Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

SsangYong Rexton W performance is best described as ‘okay’.

There is only one engine choice available, a 2.0-litre turbocharged e-XDi200 diesel with the choice of a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearbox. The latter is supplied by Mercedes-Benz and is predicted to be the most popular.

The engine has 153bhp available and produces a top speed of 108mph for the manual and 109mph for the automatic.

On the road the engine is competent and surprisingly quiet, especially when at cruising speeds. The biggest issue the engine has is getting the Rexton W up to speed, not helped by the car’s kerb weight which is more than 2,000kg.

Gaining momentum on a slip road or pulling out of a junction means the engine needs to labour hard to get the car up to speed, which can be a noisy and slow affair.

When paired with an automatic gearbox the two are well tuned to one another and gear changes are timely, however the gearbox has only five gears which means motorway travel will cause the engine to spend a lot of time at high revs and become quite noisy.

Another point worth noting is the Rexton W’s CO2 emissions, the principal reason behind the two star scoring: 196g/km for the manual and 206g/km for the automatic is far off the competition and will cost owners dearly in tax, something that will only become more expensive with time as the bandings get tougher.

SsangYong Rexton W handling is a mixed bag of the good and the bad.

Off-road the Rexton W is at home and makes easy work of steep muddy hills and deep streams when making use of its four-wheel drive system. When we tested the Rexton W it was fitted with standard road tyres and it was impressive to see how well the car handled even the trickiest of terrain. This is helped by selecting the low-range option which splits the torque equally between front and rear axles to provide more traction and grip.

On the road, however, the Rexton W does not do perform so well. The steering is slow to react and doesn’t feel well-weighted.

The car feels big and clumsy on the roads too with some obvious body roll in tight corners. The suspension is quite firm which makes a small pothole feel like a landfill when on the move.