The interiors of the Rexton has spacious and do feel premium. The plastic quality is good and the overall fit and finish is decent. The third row of seats are disappointing, but that’s about it.
It is next to impossible that the interiors of Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton should fail to impress their observers. Sporting a dual-tone theme, the interiors of this SUV project a very classy feel, all thanks to the good quality plastics, the perfect fit, the premium finish and the simple-yet-sophisticated design.
While Rexton scores really in the field of quality and looks, it is not bad at all when it comes to space and comfort either, and can easily accommodate a group of 7 people in its triple-rowed seating area. Large and comfortable seats, carved out of well-bolstered leather, line the front row of the car, providing not just ample support for the occupants' thighs and back but also sufficient room for them to stretch their legs. Moving backwards in the second row, the space for knees and heads continues to impress the passengers (even if they are 6-feet in height). What lets them down a bit is the thigh support provided by the seats here. But, it is the third row that is really going to be a disappointment as it provides nearly zero knee-room and no headrests at all. Even the boot area is no charmer when it comes to space, and the rear-end seats would need to be folded up if you are a heavy-traveller.
RX5 : Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton RX5 is the manual version of the SUV and houses a large number of features that make the ride more fun, more comfortable and more secure for its passengers. In the entertainment package, this model gives a touch screen infotainment system with MP3 , DVD , USB port and aux-in, along with 6 speakers and steering-mounted audio controls. To accompany the audio system, a video function (DVD/DivX/MPEG/MPEG2) also makes its way into RX5. For convenience purposes, a navigation system with preloaded maps, audible rear parking sensors, power windows, keyless entry, 8-way manually adjustable driver seat, tilt-adjustable power steering and a fully-loaded air-conditioning system with fully-automatic climate control and separate vents for the second and third rows constitute a major part of the pack of features. Safety, meanwhile, lies in the hands of a unit that comprises of tubeless tyres, ABS, dual front airbags, rear windscreen defogger, immobilizer and many more tools and mechanisms.
RX7 : This is the variant that runs with an automatic transmission gearbox. Besides possessing almost the entire package that RX5 hosts, RX7 has some more traits to add of its own. The most prominent ones of these additional treats include safety mechanisms like ESP with OFF switch, anti-slip regulation, active roll-over protection and hill descent control with ON/OFF switch. Plus, there are some others like electrically adjustable driver seat, rain-sensing wipers, electric sunroof with tilt/open function and sun-blind and cruise controls.
The interiors of the CrossPolo resemble that of the Polo, and are truly German. The rear seat knee room has been increased for the passengers as the front seats have been cut at the rear for better knee room.
Volkswagen have always been recognized for the extraordinary finesse that reflects from their work on the interiors of their creations what defines every minute detail of the cabin of Volkswagen Polo also. Be it the looks, the feel, the material quality or the fit and finish, everything about the seating area echoes the German expertise and contributes massively to making the ride pleasant and joyous for the occupants of CrossPolo.
The knee-room in the second row is bit too tight as it is based on the Polo, which means the wheelbase is shorter and so is the spacious in the second row. Adding on to all these comfort features is the superb insulation that Volkswagen designers have effected in this car, imparting it with the feel of a bigger and more expensive ride. This, in combination with the telescopic steering column, which makes rake and reach adjustments possible, and the ergonomic positioning of the instrument console and control panel, makes Cross Polo a fabulous car to travel in.
The automatic transmission has a more powerful engine. But the transmission does blunt the performance of the engine. However, overall it’s a decent package and the power of the engine is at par when compared to competition.
The Rexton W is powered by a mighty 2.7-litre 5-cylinder diesel engine which comes with two different power ratings for the two different 5-speed transmission systems employed to work with it. The manual RX5 loaded with the RX270 XDi diesel mill produces a maximum of 162bhp at 4000rpm for a peak torque rating of 340Nm over a range of 1800-3250rpm. The automatic RX7 model, on the other hand, is driven by an RX270 XVT diesel engine which is defined by a maximum output of 184bhp produced at 4000rpm for 402Nm of peak torque generated over a rev-range of 1600-3000rpm. The NVH levels of the engine are moderate, however the high insulation of the interiors means very little sound intrudes into the cabin.
The power delivery of the mill is fairly linear and it drives smoothly, causing no difficulties in overtaking either. But rev it too hard, and you can hear the stress on the engine. As for the gear-shifts, the automatic version feels a bit sluggish on that front, but not to an extent that would make it lag behind its competitors. Specially for those who wish to have all the features of RX7, but, with a manual transmission system, the car comes with the option of converting the automatic system accordingly. In that case, you would have buttons on the steering wheel to change gears instead of paddle shifts. Mileage is an area where Mahindra Ssangyong needs to put in some serious hard work. With its emission system tuned to comply with the BS IV norms, the rate of consumption for Rexton W stands at 11kmpl for the city roads and at 14.2kmpl for the highways.
The Cross Polo at the moment is offered with only one engine option, which is the 1.2-litre three-pot diesel engine that has a displacement of 1.2-litre and produces a power of 75bhp. This is the same oil burner that also powers the Polo diesel and used to propel the Fabia as well. The 1.2-litre engine produces 75bhp and 180Nm@2000rpm. This mill has a strong mid-range and high end. There is a lot of turbo lag and the engine needs to be revved above 2000rpm to reach the power band.
The five-speed manual transmission has short throws and the box is slick. It doesn’t feel even a bit rubbery. The fuel efficiency of this mill is good as the 1.2-litre mill from Volkswagen is extremely frugal.
The ride of the Rexton is composed and it feels like a premium SUV cabin, as it doesn’t jitter. Even the handling is decent for the size of the vehicle.
With Independent Double Wishbone Suspension employed at the front and Independent 5-Link Suspension put to work at the rear wheels (both with Anti-Roll Bar mechanism), Mahindra have created quite an efficient suspension system for Rexton W. The soft suspension set-up and the long travel of the spring make the ride smooth and pliant on smooth roads. However it does get a bit jittery on rough and uneven surfaces. The suspension and the high profile tyres do a good job most of the time, as the Rexton W crashes into potholes.
The handling is pretty good considering the large size of the SUV, and as long as the speed dials are under control, it is unlikely to have any problems. As for the steering, it is light enough to facilitate effortless parking and an easy manoeuvring through the busy city streets. But, again, too high a speed might result in problems.
The ride of the Cross Polo is a tad stiffer. This is done to improve the handling characteristics of the vehicle. The handling of the Cross Polo is good and it carries the VW DNA.
Handling and drivability have never been a problem when it comes to Volkswagen cars and the same goes for Vento as well. Based on the Polo platform, this German sedan makes use of a McPherson Strut with Stabilizer bar for the front end suspension whereas for the rear end, it employs a semi-independent trailing arm. Although, this suspension system does a good job of absorbing the potholes in the road, it still remains unable of keeping the occupants completely unaware of the bumps and slight jerks penetrate the cabin. The electronic steering wheel, it is light and easy to use on a day-to-day basis. Driving-enthusiasts, however, would need some time to get used to it, as the steering wheel feels disconnected but it isn’t the case.