Ssangyong Rexton review

Category: Large SUV

Section: Performance & drive

Available fuel types:diesel
Available colours:
Ssangyong Rexton 2021 rear cornering
Add to shortlist
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 front
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 rear cornering
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior dashboard
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior rear seats
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior infotainment
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 left tracking
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 right tracking
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 right tracking off road
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior front seats
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior middle seats
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior detail
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior steering wheel
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 tow bar detail
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 boot open
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 front
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 rear cornering
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior dashboard
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior rear seats
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior infotainment
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 left tracking
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 right tracking
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 right tracking off road
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior front seats
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior middle seats
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior detail
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 interior steering wheel
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 tow bar detail
  • Ssangyong Rexton 2021 boot open
RRP from£38,035
Share review

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

SsangYong has kept things nice and simple with the Rexton, offering just one engine and gearbox. The powerplant is a 199bhp 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel that, on paper, has a decent slug of torque to get you moving. Don’t expect the Rexton to be particularly brisk, though, as all models weigh more than two tonnes without passengers.

To be fair, it does feel a little quicker than the 10.7sec 0-60mph time might suggest, although it’s worth pointing out that all versions of the Kia Sorento and Toyota Land Cruiser are much quicker. You can still get up to motorway speeds in the Rexton without too much trouble, but the engine is noisy if you put your foot to the floor, only settling into the background hum when cruising.

The eight-speed automatic gearbox is at its happiest when you’re driving sedately. It shifts gently between ratios, but can also be very slow to kick down if you need to pick up speed quickly. There's a manual override, but it acts as a gentle suggestion as to what gear the ’box should be in rather than selecting the one you want.

As for the ride and handling, the news is not great. Even on the Rexton’s smallest 17in wheels with balloon-like sidewalls, the ride is surprisingly stiff. If you drive over a crumbling urban road, you’ll find yourself jostled around, and even on an apparently smooth motorway, you feel every ripple, expansion joint and pothole, whereas the Sorento will just shrug off such imperfections, especially when paired with smaller wheels.

That might be excusable if the Rexton handled well, but it can’t hide its significant bulk. When you steer in to a bend quickly, it leans noticeably, and it doesn’t take much speed to have the tyres squealing for mercy. The steering is very vague, too, so you have to make multiple steering inputs to get it round corners. If all you need is a seven-seater SUV without the off-road cred, a Peugeot 5008 offers much more controlled, car-like driving experience.

While the Rexton’s bulk counts against it in most areas, it does mean you can tow a 3500kg braked trailer. That figure is comparable to many pick-ups and several much more expensive SUVs. The four-wheel drive system with a low-ratio box should help the car cope well with off-road excursions.

Ssangyong Rexton 2021 rear cornering

Also consider

Hyundai Santa Fe

2018 - present

A brilliant seven-seat SUV, particularly in its cheaper f...

Kia Sorento

2020 - present

Not the cheapest seven-seat SUV, but it's hugely practical and...

Jaguar F-Pace

2020 - present

Brilliant to drive and surprisingly practical, plus you get lo...

Volvo XC60

2021 - present

Classy, roomy and well equipped – the XC60 is a good buy

...