Parkers overall rating: 2.6 out of 5 2.6
  • Vastly improved design
  • Much better materials
  • Easy to find good driving position

SsangYong Rexton SUV: Behind the wheel

Compared to the previous Rexton there has been a dramatic improvement in the cabin – almost to the point that you wonder whether it was designed by a different company. SsangYong really has moved the game on in this respect.

It’s not perfect, with some lower-quality plastics used for some switchgear, but the layout is simple – albeit with too many buttons for our liking.

We found the 9.2-inch multimedia screen, which is standard on mid-spec ELX models and above, very responsive to touch inputs, which helps with the standard-fit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Even if you don’t use these systems, the TomTom sat-nav is responsive and clear, while the screen is within easy reach of the driver.

The driving position is very high, which will appeal to many SUV buyers, and the steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake so it’s easy to find a good driving position. The comfortable seats are easy to adjust, too. 

We weren’t as keen on the manual gear selection on the automatic gearbox, though – it’s via a thumb switch on the lever rather than paddles and as such it’s a cumbersome solution. Those who opt for the manual car may struggle to find as comfortable a driving position, though. The clutch pedal goes down quite far, meaning smaller drivers will have to sit a little further forward than they normally would with the auto.

A smart new 7.0-inch TFT-LCD display (also on ELX and above) sits behind the steering wheel to display digital speedometer and rev counters along with trip computer, driver assistance and navigation instructions where required. It’s a very crisp and clear set-up.

  • Excellent seats
  • Well-insulated cabin
  • Ride can be bumpy

SsangYong Rexton SUV: how comfy is it?

The SsangYong Rexton is a comfortable car in most situations. The front seats are worthy of special mention – they have lots of adjustment and support you well without pinching. The bolstering is soft and they absorb some imperfections in the road that would otherwise jar. They’re very good indeed.

Cabin insulation is good too, with minimal road or wind noise intruding, unless the road surface is particularly harsh. Higher-spec cars with 20-inch alloys kick up a bit more road noise, but it’s never too intrusive. The diesel engine can become a little noisy if you work it too hard, though.

Our only big issue here has to do with the design of the Rexton. Its older-style body-on-frame arrangement, where the chassis of the car is separate from the shell and connected by eight rubber mounts, means the ride can be choppy in some situations because any jolts cause the two parts to move independently.

This means the car doesn’t ride as smoothly as more modern designs, and harsh bumps in the road can send judders through the whole car. There’s a notable improvement if you go for a car with smaller wheels, though.

There’s no adaptive suspension on offer either, so there’s less flexibility as in some rival cars.