SsangYong Rexton
SsangYong Rexton

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.

Published : 20/08/08 Author : Melanie Carter

SsangYong Rexton News

This is a 16-year+ news article, from our SsangYong archive, which dates back to the year 2000.

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