Ssangyong Rexton: the closest you can get to an American SUV

Globalization is a curious phenomenon. We love to make fun of Americans, with their private healthcare system in which a visit to the doctor for a sprain can cost more than $4,000, their obscene quantities of food or a firearms regulation that is frankly incomprehensible by any other country, but their cultural industry dominates the world.

The box office success of Marvel films attests to this and it is precisely thanks to Hollywood that some images have spread throughout the planet. One of them is the large SUV as synonymous with success.

In the US, gasoline is much cheaper than in Europe and the asphalt is worse maintained. There are fewer limitations when carrying out off-road activities and It is inevitable that their best-selling vehicles are the huge pick-ups like the Ford F-150 or the Chevrolet Silverado.

This, like the Avengers, has spread across the planet. Our roads, fuel prices and emissions limits make large seven-seat SUVs meaningless, but the automobile will always have an emotional component and, deep down, we have all dreamed of being a cowboy in Minnesota.

The first thing you notice when facing the new Ssangyong Rexton is its colossal size. The first thought that invades you when you take it out of the dealership and join it on the streets with other drivers is: “But does this fit around here?” It is a recurring and practically constant thought.

The surprising thing is that most of the time yes, that fits there. Between the ends of the lane, there is some margin on each side, but the Rexton is a lightning course in how to occupy the center of the lane without invading the others. Despite its dimensions, the SUV is surprisingly manageable and fits in Madrid parking lots without major difficulties.

This is one of the virtues of the Rexton, because in Europe we want cars that look American, with European maneuverability and Asian prices. For now, approved in all aspects.

The engine that drives it is a 2.1-liter diesel with 202 horsepower. It delivers, as expected in a large SUV, enough torque to overcome off-road obstacles, specifically 360 Nm. The automatic transmission responds as any automatic transmission should: without you knowing it’s there.

Possibly, The biggest drawback that the Rexton has is that its multimedia system and some features are a generation behind other current offerings on the market. For example, my phone didn’t automatically pair to Bluetooth upon startup. Unforgivable.

The Korean manufacturer has just restructured its debt and has emerged alive from a journey in the desert, which began in April 2021. Now, they assert that their priority is “electrification and quickly returning to the path of profit.” Maybe making big SUVs to make Europeans feel a little more Minnesota cowboy is the answer.

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