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Seoul show: SsangYong reveals next-gen Rexton

Uncertain future: It is not yet known whether the new SsangYong Rexton will be making its way Down Under, with the manufacturer and local importer Ateco Automotive at odds over local pricing and specification of previous models.

Late-2017 international debut expected for flagship SsangYong Rexton SUV


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28 Mar 2017

KOREAN car-maker SsangYong has taken to social media to reveal its next-generation Rexton large SUV ahead of its public debut at the Seoul motor show, with the large SUV to serve as the brand’s flagship when it goes on sale later this year.

Previously teased under the moniker Y400, the Rexton is also based on the LIV-2 concept that was shown at last year’s Paris motor show, and will go on sale in its native country in the first half of this year before international release near the end of 2017.

However it is unknown whether the Rexton will be coming to Australia, as local importer Ateco Automotive has struggled to see eye to eye with the brand over pricing and specification, which caused the current Tivoli to be excluded from local showrooms.

Speaking at the Paris show in September, a SsangYong spokesperson told GoAuto: “Clearly the LIV-2 is a very promising indication for SsangYong’s future plans, however these must include competitive pricing and specification to enable a production car to succeed in this highly competitive market and until we see that information it is not possible to say what role this prospective model would play in Australia.” Visually, there are significant changes over the previous Rexton including a new front fascia with redesigned headlights and what looks to be LED daytime running lights, as well as roof rails, chrome window surrounds and updated grille, front bumper and fog-lights.

The interior has also received major upgrades, including a 9.2-inch touchscreen display, leather and wood trim on the dash, a redesigned steering wheel, and a suite of safety features including lane departure warning, lane change assist, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beam, advanced emergency braking with pedestrian assist and nine airbags.

If it does make it to Australia with a rear-view camera – as it is offered in overseas markets – it would make it the first Australian SsangYong to come equipped with a factory camera.

The Rexton measures 4850mm long, 1920mm wide and 1800mm high with a wheelbase of 2865mm, putting it up against the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento in the sub-$70,000 large SUV category.

Likely powertrains include a Euro 6-compliant 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that makes 133kW/420Nm and is teamed to a Mercedes-Benz-sourced seven-speed auto, as well as a newly-developed 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four that pumps out 165kW/350Nm.

It will also be offered with the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive.

Currently, the only Rexton available on the Australian market comes with an 115kW/360Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel unit paired to a Benz-sourced five-speed auto that sends power to all four wheels.

SsangYong and the Rexton have been dying a slow death in Australia with its importing difficulties, with the brand selling just 371 units last year, compared to 2123 in 2007.

The Rexton found only 44 homes in 2016, less than half of the 97 sold in 2015 and well down on its personal best 559 sales in 2006.

The new Rexton will be revealed in full at the Seoul show on March 30.

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