New SsangYong Rexton SUV launched

SsangYong’s full-size SUV can tow 3,500kg and is a rival to the Kia Sorento

2021 SsangYong Rexton
  • On sale now
  • Bold new grille
  • Seven-year/150,000-mile warranty

The new 2021 SsangYong Rexton SUV is now on sale, with prices starting from £37,995. With four-wheel drive as standard, the Rexton is unashamedly aimed at caravanners, horse owners and others who need a car for towing.

Key to the Rexton’s appeal is a 3,500kg towing capacity, thanks to standard-fit selectable four-wheel drive. In normal driving, you can switch to two-wheel drive to save fuel but engage the low-range gearbox and four-wheel drive when required. Trailer sway control is also fitted as standard, making towing even easier.

The eight-speed automatic gearbox is all new, and should be quieter and smoother than the current one. It’s mated to an upgraded 2.2-litre diesel engine, which now has 199bhp and lots of torque, which is good for pulling heavy loads. The Rexton isn’t designed for quick acceleration - 0-62mph takes 11.9 seconds - and its fuel economy is similar to a large pickup, at 32.9mpg.

New SsangYong Rexton

SsangYong has redesigned the Rexton’s front end, with a bold new grille immediately grabbing your attention. It looks like the Korean brand has taken inspiration from big American SUVs, although a similar starry grille is used on the MG HS. The rear lights have also been updated with a new T-shaped LED design.

Two trim levels are available: Ventura (replacing ELX) and Ultimate. Seven seats come as standard, and Ventura models come with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a digital instrument cluster, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a reversing camera.

Ultimate gets a bigger screen with sat nav, along with a powered tailgate, electric front seats and extra safety features - namely a lane-change collision warning system, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. It costs £40,665.

What does it mean for car buyers?

The SsangYong Rexton used to be a great-value choice if you needed a brawny car to tow heavy loads. It’s still capable, and features an industry-leading seven-year/150,000-mile warranty, but the starting price has become quite expensive. In fact, the 2017 Rexton started at over £10,000 cheaper, at £27,500.

If you don’t need such a large towing capacity, a high-spec Skoda Kodiaq may fit the bill just as well. The 2.0-litre diesel 4x4 version has a 2,000kg towing capacity and is 10mpg more economical than the SsangYong. The Rexton will be far more expensive than its rivals on a monthly basis because SsangYong doesn’t do PCP finance deals - only HP ones. You’ll be paying to keep the car outright, so that does make sense if you’re planning to keep the car for a long time.

Read our guides to the best 4x4s and the difference between four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

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