First Drive: SsangYong Rexton W
Sector: Large 4×4 Price: £21,995–£25,995 Fuel: 36.2–38.2mpg CO2: 196–206g/km
I doubt SsangYong is a name that often come up in discussions about the make-up of your fleet, having had a rather odd line-up of cars in the past. But things are most certainly on the change, and for the better: the facelifted Korando is a pleasant small SUV and the new Rexton W is a good value, no-nonsense seven seat off-roader.
The cheapest version, the SX, comes in at £21,995 and it’s a big car that feels robustly built and looks the part too. The Rexton W is powered by SsangYong’s own 155bhp 2.0 litre turbocharged e-XDi200 diesel engine, mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or five-speed Mercedes-Benz T-Tronic automatic and it delivers enough power and is fairly refined as well, with plenty of torque should you need to go off-road.
That’s an area the Rexton is pretty good in, with low ratio box, hill descent control and the good old-fashioned body on frame construction of most of the best off-roaders. It barely broke sweat on the muddy off-road section we took it on which, although hardly the Rubicon, was tougher than most 4×4 users would subject their cars to. The three tonne towing capacity is handy too, especially if you’re looking for something to drag kit to exhibitions or shows.
On road it drives solidly if unspectacularly and the cabin is appointed with all the things you would desire in a big 4×4: alongside the two seats stowed beneath the boot floor, standard equipment also include cruise control, air conditioning, electrically operated and heated door mirrors, leather covered steering wheel and iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.
There is also a lot of space in the second row. When you consider that an entry-level Mitsubishi Shogun (which is slightly smaller) is about £5,000 more expensive you start to see that the Rexton W is worth considering. Only dealership coverage is a concern though, but it’s hardly a Ferrari – I’m sure if needed independent servicing could do the job for what could prove to be a very trusty workhorse.