The name Rexton might not appeal to you, but the perception changes when you see a gigantic SUV that has a good stance. The Ssangyong Rexton W is the latest offering from Mahindra, and also the first Ssangyong product for the Indian market. With Mahindra’s wide spread network and trust built in Indians, it will be easy for Mahindra to reach out to the customers, without setting up a new base for Ssangyong products.
The Rexton does look appealing, but how good is it to drive and sit in? We find out, as we review this new Mahindra product.
Being based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the Rexton retains some similarity in its design with the M-Class as well. The W variant that made it to India definitely looks more eye-catching and elegant than the Rexton II.
The front grille with thick horizontal slats does meld well with the massive pulled back headlamps. Also the elongated fog lamps, crown hood and the high ground clearance makes it look gigantic and “move out of my way” when viewed from a rear view mirror.
The side profile of the Rexton again resembles the M-Class to a certain extent, but we think it is good to have people thinking that you own a car that is double the price of your vehicle. The flared wheel arches can accommodate larger size tyres as well. With glass on the corner at the rear, the Rexton does look urbane, and the rear does look subtle. The embossed Rexton also adds to the styling quotient.
If you are impressed by the external styling of the Ssangyong Rexton, then the interiors won’t disappoint. The quality of the plastic, the fit and finish of the material is good and the interiors do have the premium feel. The interiors have a dual-tone and carry a hint of sophistication despite the simple design.
The twin dial instrument binnacle is very simple to read and the large four-spoke steering wheel is easy to steer. However, it took a while to understand how to adjust the steering wheel’s position.
The bucket of the Rexton W comes filled with various bells and whistles like touchscreen system with navigation, Bluetooth, USB and telephonic connectivity. Also, you have cruise control, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and front and side airbags.
The front row seats are large and comfortable. Even the leather is well bolstered. The support for back and thighs is good enough and the driver’s seat in the automatic version is electrically adjustable with memory. Crawl into the second row and you will not be disappointed with the headroom and kneeroom that it offers it for six-foot tall people. To our dismay the thigh support wasn’t impressive.
The third row lacks space for your feet, as the seat touches the flow, leaving no room for your knees, and there isn’t any headrest for the backbenchers. So, the third row is strictly meant for small kids only. The boot is also small, when all the three rows are up, however the space increases forming a flat bed, when the third row of seats are folded.
The Rexton W comes with a 2.7-litre five-cylinder diesel engine that comes with two power ratings for different transmissions. The manual gets a 162bhp, 340Nm, while the automatic comes mated to 184bhp and 402Nm power rating. Both the transmissions are 5-speed boxes. 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 this mill is fairly linear and it does drive smoothly. The engine does sound stressed when revved hard, but that’s about it. No other grievances from the oil burner. We got our hands on the automatic version, and haven’t yet got the manual to drive.
The shifts on the box are a bit sluggish, but it is similar to the competition. The automatic version of the Rexton comes with an option to drive in the manual version also. Instead of paddle shifts, you have buttons on the steering wheel to change gears.
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 decent for its size until you wish to take it on a racing track. Considering the size and the height of the vehicle, it is good enough and it somewhat reminded us of the Mitsubishi Montero. The light steering wheel also means easy steering in traffic and convenient parking.
The Ssangyong Rexton W at Rs 19.75lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the automatic version is a good package, as it is already all-wheel drive, with various bells and whistles that will come to you at an extra cost of Rs 4-5 lakhs on competition.
The style is appealing, it is loaded with brownies, the engine is peppy, comfortable first two rows and decent driving dynamics. So, we will recommend you to buy the Ssangyong Rexton W if you are looking for an SUV in this price bracket.