Rexton W inherits SUV maker's reputation
By Kim Tae-jong
Ssangyong Motor underwent a turbulent period after receiving court bankruptcy protection before being sold to Indian utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra last year. Now, it has begun to revive its fame as a leading Korean sport utility vehicle manufacturer.
To continue its legacy, the nation’s smallest automaker has introduced new, upgraded models such as the Korando C and Korando Sports, and most recently, its premium SUV, the Rexton W, has hit the market.
It is the third generation of the company’s SUV family, following the Rexton and Rexton II, which were sold with the slogan of “Top 1 percent in Korea,” with the aim of becoming the top premium SUV in the country.
The new Rexton maintains many key elements of the previous models but has also introduced new features.
In terms of styling, it has a more modern and sophisticated look.
The redesigned chrome-lined grille is now wider and looks much smarter than before, and it houses a large Ssangyong logo in the center. And the front bumper looks much more aggressive than previous models.
But what’s most impressive is the power train, which combines higher fuel efficiency with a better performance and more reliability than its predecessors.
Drivers will be comfortable at the wheel without any disturbing noises or vibrations. The reason is that the vehicle has an e-XDi200 LET diesel engine, optimized for the Korean driving environment. The result is drivers can enjoy winding roads and mountainous highways as well as city roads thanks to reinforced middle and low-speed torque. On the highway, the new Rexton also promises satisfying performances at high speed.
The cutting-edge Mercedes 5-speed automatic transmission also guarantees the best driving experience by sensing the owner’s driving pattern and the condition of the vehicle. It’s hard to find flaws in terms of driving this big SUV with only a 2,000-liter engine. (It is 5.41 meters long, 1.89 meters wide and 1.5 meters high.)
With this new engine, the Rexton W offers excellent fuel efficiency of 13.7 kilometers per liter in the two-wheel drive all-terrain model, up over 20 percent from the previous Rexton, and maximum torque of 36.7 kilogram-meters, an increase up 15 percent.
Thanks to its size, the comfortable and spacious interior space that can take seven passengers can be utilized for various purposes depending on the seat arrangement while nothing obstructs the drivers’ view.
The only disappointment is the Rexton lacks premium features inside. The navigation system is located below the center vents so that a driver has to look down to check the map. Its dashboard is also a bit too simple compared to other premium vehicles which show various types of information in a fancier manner.
But this may not be critical for people who put more weight on the value for money. The SUV’s price tag starts from 2.7 million won with the top model at 3.6 million won.
Overall, the new Rexton offers premium performance at a reasonable price.