The Mahindra SsangYong Rexton is based on the Mercedes M Class and also uses a Mercedes derived 2.7-litre diesel engine. The SUV uses a body on chassis configuration and will be launched in India in 2012 and will compete with the Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero and Ford Endeavour
SsangYoung is like the Rodney Dangerfield of the automotive world, it gets no respect. But unlike the late, great Mr. Dangerfield, it doesn’t deserve it. The Korean made, Chinese owned car company has yet to figure out how to design a car, and anyone who has ever driven one has wondered if it employs high school kids in its R&D department. So while SsangYoung’s Rexton may look like a Mercedes M-Class (it even has a Mercedes engine,) its the old M-Class with an old four-cylinder diesel. The only modification this car really needs is a few shot gun shells applied liberally to the entire front end until dead.
With that stated, it seems Project Kahn has decided to go very down-market and modify this beast from a company once known as "Dong-A-Motor". Dubbed Rexton R-Line, the new kit includes new side sills, rear spoiler with integrated exhaust system, parking sensors, Kenwood navigation system, and new 22-inch Kahn Design alloy wheels. Also available is a new Mercedes-Benz T-Tronic gearbox with added hill descend control to run the 4x4 system.
Price of the kit: $46,750. That’s a little pricey considering that top-of-the-line Rexon starts out at about $40,500 if it were available in the States (and be glad it’s not.)
Rexton is SsangYong’s first new model since it disappeared from the market a few years ago and falls between the compact and large SUV categories. It features up 7 seats on some models, for the price of a RAV4 or X-trail. It might appear to customers be a bargain. But those who have driven a modern European or Japanese 4x4 will be unimpressed. The Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe are less pretentious and would be far more worthy targets for those looking for a bargain 4x4.