We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For It provides big-car space at small-car prices, and some versions can seat seven people

Against It's short on on-road ride, refinement, quality and safety features

Verdict It's a lot of car for the money, but you have to sacrifice in some important areas

Go for… 290 S

Avoid… 320 SX

Ssangyong Rexton W 4x4
  • 1. The engines are from Mercedes, so they should be reliable
  • 2. The cabin looks cheap, but it's well put-together
  • 3. The driving position is basically good, but there's no reach adjustment on the steering wheel
  • 4. Avoid the massively thirsty 3.2-litre petrol engine in early cars
  • 5. The boot is big, though not wide, and some models have seven seats
advertisement

Ssangyong Rexton W 4x4 full review with expert trade views

The real attraction of the Rexton is that it gives you a lot of car for the money, with something like Land Rover Discovery space for Freelander money.

Up front, the dash is well laid out, and the basically sound driving position gives a commanding view. Head and legroom are fine, although reach adjustment on the steering wheel would help taller drivers make themselves more comfortable.

In the back, there's plenty of room for passengers, if not quite as much as in some rivals. The boot, too, is a good size, although it's not terribly wide, but it does house two extra fold-away seats on some models, which turn the Rexton into a seven-seater.

That's all very well - and, what's more, the Rexton is a fine off-roader - but the trouble starts once you drive on-road. The ride never really settles, there's too much body roll in bends and the slow-witted steering makes parking awkward.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Low on image so has to be a workhorse. Not expensive new but won't hold value well

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Originally, the Rexton came with petrol and diesel engines, but the 3.2-litre petrol was reserved for the top trim, making it too expensive for a supposedly budget car. It was also the worst model for fuel economy and insurance, so there's little surprise it was dropped in early 2006.

At the same time, the company dropped the 2.9-litre diesel, which is the easiest model to find on the used market and the cheapest. It's our recommendation as a used buy, but primarily because of its price.

The 2.7-litre diesel that joined the range in late 2004 (54-plate onwards), and became the only engine in the range from early 2006, is stronger and more fuel-efficient, but is too much more expensive than the 2.9.

Trim-wise, stick to the most basic models, as the whole range is well equipped.

Trade view

James Ruppert

RX270 SE seven-seater, extra seats essential to sell easily

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Compared to most other 4x4s of the same size, the Rexton is a bargain. Cars like the Discovery or Jeep Grand Cherokee are far more expensive to buy, and the only other big 4x4 that comes close to matching the Rexton's price is the Kia Sorento. However, even that looks dear in comparison.

Of the Rexton's three engines, by far the most fuel-efficient is the 2.7-litre diesel, which returns 32.9mpg. Although that's pretty good for such a big car, it's not as good as a diesel Sorento. The 2.9 gets just 30.4mpg, or a woeful 25.0mpg with the automatic gearbox, while the 3.2 petrol can't even return 20mpg.

In terms of insurance, the Rexton is dearer than the Sorento, but cheaper than other mainstream rivals of a similar size.

Sadly, we don't have maintenance costs for the Rexton, but given that the engines are sourced from Mercedes, we see no reason why they should be overly expensive to service.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Low on image so has to be a workhorse. Not expensive new but won't hold value well

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

SsangYongs are relative rarities in the UK, so it's very difficult to unearth any consistent problems with the Rexton. What's more, for the moment at least, the majority of models on our roads are still covered by the manufacturer's new car warranty, so any problems can be safely sorted at the supplying dealer.

Similarly, there has never been a recall on the Rexton, and SsangYong has never appeared in the JD Power survey. However, all the engines have been sourced from Mercedes, so we expect them to be sound.

Likewise, although the interior may not be the last word in style and some of the materials look decidedly cheap, there's no question that they're all put together well.

Last but not least, if the owners who have posted reviews online at whatcar.com are anything to go by, buyers should have little to worry about. Most cars have had trouble-free lives.

Trade view

James Ruppert

RX270 SE seven-seater, extra seats essential to sell easily

James Ruppert
Used car guru
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014