SsangYong Rexton SUV
Price £21,995 - £25,995
- Cheap to buy
- Good off road
- Practical interior
- Not very good to drive
- Cheap interior plastics
- High CO2 emissions
At a glance
"Nothing comes close to the SsangYong Rexton W at this price, but it lags behind the class best in most other areas."
The SsangYong Rexton W is an SUV for those on a tight budget. It comes in entry-level SX and the range-topping EX specifications, with all models boasting impressive equipment levels for the impressively low price tag. Not only this, the SsangYong Rexton W is a large SUV that is able tow heavy loads and has a good off-road ability.
That means it costs the same as some of its smaller, cheaper rivals, but offers a much bigger car and plenty of practical features. However the budget price is reflected in some poor quality fittings and driving dynamics that can’t match others in its class. A recent facelift that's upgraded both the interior and exterior means it's much better than the previous generation car, however.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The 2.0-litre engine’s running costs are still high no matter which gearbox you choose
All cars get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but those buying the SsangYong Rexton W EX get the option of a Mercedes-sourced five-speed automatic gearbox. However, the 2.0-litre diesel engine's running costs are still high no matter which transmission you choose.
Manual gearbox versions emit 196g/km of CO2, whilst the automatics can only manage 206g/km, putting it a long way behind the class best. That will make your annual road tax bill soar, but thankfully fuel economy isn’t too bad for a car like this. Models fitted with the manual gearboxes can do 38.2mpg and those fitted with automatic gearboxes are capable of 36.2mpg.
Interior & comfort
Not other off-road vehicle offers this much room at such a cheap price
Both the SX and EX trims get a decent list of standard kit and aluminium-effect and chrome finishes cover the soft touch material inside the car. Luxury seats make the EX models stand out further, it can't match the Hyundai Santa Fe for quality, which sets the class standard in this area. That said, the SsangYong Rexton W does feel well built, in an agricultural, utilitarian kind of way.
The seven-seat interior can be configured in different ways to suit most needs. The rearmost seats are only big enough for children, but there's enough head and legroom for adults elsewhere in the spacious cabin – and no other off-road vehicle offers this much room at such a cheap price.
Practicality & boot space
A large glove box and plenty of cubbyholes means there is plenty of room to store loose items
As you’d expect from an SUV, the SsangYong Rexton W has plenty of boot space. It can store 248-litres of luggage, but fold the rear seats down and the 1,338-litres of space rivals even the most spacious estate cars and 4x4s. You do have to remove the annoying headrests to do this and annoyingly you'll find quite a high load lip that gets in the way when lifting heavy items into the boot.
A large glove box, cubbyholes and storage boxes offer plenty of room to store your items. This car should also be an attractive option for caravenners because its capable four-wheel drive system enables the towing system to carry an impressive three-tonnes of weight.
Reliability & safety
Five-year unlimited mileage warranty should cover you against any manufacturer faults
It's unknown how the SsangYong Rexton W will handle a crash because it hasn’t been tested in any of the Euro NCAP tests, but entry-level models do get driver and passenger airbags, whilst the range topping EX trims add side airbags, too. Breakdowns shouldn’t be a concern either as this is a fairly rugged car with Korean reliability, but be warned that the materials inside could wear down with heavy use over time.
We wouldn’t worry too much, though, as SsangYong's unlimited mileage warranty should cover you against any manufacturer faults during the first five years.
Engines, drive & performance
The excellent ground clearance makes it a capable off-roader
The SsangYong Rexton W isn’t the best car to drive on the road and is outclassed by competitors like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento. An outdated design, poor body control and vague steering makes it a hard car to manoeuvre – even on smooth roads. Its tall roofline also creates considerable lean when going through corners and makes roads with the tiniest bumps and potholes feel like an off-road course.
However, the excellent ground clearance makes it a capable off-roader, whilst there's less engine noise and vibration in the cabin because it's more refined than previous models. It is a little noisy on start up, but this soon disappears when the car gets going properly.
Price, value for money & options
It’s as big as a Toyota Land Cruiser, but its affordable price comes close to that of smaller cars
With prices starting at just over £20,000, there's no denying the SsangYong Rexton W is very good value money. It's as big as a Toyota Land Cruiser, but its affordable price tag comes close to that of smaller cars like the Volkswagen Tiguan and Kia Sportage. That money gets you air-conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, seven seats and keyless entry.
However, look closer and the cheap cabin fittings do reflect the budget price, whilst the optional sat nav feels poorly built. You won’t get much money for the car on the used market after three years either, but the five-year unlimited mileage warranty should go some way to make up for that.
What the others say
"While on the surface it may seem an improvement, it still can’t match newer rivals for sharp driving dynamics. On the plus side it does come loaded with standard kit and is backed by a generous five-year, unlimited mileage warranty."
"The SsangYong Rexton W is cheaper than most of its mainstream rivals but high CO2 emissions, low fuel economy and mediocre predicted residual values mean that the savings made are soon eroded in the daily running of the car."
"Old-fashioned workhorse with a full 3.5-tonne towing capacity, seven seats, lots of torque and antediluvian ride quality. Uncompromising, but quite charming in its way."