SsangYong Rexton

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DESPITE the ongoing uncertainty of the brand’s future, SsangYong Australia has launched its updated Rexton large SUV with the seven-seat family hauler being gifted new styling, more power and torque and increased standard equipment while the base EX trim has been dropped from the range.

As one would expect, dropping the previous range opener has driven the Rexton’s starting price up significantly from $39,990 driveaway to $47,990 with the now entry-level ELX rising in price by $1000 as part of the facelift – the flagship Ultimate has risen $2000 to now start from $54,990.

The most obvious change to the Rexton is its new aggressive front fascia with the whole arrangement centred around a completely redesigned grille and front apron.

New LED headlights and tweaked daytime running lights flank the grille in the top corners of the fascia with plenty of angles and sharp contours filling the rest of the space.

Changes have also been made at the rear with redesigned tail-lights and bumper which is now largely free of the typical black cladding found on SUVs with a set of integrated chrome exhaust tips poking through.

The rest of the Rexton’s body has been left untouched save for some updated alloy wheel designs on both the ELX and Ultimate while the interior has scored a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, overhead console and a redesigned gear lever.

Still powered by the familiar 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, SsangYong has bumped the Rexton’s peak power and torque figures by 15kW and 21Nm respectively with the mill now churning out a healthier 148kW/441Nm, putting it well and truly on par with its Japanese rivals.

To extract the most out of the updated engine, engineers have paired it with a new eight-speed automatic transmission – still featuring high and low-range – driving all four wheels via a selectable 4×4 system.

Fuel consumption has increased as a result of the extra grunt and new transmission combination, rising from a claimed 8.3 to 8.9 litres per 100km.

The extra shove has made no impact on the Rexton’s already class-leading braked towing capacity of 3500kg, however trailer sway control has been added to its list of standard equipment and safety gear.

On the ELX, customers score the aforementioned digital instrument cluster and redesigned gear lever as well as 18-inch alloy wheels, LED head-, fog- and tail-lights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multi-device Bluetooth connectivity, TPU leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats with power adjustment, heated rear seats, a leather steering wheel and cruise control.

The Ultimate steps things up considerably with 20-inch alloys, sunroof, powered tailgate, 360-degree camera, premium leather seats, heated leather steering wheel, wireless phone charging, rear zone air conditioning, interior mood lighting, front touch sensing door handles and memory function for the driver’s seat and wing mirrors.

Standard safety gear on both variants consists of autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning, blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, trailer sway control, driver’s knee airbag, tyre pressure monitoring and parking sensors front and rear while the range topper also picks up speed-sensitive steering.

The automatic locking rear differential has also been carried over on both variants.

Given it shares its ladder-frame chassis and the vast majority of its running gear with the Musso/Musso XLV pick-up, it should only be a matter of time before an updated version of the workhorse emerges brandishing a similar face and matching power outputs at the very least.

SsangYong has undergone something of a resurgence so far this year ending February with sales up 98.9 per compared to the same period last year (368 vs 185) with the Musso/Musso XLV doing the bulk of the heavy lifting (279).

The Rexton meanwhile has had a far more conservative start to the year with just 37 units sold (+5.7%).

2021 SsangYong Rexton driveaway pricing

ELX (a) $47,990
Ultimate (a) $54,990

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