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Driven: SsangYong Rexton to be brand’s all-rounder

Family buyers, SUV lovers, grey nomads all targets for new SsangYong Rexton SUV

6 Dec 2018

SSANGYONG Australia’s new-generation Rexton seven-seat large SUV will play the role of all-rounder for the brand, with the aim of attracting a broad range of buyers from families to grey nomads.
Speaking to GoAuto at the relaunch of the SsangYong brand in Australia – this time under a factory-backed operation – SsangYong Australia general manager Tim Smith said the versatility of the ladder-frame Rexton would also provide a point of difference from its Korean competitors.
“I think we’re looking for someone who is certainly pragmatic with their brand choice, someone who needs the flexibility that a ladder-frame chassis offers – the ability to tow 3.5 tonnes,” he said.
“We’re certainly up against Mitsubishi’s offerings, so I think there is a point of difference with our Korean competitors, the ability to tow more and it’s a decent-sized car – it’s a true seven seater. 
“So that type of buyer who is a traditional SUV buyer, who is looking for flexibility to tow, and the ability to carry passengers – an all-rounder. So anything from families right to grey nomads, that’s who we’re attracting with Rexton.”
One of the Rexton’s biggest selling points at launch will be its towing ability, which at a full 3500kg outstrips all of its ute-based ladder-frame competitors, including the Ford Everest (3100kg), Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (3100kg), Isuzu MU-X (3000kg), Holden Trailblazer (3000kg) and Toyota Fortuner (2800kg).
It now shares the title of best towing capacity in its segment with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the only other sub-$70,000 large SUV with a full 3500kg rating. The Rexton’s towing capacity was originally rated at 3000kg, however the brand worked with aftermarket towing specialist Trimotive to develop a higher-capacity towbar, which has since received Australian Design Rule (ADR) certification.
At launch, three variants of the seven-seat Rexton will be offered, kicking off with the petrol-powered, two-wheel-drive EX, priced at $39,990 driveaway – $3000 above the entry-level LDV D90 Mode 2WD.
The Rexton EX employs a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine developing 165kW/350Nm, driving the rear wheels via an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission. Combined fuel economy stands at 10.4 litres per 100km, while CO2 emissions stand at 242 grams of CO2 per km.
Both the mid-spec ELX and range-topping Ultimate use the same turbo-diesel, all-wheel-drive layout, and are priced at $46,990 and $52,990 driveaway, respectively. 
The Ultimate undercuts other diesel-powered, top-spec contenders in the segment including the Holden Trailblazer Z71 ($53,490), Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed ($54,200), Isuzu MU-X LS-T ($56,200), Toyota Fortuner Crusade ($56,990) and Ford Everest Titanium ($73,990) – all of which are priced before on-road costs.
The ELX and Ultimate employ a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine shared with the Musso, but with torque boosted by 20Nm to 133kW/420Nm, driving a part-time four-wheel-drive system through a Mercedes-Benz-sourced seven-speed automatic transmission, which is responsible for the extra boost in torque.
Official combined fuel economy for the oil-burner sits at 8.3 litres per 100km, while emissions stand at 218 grams of CO2 per km.
Aiding off-road ability on all-wheel-drive variants are selectable low-range gearing, a limited-slip differential and electronic aids such as hill-start assist and hill descent control.
Although the Musso and Rexton share the same underpinnings, the Rexton enhances in-cabin comfort with a more premium-feeling interior than its pick-up cousin.
While the Musso ELX and Ultimate use a 7.0-inch infotainment screen, all versions of the Rexton employ an 8.0-inch unit with DAB+ digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while other range-wide interior features include dual-zone air-conditioning and a rearview camera.
All variants score autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and high-beam assist. The Rexton has not yet been tested by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), but SsangYong is shooting for a five-star rating.
Standard equipment on the petrol EX includes 18-inch alloys with a full-size spare, rear child anchor points, rear foglights, fabric seats, and six airbags including full-length side curtain airbags.
Stepping up to the ELX adds the diesel powertrain and part-time four-wheel drive with low-range gearing and limited-slip rear differential, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, tyre pressure monitor, tinted glass, driver’s knee and rear-seat side airbag, faux-leather upholstery, power front seats with heating and ventilation, heated rear seats, blind spot detection, lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert.
The top-spec Ultimate adds 20-inch alloys, a sunroof, power tailgate, speed-sensitive steering, HID headlights, a surround-view monitor, rear A/C controls and stainless steel scuff plates.
All Rextons come with a seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty with seven years of servicing and roadside assist.

2018 SsangYong Rexton driveaway pricing

Rexton EX (a) $39,990
Rexton ELX AWD (a) $46,990
Rexton Ultimate AWD (a) $52,990

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