What is it?
It’s an entirely fresh design inside and out, and is available in three specifications, all bristling with the kinds of gadgets that rival cars list as options, which makes the Rexton's price range - between £27,500 for the entry-level EX and £37,500 for the loaded, Nappa-leathered Ultimate auto - look extremely competitive.
For the first time, a big Ssangyong has convincing modern styling, and the interior is especially spacious and well designed. There are seven seats as standard, although you can opt to leave the third row out in the middle ELX model if your priority is the biggest possible boot capacity.
Technically speaking, the new Rexton doesn't pull up any trees: its body sits on a rugged and simple separate steel chassis (which, Ssangyong says, gives it great reserves of strength, plus a 3.5-tonne towing capacity) and, although the suspension is independent at both ends, it employs steel springs rather than the height-adjustable pneumatic units that rival cars have.
The engine is Ssangyong’s familiar 2.2-litre diesel, here in a cleaner Euro 6 guise, producing 179bhp at 4000rpm and a meaty 310lb ft of torque just where you need it, between 1600 and 2100rpm. The standard gearbox (in EX and ELX) is a six-speed manual, but most buyers will go for the Mercedes-sourced seven-speed automatic, which comes at a £2000 premium.
The Rexton's standard four-wheel drive is an old-school selectable system with a separate low-range gearbox. The Rexton normally runs on-road in rear-wheel-drive high range. For 4WD, you have to manually select either high-range 4x4 or low-range 4x4. There’s no centre differential, though, so it's best not to use 4WD on road except in the worst conditions of wet and snow.