SsangYong Rexton Review (2008)

SsangYong Rexton

SsangYong Rexton Review

SsangYong Rexton Review | Part TwoSsangYong Rexton Road Test

The Rexton is perhaps the most well known of the SsangYong line-up, apart from the, now departed, Musso.

The Rexton is perhaps the most well known of the SsangYong line-up, apart from the, now departed, Musso.

Sometimes known as the Rexton II, it is beefier than its stablemate the Kyron SUV and doesn’t have the same level of sophistication when it comes to looks. But never mind that it is bordering on ugly, you can’t see it from the inside and, with bargain-basement prices, it is sure to appeal to customers on a budget.

Mentioning the name, Mercedes-Benz will make some people pause and it isn’t just idle name-dropping. SsangYong has been around for some 54 years and started out making commercial vehicles along with such vehicles as mixer- and fire-trucks. In 1988 the company developed the Korando, said to be the first SUV to be manufactured in Korea and so began passenger vehicle production.

Mercedes-Benz came into the picture in the 1990s, when the company made a capital investment and an alliance was formed in terms of technology, management and distribution. Today, the Rexton is one of the fruits of that alliance, powered as it is by a 2.7-litre, Mercedes-Benz engine and with the Mercedes-Benz T-Tronic automatic gearbox as an option.

These have been made under licence but SsangYong has big plans for the future and hints at becoming more self-sufficient. Twenty new models on five different platforms and five engines over the same amount of years are suggested but not all of them will reach Europe and the UK.

Having the Mercedes-Benz name on the specification sheet won’t do sales of the Rexton and other SsangYong models any harm but the car is still not very pretty. The front end is bulbous with a wide, deep bonnet fronted by a grille that looks as if it has been borrowed from an old E-class. However, that is no bad thing as it gives the car presence and prompts people to take a second look.

Closer inspection reveals that although the build quality is good and, in profile, the design is modern, there is too much going on at the rear end to have come from the Mercedes-Benz designers’ pen. Most noticeable is the large Rexton logo emblazoned along the bottom of the tailgate and the almost centrally placed rear number plate. Take these away and the lines are quite smooth, which shows that some re-positioning might help the design.

SsangYong Rexton Review | Part TwoSsangYong Rexton Road Test
SsangYong Rexton Road Test Data
Model ReviewedSsangYong Rexton 270 S
Body TypeSUV
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph12.9 Seconds
Top Speed 112 mph
Transmission5-Speed Manual Transmission With Dual Mass Flywheel
Fuel TypeDiesel
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban24.6 mpg
Extra Urban37.7 mpg
Combined31.4 mpg
Insurance Group12
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3-Years or 60,000 Miles
Price (when tested on the 20/08/08)£19,995

The information contained within this SsangYong Rexton review may have changed since publication on the 20 August 2008. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local SsangYong dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2019