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All-new SsangYong Rexton revealed

Date: 17 August 2017   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

SsangYong has unveiled an all-new version of its Rexton 4×4 flagship model ahead of its arrival in the UK this October.

The South Korean company claimed the new model represents a "huge step forward" compared with the previous model. It costs from £27,500 with the firm claiming its prices are around 10% lower than its competition.

SsangYong also claimed the starting price puts the vehicle on a par with a three to four-year-old Land Rover Discovery.

It is powered by a 181hp 2.2-litre unit that emits 204g/km of CO2 and returns 36.2mpg, placing it in the highest 37% 2017/18 Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) band.

Three versions will be offered from launch - EX, ELX and Ultimate. As standard, it is equipped with an 8in media system, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control and 17in alloy wheels.

ELX adds larger 18in wheels, a TomTom satnav unit and larger 9.2in touchscreen media system, power steering, leather upholstery and keyless entry.

The top-of-the-the range model, meanwhile, adds 20in alloys, high-definition headlights, interior mood lighting and quilted memory seats.

Standard driver assistance features include forward-collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, high-beam assistance and traffic-sign recognition, while the top-spec model gains around-view monitoring, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert.

"Following hard on the heels of Tivoli when SsangYong set new standards for value-priced compact SUVs, the new Rexton is further evidence of the brand's re-generation after [SsangYong owner] Mahindra made significant investments in the company," said Paul Williams, SsangYong CEO. "It demonstrates the rapid progress being made as a specialist producer of 4×4s and SUVs. The Rexton is the second addition to our all-new model line-up. SsangYong is committed to introducing a new car every year for the next three years, which includes a pick-up truck derived from Rexton early in 2018. The company is also focused on creating further growth by developing petrol powered, EV and other eco-friendly vehicles."

In the first seven months of 2017, SsangYong has registered 2,451 cars in the UK - a 6.9% fall on the same period last year.

Speaking to BusinessCar in 2015, Dr Pawan Goenka, group president of Mahindra's automotive sector, said he wants SsangYong to "lead the way" among the Indian company's portfolio in the UK; however, the company's sales seem well off his justifiable target at the moment.

"Unless we know we can sell a sizeable number - 8,000-10,000 vehicles a year - we cannot justify spending the money for Euro 6 right hand drive vehicles," Goenka said. "It's a question of financial justification of 'can we afford to develop vehicles for the UK market and can we get enough volume to make it happen?'.

"Our objective is to launch a new SsangYong product every year in the UK," he added.