Rexton ELX 7-seater Auto
Rexton SUV has
earned itself a reputation for being
both unbreakable and able to go
anywhere. So can this tough-guy 4x4
also cut it as a city slicker?
ACTUALLY, IT CAN PLAY both roles. And the icing on the cake putting
one on your drive won't cost an arm and a leg. Prices start at just £30K for
a five-seater manual; for the seven-seat auto in mid-range ELX trim, as reviewed
here, you'll need to splash a bit more cash: £36K. But even that's something
of a steal given the amount of space and kit underscored by SsangYong's five-year
limitless mileage warranty.
You don't have to get up close and personal to appreciate that the near five-metre
long Rexton is somewhat imposing. As they say in all those classic westerns,
'he rides tall'. Fronted by a distinctive horizontal grille flanked by cut-in
projector headlight units with integrated LED daytime running lights, its flanks
are defined by strongly sculptured wings and defined shoulders. It's a case
of the likeable rogue syndrome but one that takes the sting out of its
'don't mess with me' looks.
on your needs the Rexton can be specified with either five or seven seats. Go
for the five-seater and, oddly enough, you'll sacrifice a few litres of maxed-out
loadbay volume: with its rear seats folded the 5-seater offers 1,977 versus
the 7-seater's 1,806 litres with rows two and three all fully down.
on the outside,
big on the inside.
Thats the Rexton, and
it ensures its perfectly
set up to undertake
its principal duties as a
fully-fledged family wagon. Climb aboard
and youll find more than
just an abundance of
space the interior is
well fitted out with
a tasteful mix of trim
inserts and Nappa leather
that makes the cabin
a pleasant place to
spend time in...
Big on the outside, big on the inside. That's the Rexton, and it ensures it's
perfectly configured to carry out its principal duties as a fully-fledged family
wagon. Climb aboard and you'll find more than just an abundance of space
the interior is well fitted out with an appealing mix of trim including woodgrain
inserts and Nappa leather that makes the cabin a pleasant place to spend time.
The Rexton is well equipped with kit too, and climate-wise there's plenty to
counter the UK's unpredictable and chilly weather in addition to heated
seats for your second-row passengers as well as those up front (which warm very
fast and deliver full three-stage coverage) the driver is cosseted by that very
undervalued feature a heated steering wheel rim.
If you've not had one before we should point out that they're not just indispensable
in cold weather but so good for keeping your hands relaxed on long trips even
when there's no snow on the ground try it sometime. Also keeping you
agreeably 'conditioned' is the standard-fit dual-zone climate control which
is brilliant for those baking hot summer days when its icy blasts restore the
will to live.
Upholstered in Nappa leather, the front seats are shapely and well-padded with
bolstering that keeps you located without pinching and they proved to be both
comfortable and supportive especially on extended journeys; full power adjustment
with powered lumbar and height-adjustable belts ensure you can match your body
to the seat perfectly. A fist-and-a-half of headroom, plenty of elbow and wriggle
room and big footwells with a comfy left-foot rest plus high-off-the-floor seating
all boost that 'in command' feel. Sitting behind the helm in such a big beastie
there's a beautifully clear view down the Rexton's big wide bonnet that makes
it a doddle to place both on and off road.
flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel offers safe fingertip control of
the driver's display, infotainment, phone, etc, and its comfortable girth and
good thumb cut-outs make it good to grip. Though its upper arc is a logical
digital instrument panel that's easily customisable. Trad-look clear white-on-black
3D-effect dials for revs and speed sit either side of a multi-choice driver's
information display that can be switched between a large road speed readout
to navigational prompts and warnings and your personal choice of dials.
roadside speed signs are also recognised and shown, helpfully turning red if
the limit is exceeded as well as flashing on the driver's screen whenever the
limit changes. And the system is eagle-eyed even temporary roadworks
speed limit signs were picked up.
is a no-brainer because
just the one
a four-pot turbodiesel
that puts out 178bhp
backed-up by a stump-
pulling 309lb ft of torque.
But this Hobsons
is not a problem because
the 2.2-litre unit is a
laid-back operator, ably partnered by a Mercedes
autobox to take care of
the shifting business.
So you wont
made by the refined
automatic gearbox are
quick, clean and
Comms are comprehensive and accessed via the large 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen
set in a refreshingly uncluttered dash; graphics are sharp and crisp supported
by foolproof menus and, in SatNav mode, easily followed TomTom 3D mapping so
you always know exactly where you are and what's coming up.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included as too is a reversing camera, Bluetooth,
a DAB radio, and ample connectivity ports and power sockets (both 12v and USB
charging). Finally, finding places to stow all those personal items is no challenge
thanks to a multi-storage tray at the base of the centre stack, siamesed twin
dual-use cupholders, a big drop-down glasses case, a large box with lift-out
top tray under the wide armrest between the front seats, accommodating door
bins that hold not just one but two full-size bottles, and another useful cupholder-cum-deep
tray in the door pull.
Kit-wise you get plenty for your money. In addition to that mentioned elsewhere
such as leather upholstery, electric seats, four heated seats and steering wheel,
onboard SatNav, front parking sensors, reversing camera with rear sensors, etc,
the mid-range ELX models come with keyless entry and start, cruise control and
speed limiter, electric parking brake with auto-hold, drive-off automatic door
locking, auto-dimming rearview mirror, tinted glass to the front and privacy
glass from the B-pillars back, electric windows (the fronts have one-shot up/down
op), powerfolding heated door mirrors (on demand and automatically on locking
and leaving), shark fin antenna, high gloss skid plates under the front and
rear bumpers, and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels.
sports utility vehicles now use a monocoque chassis but for go-anywhere toughness
the Rexton sticks with the tried-and-tested body-on-frame construction. It doesn't
stop there and throws in nine airbags (the most in its class and including one
for the driver's knee) plus plenty of safety assists such as autonomous emergency
braking with forward collision warning, lane departure warning, traction and
stability control, hill descent control, and the likes of hill-start assist,
tyre pressure monitoring, automatic main/dip beam switching, lower windscreen
de-icer, auto lights and wipes, daytime running lights, and LED taillights.
A particularly nice feature that you rarely come across is the sliding extensions
on the sun visors a real game-changer when you're driving into the sun.
Entry and exit to and from the middle row of seats is no problem; roof-mounted
damped grabs and assist handles on the B-pillars are there if needed but the
sheer size of the wide, deep doors mean few people actually need to use them.
seated there's a comfy drop-down centre armrest for two to share and masses
of room in all directions; loads of foot room and if you want to stretch your
legs then just go right ahead. Headroom is also generous (there's a full fist
of it) and the headrests are comfy enough for you to just lean back into the
seat and chill naturally it helps that the backrests recline (all the
way down to 45-degrees). If you're awake, the passing world can be viewed through
the long, deep side windows. It goes without saying that seating three side-by-side
is eminently doable.
in the Rexton holds no
fears given its über-tough
all-wheel drive (with
differentials and a low-
range 4x4 system which
splits driving torque
50:50 between the front
and rear axles for max-
trax) and a trustworthy
hill descent control
system to manage tricksy
Add in ample ground
clearance and wheel
articulation and the
Rexton almost dares you
me if you can.
worry, you wont!
the 'home from home' feel is a wide drop-down centre armrest with siamesed cupholders
and a useful lidded storage tray, your own climate controls, big pouches on
the front seatbacks, and large bottle-holding door bins. Other well-considered
touches include lower door sections that keep the sills (and hence your clothing)
clean in dirty weather, a 2-pin 220v socket and a USB charging port and, of
course, Isofix child-seat mounting points.
Those travelling in the third row of democratically 50:50-split seats can reach
them without any rock-climbing skills courtesy of large rear doors and 60:40-split
second row seats that fold and tumble forwards. While kids will race to 'bag'
themselves these seats, slim adults might be surprised to find that they too
can travel there for shorter journeys. Making travelling in seats 6 and 7 even
more sociable are independent temperature controls and adjustable air-vents.
in this big SUV is pretty good with the engine virtually unheard at the legal
limit and motorway miles smoothly gobbled up accommodating family and
towing aside, long trips bring out the best in the Rexton. And being up for
hauling a massive 3,500kg, its ride actually benefits from running with a full
load cargo or peeps.
Picking a powerplant is a no-brainer because there's just the one a four-pot
turbodiesel that puts out 178bhp backed-up by a stump-pulling 309lb ft of torque.
But this Hobson's choice is not a problem because the 2.2-litre unit is a laid-back
operator, ably partnered by a Mercedes E-Tronic seven-speed autobox to take
care of the shifting business. You won't have any complaints.
made by the refined automatic gearbox are quick, clean and smooth. If you want
to take back control you can use the selector lever into its manual mode; hardcore
cog-swappers can always specify a six-speed manual gearbox. Top speed is a perfectly
okay 115mph and it will crack 0-60mph in 11.9 seconds.
what does it do to the gallon, Mister? A week's hard driving saw us record a
test average of 30.1mpg. Officially the combined figure is 34mpg (urban 27.1;
touring 40.3mpg). A 15.4-gallon (70-litre) fuel tank minimise pit-stops on long
trips thanks to a possible 450-500-mile range.
off-road in the Rexton holds no fears given its über-tough construction, selectable
all-wheel drive (with 'real McCoy' locking differentials and a low range 4x4
system which splits driving torque 50:50 between the front and rear axles for
max-trax) and a trustworthy hill descent control system to manage tricksy downhill
tracks. Add in effective ground clearance and good wheel articulation and the
Rexton almost dares you to 'break me if you can'. Don't worry, you won't.
Rextons boot is
huge: seven-seaters have
a commodious 649 litres
but five-seaters have
even more a whopping
820 litres! Both five and
seven seat versions will
take you and three golf-
loving chums (along
with four golf bags in the
boot) to the clubhouse
in one vehicle.
When even more
loadspace is called for
just drop the lot and you
can take advantage of
seamless and completely
For road use it's a capable and easy-to-pilot machine. There are Winter and
Summer drive settings, 2H and 4H drivetrain modes (selected via an easy rotary
dial) and, notwithstanding decent grip, a bodyweight that keeps it reassuringly
planted on the blacktop even in a howling gale. It handles well and the speed-sensitive
steering is sensibly geared which helps make light work of any towing duties
you care to throw at it even when tasked with hauling its maximum braked
The Rexton's boot is huge: seven-seaters have a commodious 649 litres but five-seaters
have even more a whopping 820! Both five and seven seat versions will
take you and three golf-loving chums (along with four golf bags in the boot)
to the clubhouse in one vehicle. When even more loadspace is called for just
drop the lot and you can take advantage of the seven-seater's seamless and completely
flat-floored 1,806-litre loadbay. Also coming in handy for oddments or keeping
valuables out of sight is the full-width underfloor area beneath the main boot
floor that's easily accessible without lifting the rearmost floor panel.
A rollerblind cassette keeps your luggage hidden from prying eyes but if you
prefer to carry your gear outside then there's a pair of black and silver roof
rails. For real cargo or a large caravan, horsebox, or workhorse trailer, the
Rexton beats just about every other SUV out there, being happy to haul a commercial-grade
A real-world seven-seater underpinned by SsangYong's 65 years' of 4x4 expertise,
the Rexton is an honest all-weather set of family wheels. Throw in oodles of
standard kit, a roomy and comfortable cabin, rugged character and competence,
and the peace of mind that comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty
and it's hard to find anything for the money that gives you so much. ~ MotorBar
SsangYong Rexton ELX 7-seater Auto
Maximum speed: 115mph | 0-62mph: 11.9 seconds | Test Average: 30.1mpg
Power: 178bhp | Torque: 309lb ft | CO2: 218g/km