After a couple of week taking care of SsangYong’s “full-size” SUV, the Rexton, I now know what it should be prefer to be a muthi. Forgive me if I’m patronising you, however a muthi is the title given to one of many chaps who sits atop a tame elephant, a form of pachydermal jockey. (SsangYong, by the way in which, is Korean for double dragon, and has nothing to do with elephants.) In a Rexton, an automotive large beast, like on an elephant you’re additionally excessive up; you rock round fairly a bit because the monster navigates awkward terrain, and certainly even when it’s on the extent.
The steering is a bit imprecise, there’s a good bit of air pollution out of the again finish, however you are feeling as by you may conquer the world, like Hannibal (the Great, not Lecter). What you may’t go over on this motor, you may undergo, with switchable two- or four-wheel drive, with high- and low-gear settings, locking central differential, and hill descent controls – so numerous management. I’ve been off highway in a single and it’s extraordinarily succesful. And, punchline alert, the Rexton additionally has a formidable boot, even with seven, sure seven, grownup people on board. It’s just like the elephant home at London Zoo in there. It’ll pull like a bull elephant in should too, all of three.5 tonnes on the tow bar, proper on the prime finish of its class. Mighty.
I’ll go on, seeing as I’m making such fantastic progress. The Rexton additionally has an excellent reminiscence, so, for instance, the satnav will retailer your favorite addresses and radio stations, and the way in which you want your seats arrange.
The SsangYongRexton can be a reasonably easy beast. It’s acquired a inflexible separate ladder-type chassis, which is a reasonably old school building as of late, often discovered on pick-up vans. It signifies that the automotive is that bit extra rugged – the traditional Land Rover was made this fashion – and it’s additionally low-cost to construct. Actually, the Rexton is a form of posher model of the SsangYong Musso pick-up – sharing a lot of the bodywork and mechanicals, however a contact extra civilised and with a classy big grille on the entrance. The design has been round for a couple of years however the Rexton has had a little bit of a clean up, with new bumpers, LCD lights and a smoother 8-speed computerized gearbox mated to a reasonably unsophisticated 2.2 litre diesel engine that delivers most of its comparatively modest energy at low speeds, splendid for off-roading.
It boasts touches resembling Nappa leather-based seats, good new digital shows, glorious connectivity, powered tailgate, and heated seats and steering wheel within the greater trim Ultimate model. It’s nonetheless a bit crude and noisy, so that they’ve plugged the microphone on the entrance into the audio system on the again, so you may have half a dialog with your companions within the again two roads of seats. It’s no type icon like a Land Rover Discovery, but it surely’ll work simply as properly.
Performance can be elephantine – it’ll put a stunning little bit of tempo on if you happen to push it arduous, but it surely’s happier at strolling tempo. I’ve made it sound like a nightmare to drive, but it surely’s truly loads of enjoyable when you get used to its roly-poly character. It’s not a sports activities automotive, and doesn’t actually faux to be; it’s superb at what it does, ie lugging folks and kit, and that’s what counts.
As at all times with this nonetheless unfamiliar South Korean model (now owned by the Indian Mahindra and Mahindra group, and which has been within the UK since 1994), it’s about worth, so that you mainly get one thing the scale of Balmoral on wheels for about £40,000. I’m unsure, given all the pieces, it’s that significantly better a purchase than the extra refined Nissan X-Trail, Seat Tarraco or Skoda Kodiaq, say, even when they only don’t have absolutely the house. The Rexton can be nearer in idea to the cheaper Mitsubishi Shogun Sport (albeit that make is unfortunately withdrawing from the UK). But for sheer dimension and pulling energy, the Rexton has few actual rivals. One small disadvantage with it being so cavernous and a diesel is that it takes some time to warmth up the cabin.
The elephant within the room for SsangYong was at all times depreciation however that’s improved for the make in latest instances. Even so, it is best to nonetheless be ready for reticent consumers questioning what on earth it’s. They ought to most likely name it the SsangYong Elephant. More memorable.