A seven-year warranty, nationwide pricing, more dealers, big towing capacity and heaps of equipment; that’s what the latest iteration of the Korean brand SsangYong is promising Australian buyers with the Rexton large seven-seat SUV and its companion, the Musso dual-cab pick-up.
The SsangYong Rexton EX SUV come standard with front-wheel-drive and a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine teamed with six-speed automatic transmission. It retails for less than $40,000, and offers Apple Carplay/Android Auto as standard, along with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keep assist, forward collision warning and automatic high beam headlights as standard. The SsangYong Rexton EX also gets full-length curtain airbags and rear parking sensors.
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This level of equipment, space and value puts the SsangYong Rexton up against the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Kluger, Ford Everest, Mazda CX-9, Holden Trailblazer and Toyota Fortuner. Slightly smaller models such as the Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 could also be considered rivals, though not all have the Rexton’s seven-seat carrying capacity.
The SsangYong Rexton ELX ($46,990) adds a part-time 4x4 driveline along with a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine and seven-speed automatic, heated front and rear seats, tyre pressure monitoring, lane change and blind spot assist, rear cross-traffic alert and more.
The $52,990 Rexton Ultimate, meanwhile, uses the same powertrain, and adds 20-inch alloy wheels, powered tailgate, sunroof and HID headlights.
Of note, too, is that the Rexton is capable of towing 3500kg – and Australia is the only market to offer that kind of capacity. “Grey Nomads are going to love it,” said SsangYong managing director Tim Smith.
Mr Smith also pointed to the SsangYong Musso ute’s origins being based on the Rexton. “Most SUVs are developed from utes, but ours is developed from the SUV,” he said, suggestion the ute inherits the Rexton wagon’s refinement in terms of occupant comfort. The Musso ute is all but identical to the Rexton from the C-pillar forward, but the ute version sports a short, deep and wide tray on top of a coil-spring/live axle rear end that’s equipped with disc brakes.
The only other ute to offer rear brake discs (compared to cheaper drum brakes), incidentally, is the Ford Ranger Raptor.
The Musso’s short, square tray dimensions of 1300mm length, 1570mm width, and 570mm height are large enough to swallow a European-spec pallet, while a long-tray version is due in 2019.
Like the Rexton, autonomous emergency braking is standard, along with full-length curtain airbags. It’ll also tow 3500kg, despite its coil sprung rear end. Available only with the 133kW/400Nm 2.2-litre diesel, the Musson EX will start at $30,490 drive-away in six-speed manual guise, and $2000 more in six-speed auto form.
The auto-only ELX adds blind spot and lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, 18-inch alloys, and daytime running lamps for $35,990, while the Ultimate scores 20-inch rims, a tray turret cover, HID headlights, heated/vented and powered front seats with leather throughout, a 360-degree view camera and a sunroof for $39,990 drive-away.
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