The Ssangyong Rexton used to be a common sight on Irish roads. It used to be seen driving around with a horsebox or trailer usually attached. This is because it could carry a massive load. Then 2008 came and Ssangyong was no longer available in Ireland. With their exit from the Irish market and the high road tax which was associated with their vehicles, the Rexton became a less visible. During 2013 Hino Harris in Dublin brought Ssangyong back to Ireland and with the hint of green shoots coming through, it appears that their timing could not have been better.
The older Rexton was powered by Mercedes-Benz engines. The current model is fitted with a new Ssangyong-built 2000cc RX200e-XDi engine. On paper this offers 155 PS and is available with a 5-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox. Depending on what gearbox you opt for the Rexton offers a maximum speed of 173 to 175 km/h and maximum torque of 360Nm at between 1,500 and 2,800rpm. This machine has a kerb weight of nearly 2,000 kg and the engine does well to carry that weight around.
This is a massive machine and therefore it would be only reasonable to expect a certain amount of body roll from it. The body lean is there, but it’s able to cope well-enough with it. It soaks up smaller bumps in the road with ease but as you approach larger potholes you would do well to steer around them because they’re not dealt with as easily. The steering is also slightly on the vague side.
The Rexton excels in the refinement department. The interior is nicely padded and considering the size of this vehicle you would expect more road and win noise to seep through. The engine can be loud when put under pressure to get to the 120 km/h on the motorway but this is common in most cars, especially when their powered by diesel engines.
The interior space is extremely comfortable and the seats feel like armchairs to sit in. The inside feels much like an older Mercedes vehicle. Our test model had no touchscreen but this didn’t impede on the appearance. The infotainment system in the vehicle is basic and very simple to use. While there is nothing ultra-modern about the dash board it is presented nicely and the plastics don’t feel overly cheap. The steering wheel controls are easy to operate too. The back row is comfortable and if you opt for the seven seat version you will find seats six and seven to be well-presented too.
The Ssangyong Rexton has not undergone a Euro NCAP test. What we do know is that this vehicle is equipped with Electronic Stability Programme or ESP. This system controls the electronic brake-force distribution, the brake assist system, the traction control, the active rollover protection and the antilock braking system.
As a commercial vehicle the Ssangyong offers good space for smaller businesses who do not need a larger van. As a family vehicle the space is excellent. The area to the front is large and head and leg room throws up no issues. The same can be said for row two and three adults could fit in here with some degree of comfort. Even row three would take two adults but it would be best suited for children.