Sleek, safe and sound

THE 2018 Ssangyong Rexton is a huge surprise to the motoring world.

Released in Fiji this week, from its powerful 165 kW unleaded turbo engine to unique leather stitching, AEB-autonomous emergency brakes which applies braking force itself when computers sense an imminent forward crash actually positions the Rexton way above most SUVs currently sold in the market.

You really need to jump inside the Rexton and explore the instrument cluster to dash settings, cabin equipment, multiple program settings to ease accessibility and greatly heighten your driving experience will mesmerise you.

The premium sound multimedia system allows you to record any program whether it may be a talk show, music or radio story and store and play it later. This is amazing.

Riding on a ‘Quad-Frame’, the new Rexton is the first car to use 1.5Gpa giga-steel. The utilisation of high-strength steel should mean that it’s lighter than today’s vehicles.

Let us see below what independent reviews say about the 2018 Rexton. Motoring Research by Peter Burgess: 2018 Ssangyong Rexton review: the Korean Land Rover. Ssangyong has a 4×4 heritage that goes back 60 years, so it’s no newcomer to this game, and there’s already a following among those who like to tow.

The Rexton has a massive towing capacity of 3500kg, in both manual and automatic forms. To put that into perspective, the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Sante Fe are 2500kg with the manual gearbox, and just 2000kg as an auto.

To establish its hardiness, Ssangyong drove five Rextons from Korea to the UK, some 8000 miles along the Silk Road via Beijing. We used the same cars to get in some Shropshire off-roading.

Along dirt tracks, across wet grassy meadows, up and down steep inclines, the Rexton is amazingly capable on just regular road tyres.

There is no locking of the differential, and for road use the Rexton is strictly rear-wheel-drive, but all can be changed at the turn of a switch by the gearlever. That brings in four-wheel-drive in either high or low range, and there’s hill descent control to take the pressure off tricky downhill stages, as well as an all-round birdseye camera view to help manoeuvre in tight spaces.

Interior space is impressive, for even in the seven-seat versions, there are full-size seats that are soft, comfortable and supportive. Yes, that applies to the back row too, though there is still the inevitable issue of limited footroom back there. In five-seat configuration the luggage volume as about as good as it gets, with up to 820 litres.

It feels pretty pleasant in the front of the Rexton, with the choice of a grey or light beige interior, all ruched leather in the top Ultimate model, and regular nappa leather in the ELX.

These two also get a delightfully massive satellite navigation screen and a very sophisticated switchable instrument cluster.

The Rexton Premium comes with that 3D around-view monitoring, which will be very helpful for towing, but the safety features of all models are as impressive as they come, with forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, high beam assistance, and traffic sign recognition.

What Car? We know there are people out there who scoff at most of the vehicles now classed as SUVs. With many of these complete with front-wheel drive, compact dimensions and the inability to tow much more than a shopping trolley, many people think that they’re just hatchbacks on stilts.

If you’re sitting there nodding, then the Ssangyong Rexton might be right up your green lane. All models get four-wheel drive, a 3500kg towing capacity and are larger than many London bedsits. The 2018 Rexton can be inspected and test driven at Vision Motors Ssangyong showroom in Grantham Rd, Raiwaqa