On the road: The new SsangYong Rexton
On the road: The new SsangYong Rexton

Ian Lamming finds himself in a tight corner in SsangYong’s new Rexton

THERE is a car park in Manchester and I’m told now that it is as infamous as it is famous; I wish someone had told me before I went.

The NCP facility under the old central station, now an exhibition centre, comprises brick arches, the sort of place you might store beer kegs, cheese or barrels of gunpowder if you were planning to blow up Parliament.

Once you have managed to actually spot the entrance among the road closures and upturned pavements you enter with a sense of triumph, which wanes as quickly as it arrives as the passage narrows into a subterranean brick world.

OMG it is tight, OMG the spaces are narrow and at peculiar angles, OMG this car is big. If you could have chosen a car less suited to this environment then you would have selected SsangYong’s new Rexton, which is huge. Oh! That’s exactly the car I’m in. Gulp!

Time has flown too and the several circumnavigations of the city centre have left me running late and resulted in few spaces being available.

But here is the strangest of things. Rexton, despite its humungous girth, is staggeringly easy to manoeuvre, it really is. It is big but relatively square, so you know exactly where the corners are and there are beepy things just in case you forget.

The smallest of spaces I find only has a car on one side and bricks on the other and with the consummate ease of a lorry driver loading his 38 tonner on a ship the Rexton glides into the space leaving millimetres to the wall but enough room to at least get out of the driver’s door. Impressive that and I can see onlookers being impressed too.

New Rexton is a fine and splendid vehicle, like the ones before, and endearing in every sense. It remains well built offering a confidence inspiring seven year warranty

I love the new looks, particularly the vast grille and LED lights, which have the presence to scare other road users into submission and bring tears the eyes for small children. It is a striking looking vehicle make no mistake.

As well as being wide and long it is tall and the view from the driver’s seat is imperious. You can see over walls and in windows, it is the automotive equivalent of a crow’s nest on the good ship SsangYong.

In something this big and comfortable the world seems to slip by in slow motion unperturbed and that translates to an amazing ability to cover ground and shrink distances.

Interior space is vast and there’s more than enough room for seven in three tiers of seats, leaving a proper boot space for your luggage. With the seats down it will swallow the most ungainly of bicycles even without taking out the front wheel. There’s also a new digital dash and centre and overhead consoles.

Rexton is a gargantuan SUV with a well-proven 4x4 which shrugs off the vagaries of poor road conditions, whether they are wet, icy or just broken.

It remains great value and is superbly built with comprehensive specification, including excellent infotainment, silky smooth eight speed automatic gearbox and swathes of leather.

The 2.2 litre diesel is even more powerful now turning out 202PS and able to tow 3.5 tonnes.

Rexton also boasts the most flexible of transmissions; so it will chug along in two wheel drive in normal conditions for maximum economy, but will also switch to four wheel drive high and low ratios for the tricky stuff. It even has a diff-lock for the most challenging of surfaces.

Ride is composed and the steering positive so it handles the bends even better and is flying-carpet-smooth for motorway cruising.

Getting out of the underground car park proves as easy as getting in and the Rexton is always in its element whether that’s within the confines of a city car park, out on the open roads or romping along off-road making driving an adventure where ever you go.


SsangYong Rexton 2.2 Ultimate

Engine: 2.2 litre turbo diesel

Power: 202PS

Max Speed: 115mph

0-62mph: 11.9 seconds

Max towing weight: 3,500kg

Transmission: eight speed automatic

MPG: 34.0

CO2 g/km: 213

Price: £40,665.00