Ssangyong Rexton W 4x4 full 9 point review
There’s only one engine available – a 2.0-litre diesel with 153bhp – and the Rexton W’s hefty two-tonne weight means it has to be revved quite hard to make decent progress. This is made worse in versions with the automatic gearbox, which has only five gears and is sluggish to change gear.
Ride & Handling
A high kerbweight and a soft suspension set-up mean the Rexton W isn’t particularly agile, with noticeable body lean in corners. The steering is slow and frustratingly vague, giving you little idea of what the front wheels are doing. If you think soft suspension means a cushy ride, you’ll be disappointed; the Rexton W is fidgety at all speeds, and larger potholes aren’t dealt with well, either.
The engine is generally quiet – it’s noisy only at the top of its rev range – and there’s no vibration through the steering wheel or pedals. The cabin is reasonably well hushed at speed, too; engine and road noise are well suppressed, although the Rexton W’s large door mirrors do whip up some wind noise.
Buying & Owning
There’s no denying the Rexton W is cheaper to buy than many of its rivals, but for only slightly more you can have a Mazda CX-5, which costs less to run as a private or company car and is similarly well equipped. The Rexton W won’t hold its value as well, either, so will prove more expensive over three years.
Quality & Reliability
Ssangyong didn’t perform well in the latest What Car? reliability survey, finishing in the bottom quarter of all the manufacturers featured. At least the five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty provides some peace of mind. Cabin quality isn’t particularly good; there are plenty of cheap plastics on the dashboard and the switchgear feels similarly low-rent.
Safety & Security
The Rexton W can’t compete with many of its rivals when it comes to safety kit. All models get driver, passenger and front side airbags, but don’t get a driver’s knee airbag, curtain ’bags or the option of rear side airbags. Security equipment includes an alarm and an engine immobiliser.
Behind The Wheel
There’s plenty of seat adjustment – especially so on the electronically operated seats fitted to range-topping EX models – but unfortunately there’s no reach adjustment for the steering wheel, so not everyone will be able to get perfectly comfortable. At least the switchgear is logically laid out and clearly labelled, making it easy to use on the move.
Space & Practicality
All Rexton Ws come with seven seats as standard, but you can have five at no extra cost. There’s enough space for the tallest adults up front, and the middle row is roomy enough for two adults or three children to sit comfortably. While there’s good head- and legroom in the third row, however, the tiny footwell makes these seats better suited to children on long journeys. The boot is large and a practical square shape.
Standard kit is pretty good for the money. Entry-level SX models get climate control, cruise control, alloy wheels and Bluetooth. Range-topping EX versions add electrically adjustable leather seats, a sunroof, rear parking sensors and privacy glass, but they’re a lot more expensive. DAB radio can be added on its own or with sat-nav as an optional extra on all models.