IT’S all gone wrong at SsangYong. Unceremoniously dumped by Indian owner Mahindra, South Korea’s other car firm has filed for bankruptcy owing 315billion won (£194million).
That’s seven times the Squid Game prize money. And we know how that ended up.
Typically, this fifth-gen Rexton is SsangYong’s best vehicle yet.
Tow-car heaven for readers of Practical Caravan magazine. And it wins 4×4 awards by the bucket-load.
Weighing in at 2.4 tons, nearly five metres long and two metres tall, this behemoth will reliably pull 3.9 tons with 440Nm of torque – while likely garnering zero furtive glances in the process . . . unless someone is struggling to pull their own caravan uphill.
Based on the Musso pick-up, the shared chassis is a rugged ladder frame affair and while the engine has been upgraded for more power, unfortunately it pumps even more diesel-based bad stuff into the atmosphere.
But – and it’s a big butt – it has seven seats, the interior space of a penthouse suite and, with prices starting at £37,000, it will save you £17k on its nearest rival.
Mind you, rivals are increasingly hard to find. Since Nissan axed the Pathfinder and Mitsubishi, more recently, ditched the Shogun Sport and the UK market alltogether, its closest competitor is the far more luxurious Land Rover Discovery.
Exclusively available with a Hyundai-sourced, eight-speed automatic gearbox, drivability and on-road handling are not the Rexton’s calling cards. They never have been. However, with its heavy duty, low-range, four wheel-drive mechanicals, the Rexton can be hugely impressive off-road.
Climb inside, literally, and you will find the plushest SsangYong interior you have ever seen. The 12in fully digital instrument display looks particularly premium and leather is applied liberally, with more active safety tech than ever before.
Although the generous middle row affords a boatload of space, the seats don’t slide – only tilt – leaving those in the third row with limited legroom. Luggage space maxes out at a van-like 1,806 litres and with the third-row seats folded away, you are still looking at an impressive 649 litres with an adjustable floor for easy loading.
Given the plethora of not-too-big identikit faux-by-four crossovers available today, the Rexton is an elephant in the room. It refuses to conform in almost every category and excels in more than one.
Offering interior space, value for money and sheer physical presence, the new Rexton might have been born at a bad time but it guarantees, unlike SsangYong’s bean counters, you won’t be stuck in the mud needing rescue.
KEY FACTS: SSANGYONG REXTON
Engine: 2.2-litre diesel
Power: 202hp, 440Nm
0-62mph: 11.9 secs
Top speed: 115mph