Reasonable budget SUV gets a pointless makeover

What is it?

This is the Ssangyong Rexton R-Line, a ritzed-up version of the Ssangyong Rexton five-seat SUV. It’s been handed over to Bradford’s Kahn Design (they “build special vehicles for a small circle of people who have a taste for exclusivity and the finer things in life”) for a makeover in an attempt to inject some glamour into Ssangyong’s range.

So the Ssangyong Rexton R-Line gets a Kahn-trimmed interior with lots of faux suede and leather, 22-inch wheels with 285/35 rubber, new springs to lower the ride height, a “bespoke Kahn Design exhaust” and lots of R-Line badges.

What’s it like?

Not great. The Ssangyong Rexton is, in its most basic format, a cheap and cheerful SUV that offers lots of space and an inoffensive interior with a driving position considerably better than you might expect. It is not a car to which you would want to draw any more attention than is absolutely necessary, so glitzing it up like this seems an odd thing to do.

The additions don’t help the Rexton’s cause. The huge wheels and new springs damage the ride and the car feels unpleasant over anything but the smoothest surfaces. The exhaust note from the four enormous tailpipes creates a booming harmonic at around 2500rpm that becomes so loud that you would think the exhaust system had a hole in it.

The R-Line badge on the steering wheel is stuck on. It can be peeled off, along with all the other R-Line badges. And the touch-screen Kenwood hi-fi is difficult to use (and it’s an option). The seats are nicely finished though, and feel expensive.

Should I buy one?

Why would you, when you could buy a brand new Land Rover Discovery for less? The Ssangyong Rexton is not a bad car, but it really doesn’t need this sort of treatment.

Dan Stevens

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Jaydub 21 December 2008

Re: Ssangyong Rexton R-Line

Will, kind words much appreciated, if there is any sense in this world left then LR will survive, if not I shall become a postman...

blowerbentley 21 December 2008

Re: Ssangyong Rexton R-Line

You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig.

Will86 21 December 2008

Re: Ssangyong Rexton R-Line

Jay, whilst perhaps a little unfair, I tend to agree. There is a certain type of person! I work in a customer facing job too, and sometimes all you can do is laugh (though preferably not in their face).

<> Off topic I know, but I hope Land Rover pull through this, admittedly media distorted, financial pickle that we are in at the moment. You guys make some quite remarkable cars.