Es­tate aims higher

The Jewish Chronicle - - Classified -

IN APRIL, the SsangYong range was re­launched by the new im­porter, Koel­lik­erUK and as well as im­prov­ing the line-up, prices were sub­stan­tially re­duced. The re­launched line-up be­gins with the Ky­ron S at £14,995, but for this test we had the big and im­pos­ing Rexton 270 SPR. You re­alise how big the Rexton is as soon as you climb up to get in­side — tak­ing ad­van­tage of that un­usual fea­ture, run­ning boards. Once you are in­side and driv­ing, the ve­hi­cle at first feels a bit tall and stately, but it goes round cor­ners very well, with a slightly Amer­i­can feel to its con­trols — very light, slightly woolly steer­ing and brakes that re­spond well to a light touch on the sen­si­bly wide pedal. All Rex­tons have four-wheel drive and are pow­ered by a beefy five-cylin­der diesel Mercedes-Benz en­gine.

The 270S is now £19,995 — £2,600 less than it was be­fore. An ex­tra £1,500 brings a Mercedes au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with T-Tronic con­trol.

If you want man­ual con­trol, you just knock the se­lec­tor lever over to the left, with a touch for­ward or back on the lever to change ra­tio. I found the five-speed au­to­matic very re­spon­sive, though — and with this vig­or­ous and torquey diesel en­gine I was happy to leave it in au­to­matic most of the time. A win­ter/sum­mer switch tames the power for slip­pery sur­faces and a switch on the fa­cia gives con­trolled brak­ing for de­scend­ing a very steep slope with poor grip.

Of the var­i­ous mod­els in the SsangYong range, the 270S man­ual or au­to­matic would be my choice. At £24,995, the top-of-the-range 270SPR doesn’t re­ally of­fer enough to jus­tify the ex­tra price. A spe­cial at­trac­tion of the Rexton for some buy­ers will be its tow­ing po­ten­tial, claimed to cope with a trailer up to 3.2 met­ric tonnes.

The seats are uphol­stered in leather with vari­able heat­ing — part of the SPR pack­age. Both are equipped with with elec­tric ad­just­ment at front and three mem­ory po­si­tions for the driver. The rear seat is di­vided 60/40 to fold eas­ily on to the cush­ion and the whole seat can be tipped for­ward for ex­tra load space.

One thing I par­tic­u­larly liked about this car — when you re­move the key, the driv­ing seat rolls back and down, so you can get out (and in again) more eas­ily. This is a very comfortable car, de­signed for hard work with great power re­serves, of­fer­ing much of the ca­pa­bil­ity of lux­ury off-road­ers, at a much lower price.

Big on com­fort: the SsangYong Rexton 270 SPR

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