I’d hoped that the running-in period – the Rexton arrived with just under 700 miles on the clock – might improve the 29.5mpg originally achieved. The Rexton has now done almost 2000 miles, and there has been a slight gain to 29.7mpg since, but I’m less optimistic now.
Still, these figures are less surprising when you consider the sizeable frontage the Rexton presents to the wind and the fact that it weighs more than 2100kg. And you can keep an eye on the trip computer, and the econometer, from a seat of some comfort, despite its surprising lack of a lumbar adjuster.
The Rexton is not an especially rapid machine (62mph arrives in a relatively leisurely 11.9sec) but that suits its demeanour, even if the aura of comfort can be rudely interrupted by the effects of a broken road surface. The suspension and separate chassis are sometimes jarring in their struggle to cope, and if the pothole is big and you’re aware of it, you’ll be circumnavigating the depression in question.
The Rexton hasn’t done any towing yet, but it has already been used to cart two lawnmowers simultaneously – with the car’s rear seats still in place – and it also helped with the clear-out of a flat. Our Ultimate version comes with a two-section false floor that eliminates the step between the underfloor and the folded backrests, but you can significantly expand the space by removing the sections, and tipping the entire folded rear seat forwards again.
This also has the advantage of providing a low bulkhead behind the front seats – highly desirable, noted the lawnmower repairman, when you are carrying large, bladed tools that might move during an emergency stop, or worse.
Besides mowers and mattresses, the Rexton has also carried friends, all of them impressed with both the finish of its interior and its space. None has yet commented on the sometimes jumpy ride, but perhaps they’re being polite. Their observations are usually easy to hear, because the Rexton’s drivetrain is pretty quiet. Its seven gears allow the diesel to spend most of its time spinning beneath 3000rpm, and to achieve a restfully subdued cruise on the motorway. Deploying kickdown briefly changes all that, the engine roaring with effort, but these moments are brief, unless you’re in a real hurry.
The hurried will also discover that the Rexton can be annoyingly slow off the mark when you’re pulling out of a junction, prompting a deeper sinking of the throttle that can then provoke a gravelly scrabble from the inside rear wheel. So it’s not always restful, and certainly not speedy.
You won’t be pushing it to the limit on back roads, either, although some experimentation on a gravel road induced an amusing little drift, curtailed by the stability control system. The Rexton runs in rear-wheel drive, incidentally, unless you select all-wheel drive or low range. So there’s scope for more serious offroad work.