The Chinese-owned brand plans to launch their new 2006 Ssangyong Rexton II AWD SUV on the Korean market a trifle ahead of schedule.
While this news could mean both good (i.e. they managed to polish the manufacturing process sooner than expected) and bad (i.e. they didn’t manage to do that, but something presses them to start sooner), it is clear that the vehicle at least doesn’t look crude. For the ex-Korean company that was always plagued by its inability to make a presentable car, this second-gen Rexton looks quite nice.
Although the second generation of the mid-size sport utility vehicle will go on sale at the end of March, some details have already surfaced.
As far as I understand, the all-wheel-drive vehicle still shares its platform with the good old Ssangyong Musso that stayed in production for about twelve years and was discontinued only in 2005, which means body-on-frame architecture, not overwhelmingly good drive on a highway, but pretty nice off-road capabilities (just bear in mind that Musso was about 300 kg lighter, so the new SUV will probably not be as good in negotiating some serious mud, especially if you leave the stock tires on).
The new Ssangyong Rexton II will feature a 141bhp 2.0-liter diesel engine with common-rail fuel injection system, developed together with the German Mercedes-Benz. Although its estimated 0-100 km/h acceleration time of more some 15 seconds will fail to impress anybody, there is still enough torque in the oil burner for a driver of the car to feel comfortable when loaded with five grown-ups and all the stuff they need for a weekend-long picnic.
The engine will be mated to an off-road-capable gearbox with both high- and low-speed ratios.
It is also possible that the redesigned car will retain the more powerful 163bhp 2.7-liter diesel present on the outgoing model. There is also a possibility that on some markets the SUV will be sold with a gasoline-thirsty 3.2-liter V6 engine.
Although not as large as the new Mercedes Benz GL-Class SUV or the Toyota Land Cruiser 200, this sport utility vehicle is roomy enough to accommodate six passengers and a driver.
Well, to be completely fair, the Korean SUV is not designed to compete with the German and Japanese luxury road cruisers, but rather has the much less expensive Kia Sorento and Hyundai Veracruz / ix55 in its crosshairs.
Judging by initial images, it will beat the Sorento in terms of interior quality and is definitely better than the Veracruz from the perspective of off-road capabilities (yet, the Hyundai will offer much more comfortable interior and, being a car-based SUV, will be better on the paved roads).
The 2006 Ssangyong Rexton II will offer such niceties as automatic climate control, power windows and a Kenwood CD player for all trim levels with the entry-level Rexton 270 S model starting at pretty much affordable ВЈ19,995 (you will have to pay more for the automatic gearbox).
Of course, all versions of the SUV come equipped with ABS brakes, Hill Descent Control, and ESP with Active Rollover Protection.
Ssangyong Rexton II 270 XDi SUV technical specification
Body Type: 5-door SUV with body-on-frame construction
Layout: front engine, 4WD
Engine: turbodiesel, 163 hp @ 4000 rpm, 251 lb-ft (341 Nm) @ 2400 rpm, 2.7-liter, inline-5, DOHC
Transmission: Automatic, 5-Speed
Top Speed: 106 mph / 171 km/h
0 – 62 mph: 14 seconds
Fuel Economy EPA combined cycle mpg (l/100 km): 18.8 (12.5)
Exterior Dimensions (L/W/H/WB) inches (mm): 186.2 (4730) / 74.0 (1880) / 72.4 (1840) / 111.4 (2830)
Ground clearance: 9.1
Track (frt/rr): 61.0 / 60.6 in
Approach Angle (degrees): 25.0
Breakover Angle (degrees): 22.0
Departure Angle (degrees): 22.0
Curb to curb turning circle (feet): 37.4
Curb Weight: 4632 lbs (2101 kg)
Coefficient of Drag (Cd): 0.4
Seating Capacity: 7 (2/3/2)
Cargo capacity: rear seat down (cu ft): N/A
Payload (max w/ occupants and cargo): N/A
Towing Capacity (max): 3500 kg (7716.2 pounds)
Direct Competitors: Kia Sorento, 2007 Dodge Nitro