Mahindra has launched its first premium SUV from its collaboration with Ssangyong Motor of Korea in India, the Rexton. It is available in two variants – the RX7 with an all-wheel drive system and automatic transmission and the RX5 with a manual transmission and four-wheel drive system.
The Rexton is priced at a starting price of Rs. 17.67 lakh that prices it below all its competitors.
Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton RX7: Rs. 19.67 lakh
Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton RX5: Rs. 17.67 lakh
The Ssangyong Rexton will compete with vehicles such as the Toyota Fortuner, Chevrolet Captiva and Ford Endeavour. It has recently been given a makeover and updated for the Indian market. The vehicle is assembled in India with a mix of imported Korean components and locally sourced components, allowing Mahindra to price the vehicle quite aggressively, below all its competitors.
Looks and design
The Ssangyong Rexton is based on an old Mercedes M-Class design that Ssangyong had rights to in Korea. When the company ran into financial trouble, Mahindra came in two years ago and bought it out, giving it access to premium SUVs that Ssangyong made – the Rexton and Korando being two key products.
The Rexton follows some of the Mercedes styling cues, but has been suitably customized to get an identity of its own. The new 2012 Rexton gets new headlamps, grille and front-end design, while at the rear it gets refreshed tail-lamps with LEDs. It is a full-fledged 7-seater SUV in three rows, with decent interior space.
Engine and transmission
The Ssangyong Rexton is powered by a five-cylinder 2.7 litre (2,696 cc) diesel engine that puts out 162 bhp at 4000 rpm and 340 Nm of torque at 1800 rpm in the RX5 manual variant and 184 bhp and 402 Nm at 1600 rpm in the RX7 all-wheel drive automatic variant.
The first engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission with a four-wheel drive system that features a low-ratio gearbox as well. The second engine spec is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with an all-wheel drive system. The second spec is biased towards more convenience, while the first variant is better for more serious off-road duties. It has a fairly reasonable kerb weight of 2 tons for the manual and 1,986 Kg for the RX7 automatic.
The Rexton has a large wheelbase of 2835 mm – freeing up lots of interior space and the most ground clearance among all SUVs in its class – 252 mm! That is huge.
Comfort and features
The Rexton is a seven-seater, large SUV that also has quite a bit of safety and comfort features. In terms of safety it features four airbags, hill-descent control and electronic stability program in the RX7 variant, while the RX5 has two airbags. The RX7 also gets an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, while the RX5 has a manually adjustable 8-way driver’s seat.
The interiors are a beige and black combination, with the RX7 getting leather upholstery. All three rows get AC vents with independent control for the last row. Power folding mirrors, DVD infotainment system, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers etc are all present on the top-end variant. The RX7 also gets an electric sunroof.
What we think
The Rexton is a fully-loaded SUV that has a host of features (rivalled only by Mahindra’s own XUV500) which will cater to buyers who want a luxury SUV that can take on long-distance trips in comfort as well as provide driver’s with plenty of convenience. The Rexton RX5 will cater to buyers who want a slightly more rugged vehicle that can do a fair bit of off-roading. The RX7 variant will cater to buyers who do a lot of city driving and want the convenience of an automatic with the go-anywhere capability of an all-wheel drive system.
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