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Driven: SsangYong Rexton 270 Xdi SE - on sale now



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SsangYong has found a loyal band of followers in the UK, with keen pricing, and on- and off-road proficiency the attraction.

Following the Musso and Korando (both with Daewoo badges for a while), the latest from the Korean manufacturer is the Rexton 4x4 which is geared more towards those who want something capable of mud plugging, rather than mere soft-roading.

It may not have the kudos of a Land Rover, but what it lacks in brand image, it more than makes up for in all round capability. On top of that, it has a big road presence and bigger money looks.

The view from the inside isn’t bad either. The interior may be a bit dreary, and its not going to win any style awards, but its functional and all the switches and plastics have a good quality feel to them.

The best part of the Rexton package is the 163bhp 2.7-litre diesel unit, a Mercedes-Benz engine which was used in the bullet-proof G-wagen. It’s the 251lb-ft of torque which is most impressive, and mated with the Merc five-speed automatic gearbox, which works surprisingly well, it makes the Rexton very quick off the mark and a remarkably good long distance cruiser.

The engine does come from the old school of diesels and there can be a fair amount of clatter, particularly when it’s revved hard, but it’s more a throaty turbo rumble on the move, which adds charm.

The one letdown of the Rexton is its woolly handling which makes it unnerving round tight turns and isn’t helped by body roll. The steering is typically 4x4 like and with rear-wheel drive as default, you have to be somewhat careful, particularly on slippery Tarmac. It does, however, come with ESP as standard which incorporates ABS, traction control and the brake assist system (BAS).

SX models have a torque on demand (TOD) system which automatically transfers optimum torque to the front wheels if a loss of traction is detected. There is also the choice of five or seven seats, meaning the Rexton can be as at home on the school run as it can transporting produce to market.

Strengths: Good diesel engine, useful for towing
Weakness: Barge-like handling and lots of roll
Opportunity: Anyone looking for a good workhorse
Threat: Not refined enough to take on softroaders
The USP: A lot of 4x4 for the money
Price: £23,499
Engine :2.7-litre diesel, 163bhp, 251lb-ft
Transmission: 5spd automatic, 4wd
Performance: 0-62mph 13.1sec; top speed 106mph
Efficiency: 28.5mpg (comb), 266g/km CO2
CAP RV (3/30k): £9,800 (41%)
Rivals: Shogun, Terracan, Defender

SsangYong's Rexton W – defiantly off-road, but on-budget

The SsangYong Rexton W ticks a lot of boxes for its cost-conscious target market

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