power-adjustable (ELX & Ultimate), with memory settings for the seat & door mirror positions (Ultimate), and with automatic easy access mode for the driver’s seat (the driver’s seat position automatically adjusts when the door opens), heated seats front and rear, and also ventilated front seats on the Ultimate model, which also features auto closing (automatic door-locking when the key is carried away from the car).
Featuring dual-zone fully automated air-conditioning with fine dust filters to all three rows of seats on the ELX (with seven seats) and Ultimate, there’s also a USB connector and 220V inverter available for rear seat passengers.
The large cabin offers generous shoulder and headroom to help ensure the highest level of passenger comfort. Rexton comes with five and seven seat options, the second row of seats splitting 60:40 with a folding centre armrest, and giving easy access to the third row of seats (7 seat models) which also fold individually 50:50. This seating combination gives greater passenger and load flexibility, equipping the car with one of the largest load spaces in its segment. Thanks to this flexible interior design it can easily accommodate rear seat passengers and four golf bags in the boot.
Rear boot space with the seats down (5 seat model) is 1,977 litres, and 820 litres with the seats up, measured up to window level.
Structure, strength and safety
Rexton is one of the strongest and safest cars in its class thanks to its robust body-on-frame build.
Starting with the high-strength steel construction of its body, the car is stiffer than many monocoque-built competitors in this category. Mounted on an extremely strong Quad-Frame, this structure is built using 1.5Gpa-grade ultra-strength steel – a world first, and featuring 81.7% high strength steel to greatly improve strength while also reducing weight.
The car features up to nine airbags including a knee-airbag for the driver and side-airbags in the rear (ELX & Ultimate). It also affords good pedestrian protection due to the careful ‘soft’ front end design and bonnet height.
Electronic safety aids now accepted as important standard equipment on a robust 4×4 such as Rexton include brake assist, electronic brake force distribution and ABS, traction control, active rollover protection and an emergency stop signal. To this is added new driver assistance safety features first seen on the 2017 Tivoli and Tivoli XLV such as forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, high beam assistance and traffic sign recognition. The top of the range Rexton Ultimate also gets cameras front and rear as well as on the door mirrors, and this suite of electronic safety aids includes 360° around-car monitoring, blind spot detection as well as rear cross traffic alert to provide a clear view of the area surrounding the car to increase safety and driver convenience during low-speed driving and parking.
Powertrain & performance
The Rexton powertrain employs an uprated 2.2 litre turbo diesel engine manufactured by SsangYong, which delivers maximum power of 181PS and maximum torque of 420Nm. This highly efficient, extremely quiet and proven e-XDi220 engine delivers progressive acceleration from a standing start, and strong low-end torque typical of SsangYong power units.
Transmission is either a 6-speed manual, or a Mercedes-Benz 7-speed automatic known for its smooth dynamic gear changing and durability.
The car’s 4-wheel drive system draws on SsangYong’s years of experience in 4WD technology. For better efficiency and greater fuel economy, the car features part time 4×4 with power delivered permanently to the rear wheels. Front wheel drive can be selected electronically as required with high ratio, and low ratio chosen as and when the off-road conditions become more demanding. It also features special electronic safety aids when driving off road such as hill start assist and hill decent control, and is best-in-class for approach and departure angles of 20.5 degrees and 22 degrees respectively.
With primary drive to the rear wheels, the ride, handling and driving stability are enhanced thanks to the well-balanced weight distribution, and a combination of double wishbone suspension at the front and 10-link independent suspension at the rear on models with automatic transmission deliver great ride-quality.
The new Rexton’s NVH levels are much improved over the car it replaces, due to its stiffer body, improved aerodynamics to reduce wind noise, better engine isolation by means of hydraulic engine mounts, improved cabin sealing and lower road and tyre noise.
Ideal for those wishing to tow a double horsebox, large caravan or commercial trailer, the car has a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes, and a kerb weight of between 2,095 – 2,233 Kg, particularly important for anyone towing a heavy caravan.
Connectivity & technology
Rexton really moves the game forward for SsangYong technologically. The advanced infotainment system includes DAB radio, excellent connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto for device mirroring, a rear view reversing camera, and displayed on an 8.0” screen or in HD on a wide 9.2” screen including TomTom navigation on ELX and Ultimate models.
Other features include a Supervision instrument cluster with a particularly large 7” LCD display for driver information, and a ‘smart’ electronic tailgate for added convenience when loading and unloading the boot, according to model.
UK model line-up
There are three models from launch: Rexton EX, ELX and Ultimate. Sharing the same body style and powertrain, the key specification differences are as follows:
The EX comes with seven seats, the option of 6-speed manual or 7-speed Mercedes-Benz automatic transmission, 17” alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, smart audio system with 8” screen, power/folding door mirrors, front & rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, cruise control, and electronic safety features including forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking system, lane departure warning, high beam assistance, and traffic sign recognition. On the road price from just £27,500.
The ELX has seven seats (five seats as an option) and adds 18” alloy wheels, dual zone & rear air conditioning, a Supervision instrument cluster, Tom Tom navigation with a 9.2” screen, speed sensitive power-assisted steering, heated steering wheel, rear privacy glass, nappa leather upholstery, heated and powered front seats, Smart key, electro-chromic driver’s mirror, and nine airbags. Priced from £32,000.
Step up to the Rexton Ultimate, and you get 7-speed Mercedes-Benz automatic transmission as standard, five seats, 20” alloys, HID headlights, LED fog lights with cornering function, interior mood lighting, stainless steel door finishes, 3D around-view monitoring, land change assist, blind-spot detection, and rear-cross traffic alert, quilted nappa leather, heated and ventilated memory power seats, and ‘smart’ electronic tailgate. Price £37,500.
Expected to appeal particularly to those who use their vehicles for towing, prices for Rexton are typically 10 per cent lower than the competition, pitched well below the equivalent Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, and on a par with a three/four-year-old Land Rover Discovery.
All models in the SsangYong range are covered by a best-in-class 5-year limitless mileage warranty. Designed to be totally transparent and give customers complete peace of mind, ‘limitless’ means just that: not a maximum mileage condition that some brands impose in their small print. All the major mechanical components are covered including wheel bearings, suspension joints and bushes, steering joints, shock absorbers and even the audio system. Wearable components such as clutch discs and brake friction materials which could have their life reduced by poor driving are covered for one year or 12,500 miles, and the battery and paintwork for three years.