SsangYong Rexton W 2014 review

The SsangYong Rexton W offers plenty of space at a reasonable price, but poor ride quality lets it down

Overall Auto Express Rating

2.0 out of 5

The upgraded SsangYong Rexton W offers excellent off-road ability and plenty of space at a reasonable price. However, this doesn’t tell the full story. Vague steering, poor ride quality and the mismatch interior finish outweigh the positives.

The SsangYong Rexton W forms part of the manufacturer’s range refresh in 2014. The seven-seater has benefited from some exterior and interior design changes and now comes fitted with SsangYong's own 2.0-litre diesel engine.

• SsangYong Rexton review

And despite its bulk, the engine copes well. Producing 153bhp and 360Nm of torque, the SsangYong Rexton W is capable of towing three tonnes, which is quite impressive making the car especially appealing to caravanners. It’s a little noisy on start-up, but once you get going this soon subsides, only interfering when you need some added acceleration.

The engine is paired with a Mercedes-sourced five-speed T-Tronic automatic gearbox, and while the changes are smooth, with just five gears to go through it tends to take some time before the changes kick-in.

Unfortunately the handling is disappointing. Steering is incredibly vague and leaves you with very little idea where you’re pointing the car. The high body also means that there’s considerable lean in the corners.

Then there’s the ride. Even on the smoothest of roads there’s far too much movement, in fact travel on any road with serious bumps and potholes and it feels as if you’re tackling an off-road course.

Off-road feels like the best place for the SsangYong Rexton W, and it excelled on our test, tackling some serious obstacles and streams. Over such testing courses, the slack steering is a boon, but where most people are going to drive the Rexton W for most of the time, on road, it's not a pleasant experience.

Inside the car has been given an upgrade, and the soft touch plastics and added chrome details give it a classier feel, but one that is still some way behind its main rivals. The optional sat-nav (a costly £1,000) looks like an aftermarket addition, too.

What the Rexton W does have is space. Driver and passenger get plenty of head- and legroom, while those in the three middle seats also have plenty of room.

The two rear most seats are best for children due to the tiny footwell. They fold flat, but this does require removing the headrests, and in order to accommodate them folding flat, an added piece of plastic means the loading lip is quite high.

If low costs are your priority, then the Rexton W represents decent value - especially if you intend to tow. However, it's seriously lacking in quality and comfort for everyday use compared to more talented rivals like the Hyundai Santa Fe.

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