Summary: Good equipment levels and build quality, but let down by ride and fuel economy.
We traded in our 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander on a new Ssangyong Rexton Ultimate in September 2019 at Cricks Ssangyong on the Sunshine Coast. We were attracted to the Rexton for its towing ability (3.5 tonne), having 7 seats and being a 4WD.
The interior in the Rexton is impressive, with quilted leather ventilated front seats (heated and cooled), sunroof and multimedia touch screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It is also very quiet inside with not much road noise intruding into the cabin. The build quality appears to be very good, both inside and out and generally on par with the Santa Fe.
There is also a vast array of driving assist technologies built in, such as AEB, lane departure warning, lane change assist, forward collision warning and 360 degree camera to name just a few. The exterior is not bad looking for a big car and it doesn’t have that ‘ute’ look that others in this segment have been modelled from.
In relation to the ride, when we did the test drive we were aware that the ride was firm, but thought this would become better with time and was relatively normally for a 4WD. Whilst the ride is fine on the highway, on other roads with slight bumps, potholes and corrugations it becomes very unsettled and shakes the whole vehicle. The Santa Fe was very smooth in comparison.
The Rexton is fine towing our Jayco Swan Outback. You do notice the weight of the camper when towing, despite it only being 1800kg (approximately half of what the Rexton is rated to tow). The fuel economy when towing is about 13.5 litres per 100 kilometres, and is in the 12's around town, which is very high compared to the Santa Fe which got in the 10/11's towing and 9's around town.
My wife (who is the main driver of the car) has discovered a few other niggles, such as the electric boot sometimes coming down randomly when loading, needing you to jump out of the way (very dangerous because it doesn’t stop if you’re in the way). The keyless door entry sometimes takes a while to recognise the key (most frustrating in the rain), and the spare wheel, whilst full size, has the nice chrome side pointing downwards towards the road, which makes it subject to scratches and chips from road debris. Something I've noticed is that when using Apple CarPlay the screen sometimes goes black, and I've needed to unplug and replug my iPhone to get it back.
In addition to the above, there is a noticeable lag in the acceleration - to the extent that there is sometimes nothing if you put your foot down upon takeoff. However, once the turbo kicks in it’s pretty sprightly. I’m thinking of getting an iDrive unit to see if this helps with the initial lag.
We haven’t taken it four-wheel driving yet so I can’t comment on how good it is as a 4WD, but by others' accounts it is quite capable.
NOTE: With no image supplied, we have used a CarAdvice photo.