Ssangyong Rexton road test photo

The Philippine midsize SUV segment is very competitive. You have offerings from Japanese and American brands to choose from, but one marque we think shouldn't be overlooked is Ssangyong and its Rexton. The Rexton is a diesel-fed SUV that has similar if not better features than the competition, and here are five reasons why we think this Korean SUV should be on your SUV shortlist.

The SsangYong Rexton 4x2 has an excellent interior. Every knobs and button are placed within reach. While it's color scheme is predominantly black – unlike the Rexton 4x4 – it still looks elegant and clean. The use of piano-black plastics is minimal and the use of soft materials is strategically placed. Even the top of the door sidings has a soft leatherette material to it – a nice touch for those who like to rest their arms while driving.

Space is also excellent in the Rexton. The second-row folds easily, as well, but as a caveat, it does not tumble and fold in one motion. You have to first fold the seats and then tumble them forward. A weird quirk but it still gets the job done.

Lights are critical at night and they guide you through the dark streets and grant you vision. The Ssangyong Rexton has got this covered in this regard. While it only has halogen projector headlights, it utilizes them to the utmost extent. The cut off is on point and is well defined. The throw or reach of the lights is also excellent, wide enough that it can be seen at least one lane apart on either side and the reach of the low beams dies off after 2-3 car lengths ahead of the vehicle.

The interior also has impressive lighting thanks to the use of LED bulbs. It's the little things that make a big difference, and the Ssangyong Rexton utilizes them well. The LED interior lighting makes searching for items in the dark easy. It's not too bright and comes in a nice blue tint to it.

The Rexton also has a great 8-inch LCD infotainment system. The Korean SUV comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard – a useful feature as it integrates the capabilities of your smartphone into the vehicle. This makes navigation and music streaming much easier than other types, not to mention that it’s seamless and idiot-free. 

Beyond the celebrated smartphone mirroring apps, the user interface of the touchscreen infotainment is straightforward and easy to operate. You won't be hopping from menu to menu in order to find what you’re looking for. It also comes with a backup camera along with backup sensors that make parking the large vehicle a breeze. 

Ssangyong Rexton 220V socket

Only a handful of SUVs in the market offer a power socket and the Rexton is one of them. It has a 220V socket located under the center armrest of the vehicle. While it does require a Korean socket adaptor to make it work, it is still a handy feature. The socket works well for those who want to be able to work on the go and charge their laptops or just to charge socket bound gadgets. 

Ssangyong Rexton enginebay

Powering the Rexton is a 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine that produces 179 hp and 420 Nm of torque. The only transmission option for the SUV is a 7-speed automatic from Daimler the company responsible for the transmissions of Mercedes Benz. The transmission also comes with drive mode selection for winter and sport. While the engine might not be the most powerful in its class, the torque delivery can give you one hell of a ride. 

When no rough and tough acceleration is needed the vehicle gives a smooth experience. A gentle press of the accelerator and the vehicle gets moving smoothly and effortlessly. But when push comes to shove, floor the accelerator and the Rexton slingshots you forward. There is something about how Ssangyong tunes their engines and transmissions that makes the rush of acceleration even better.

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