The new Rexton W has a neater appearance up front.
The new Rexton W has a neater appearance up front.

Ssangyong's latest Korando gave us the idea that, under the new ownership of Mahindra, the Korean SUV specialist plans to stop entering its vehicles in 'ugliest car in the world' competitions.

The new Rexton W you see here serves as further evidence of this. Unveiled at the recent Busan Motor Show in South Korea, the flagship SUV is set to reach South African shores in October this year.

While little has changed in the side profile and rear styling, the front end is a complete departure and it's a clean design that Ssangyong hopes will impart a more upmarket image.

Inside the cabin, designers have made changes to the dashboard design and switchgear for a slightly cleaner overall look, although it appears that ghastly fake wood trim is still part of the deal.

The South African version will continue to use the familiar 2.7-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel motor, which puts out 121kW at 4000rpm and 340Nm at 2400rpm. Overseas models, however, receive a brand new, albeit smaller, two-litre turbodiesel unit that's good for 114kW and 367Nm. Power is put to the road via a Mercedes-Benz-sourced five-speed automatic gearbox.

Bucking the latest crossover trends, the Rexton W is still a proper off-roader, complete with ladder-frame construction and a part-time four-wheel drive system with low-range and respective approach and departure angles of 28 and 25.5 degrees.

Its braked towing capacity is rated at 3200kg and the fuel tank can hold 80 litres of diesel.

An old-fashioned SUV it may be but you'll still find some modern safety features in the new Rexton W with electronic stability control, active rollover protection, tyre pressure monitoring and an ultrasonic warning system all featuring as standard.

As with the new Korando, the Rexton W will be sold through a new nationwide batch of dealers that have been established alongside Mahindra dealers.