If you ever had designs on being a member of the Secret Service (well, driving one of their cars anyway), then the SsangYong Rexton W is for you.
With its blacked out rear windows, high and imposing structure, the Rexton W is an attractive, American-looking SUV and really cuts a dash.
Inside, the cabin is spacious with a touch of luxury.
There’s a sophisticated looking centre console, with metal and chrome trim and leather effect upholstery.
From a distance the wood effect panelling on the doors and centre console looks well, but up close it doesn’t really work.
I was driving the five seat ‘Business Edition’, which has a huge boot. This boot space is compromised, however, if you prioritise seating over cargo in the seven-seat ‘Limited Edition’.
Legroom in the five-seater is good both back and front. The seats are also comfortable, with the test car having heated seats in both the front and outer rear – the middle rear passenger has no such luxury.
There’s room for three in the back, but two adults would be more comfortable, with a pull down armrest to give them their own space.
There’s an absolute plethora of cup holders in this car – three in the front- but no apparent space to put your mobile phone or a car park ticket, for instance. I found the coin tray handy though.
I also liked the curved out bottle holders in the front door bins, however, I was a little bit perplexed with the door bins in the rear doors, which are little bigger than a letterbox slot.
Bottle holders in the rear pop out between the front seats and pop back in again when not in use.
I really liked the driving position in this car, which is high and commanding. You actually have to climb up into the seat, with the help of an exterior ‘side step’. I would also have liked an overhead handle to help haul yourself up.
Infotainment is provided via radio/CD/USB and Bluetooth phone and music streaming. I found the unit easy to use and it was easy to pair my phone.
Both the USB, at the bottom of the centre console, and the two 12Volts – one on the passenger side of the centre console, the other close to the USB port were well placed.
While it’s a lovely looking unit, the audio quality could have been better. I found it sounded flat.
The test car also had cruise control, which, again, was easy to use. And I also liked the retro door lock knobs.
Our route in this car took us on city, motorway and winding country roads.
While the steering was a bit mushy, I enjoyed driving the Rexton W, especially in the city, where it towered over other motors.
The test car was a 2.0litre 155ps automatic and I was impressed with the gearbox, which was seamless.
It can also be switched from full automatic to manual, but I didn’t find any reason to do so.
The three drive modes are two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive High for wet or slippery conditions and four-wheel drive Low for maximum traction.
This car is very big, but sensors front and back made it easier to park.
I was also impressed with the soundproofing on the motorway, which was very good.
While it’s an SUV that’s more likely to be seen at work on a farm than sitting in an urban driveway, I liked the SsangYong Rexton W. It’s not a bad price, considering its spec and 4WD capabilities. However, bear in mind road tax, which is a very pricey €1,200 for the passenger vehicle (but a more affordable €333 for commercial and utility versions).
The SsangYong Rexton W is available now, with prices starting from €34,320 for the two seat manual Commercial. Prices for the five-seat Business Edition (commercial utility) start from €38,329 for the manual and €41,377 for the automatic test car. Prices for the seven-seat Limited Edition passenger model start from €44,474 for the manual and €48,185 for the automatic.
All variants come with a five year warranty.
Engine: D20DTR 155PS diesel
Maximum Speed: 175kph
CO2 emissions: 206g/km
Combined fuel economy: 7.8l/100km
Annual road tax: €333/€1,200