Seoul, South Korea – Ssangyong has pulled the covers off its all-new Rexton and unlike its smaller siblings such as the Tivoli and redesigned Korando, which have jumped on the unibody bandwagon, the SUV specialist's largest contender sticks to the traditional body-on-frame format.

That means it’ll again go head-to-head with the likes of Toyota’s Fortuner, although the Ssangyong is slightly larger, measuring 4850mm in length and 1920mm in width (versus 4795/1855), and claims class-leading boot space.

Its underpinnings might follow a more old-fashioned recipe, which is good for off-roading as it does offer a traditional part-time four-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing, but Ssangyong also appears to have done much to modernise the package. 63 percent of its new structure, for instance, consists of advanced high-strength steel, to the benefit of safety, rigidity and weight-loss.

The new SUV offers all the trappings you’d expect from a modern luxury vehicle, including driver assistance systems such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and 3D Around View Monitoring. The Rexton also comes with a touch-screen infotainment system offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and the cabin can be kitted out in a variety of seating styles, including Nappa leather with quilted stitch patterns.

Power comes from either a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, mated to a seven-speed autobox sourced from Mercedes-Benz, or a 2-litre turbopetrol that’s paired with a six-speed auto. The company has yet to disclose how much power or torque these engines produce.

Though it might not be the most exciting-looking SUV around, the new Rexton should at least prove less controversial than many of its oddball siblings from the past. What’s more, it ushers in a new design language for the South Korean, albeit Mahindra-owned, carmaker, particularly with regard to the bird’s-wing-inspired grille and up-kicked rear shoulder line.

We’re currently awaiting word on when, or if for that matter, the new Rexton will be coming to South Africa.


New Fortuner's in a different league

IOL Motoring

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