2022 SsangYong Rexton Ultimate (car review)

IT wasn’t too long ago that cars from South Korea were basic and functional. Built to do a job, without any fuss or frills. Hyundai and Kia changed that in a big way, along with compatriot SsangYong, maker’s of the Rexton Ultimate SUV.

While the two former brands have certainly come a very long way since those days, so too has the latter. Once upon a time they built the Stavic, a properly hideous motor vehicle that looked like a cross between a hearse and a people mover. Thank God they still don’t.

We say that tongue in cheek, of course (or do we?), but in reality, you only have to look at the handsome chiselled look and upmarket interior of the 2022 SsangYong Rexton Ultimate to know things have changed. And changed for the better.

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The Rexton Ultimate sits at the top of the model range and costs a measly $54,990 drive away. It’s packed full of technology and equipment, making it a terrific value proposition before you even get behind the wheel.

On a specs and price basis, competition for the Rexton comes in the form of the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Isuzu MU-X and Toyota Fortuner, as they all fall within the same price range and offer similar value for money (although all of them are ute-based SUVs).

2022 SsangYong Rexton Ultimate
2022 SsangYong Rexton Ultimate

Under the bonnet is a 4-cylinder 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. It is good for 148kW of power and 441nm of torque. Fuel economy is a claimed 8.9-litres/100km, giving a claimed range of 786km from the 70-litre tank.

Real world testing saw 10.0-litres/100km, which is good for around 700km – still pretty impressive. From a cold start it is very refined; a small amount of clatter soon disappears after a few seconds, and from there on its smooth and fuss free.

On the road, this writer found the accelerator pedal a bit spongy, but a firm push when setting off worked through that issue. The Rexton drives very well and has a nice, relaxed nature about it.

We drove it on a good mixture of roads to see how it compares to its competition, and it does hold up well. It could benefit from a better suspension setup; you can often feel the effect of the standard 20-inch alloys over some of the poorer road surfaces.

Heavy braking also makes the front of the car dip quite a lot, meaning you must get used to being a bit more progressive on the brake pedal. The cabin is nicely insulated from outside noises though, making for a calm environment.

2022 SsangYong Rexton Ultimate
2022 SsangYong Rexton Ultimate

As a result, and due to the lack of sensation of speed, you can often find yourself going faster than you should be, so that’s worth keeping an eye on. If towing is important to you, you will be pleased to know the SsangYong Rexton Ultimate is good for 3,500kg – braked.

Inside, there are some lovely materials, with beautifully trimmed leather seats with diamond stitched accents that extend to the lower dash area, along with brushed aluminium trims on the speakers.

It gives you the impression you’re sitting in something much more expensive. And it’s that value card that gets played again with the feature list, including front seats that are fully electric with memory positions for the driver, with the benefit of heating and cooling.

The rear seats have heating on the outer two seats, and there’s a heated steering wheel, wireless phone charger, 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and sunroof. Luggage space sits at 641-litres in a 5-seat configuration. With the seats flat, that balloons to 1806-litres.

Safety features are also well catered for, including nine airbags, autonomous braking, blind spot monitor, lane change warning, rear cross traffic warning, and front and rear cameras which have a 360-degree birds eye view.

Inside the 2022 SsangYong Rexton Ultimate

Quite simply, the downsides are few and far between on the Rexton Ultimate. What is missing is adaptive cruise control, and navigation isn’t standard, so you’ll need to tap into wired Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for that.

One other minor annoyance is with Apple CarPlay itself. The recently used shortcut buttons are placed on the left side of the display as opposed to the right side (where it would be more convenient for the driver).

The Rexton Ultimate also makes do with a smaller old style sunroof offering. Although it works perfectly well, it does not let in as much light as the panoramic version found on some of its rivals.

Leg room is on par with rivals in row two, but it does miss out on a sliding middle row, meaning passengers in row three are going to feel cramped if they’re not kids. The 2022 SsangYong Rexton Ultimate does come with a 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty though.

It also grabs 7-years of capped price servicing. It’s a high specification SUV with a low purchase price, and reasonable running costs (services are $375 each). That alone should put it on your shopping list. You can find out more on the SsangYong Australia website.

boot space
Inside the 2022 SsangYong Rexton Ultimate

Our test vehicle was supplied by SsangYong Australia. To find out more about the 2022 SsangYong Rexton Ultimate, contact your local SsangYong dealer.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness
Value for money


Pros - interior quality; 7-year warranty and capped price servicing; 3500kg towing ability; plenty of standard equipment; value for money.
Cons - ride can get uncomfortable on poor road surfaces; no built-in satellite navigation: lack of adaptive cruise control; fewer dealers in Australia.


  1. I love the look of the latest model and the equipment levels are good ,but with no adaptive cruise,it’s a deal breaker for me. It should be standard on the top spec

  2. You don’t want Adaptive Cruise on a 4WD, particularly in Australia where it may be used as it was intended – in mud, dust, etc.
    See: https://rts.i-car.com/collision-repair-news/when-adas-can-t-see-adaptive-cruise-control-system.html

    I spoke to a person at Ssangyong Australia in Heatherton Vic and they did not tick this option for Australian versions on purpose for good reason and the reasons are outlined in that article. Not many owners would know that the radar based cruise needs to be kept very clean in order to function properly and mud, dust, bugs, etc can render it useless or inaccurate. The radar in overseas Rextons is low down the front bumper, in the centre, like other cars/SUVs, it needs to be kept clean to work properly. The car manuals these days have a lot of fine print around ACC radar modules needing to be kept clean and a lot of warnings. So if you have a 4WD with ACC, everytime you venture through a creek, or drive behind a leading vehicle and get covered in dust, drive through mud, or a locus plague, you would need to get out and clean the ACC radar or risk it not working. Do you really want to do that? Especially at night as you race home from a camping trip? And when you suspect that the radar might be clean, would you use it and risk rear ending the car infront? The best ACC in a 4WD is an alert driver and manual cruise. The key quote in the article is this “Dead bugs, dust, and mud may need to be removed for the ACC system to work properly.”

  3. Also – I researched this section to death and drove and inspected the competition – Paj Sport, new MU-X, Fortuner, Prado, Everest – and came away with a clear view that the Rexton was the best choice and that was regardless of price, the price was just the icing on the cake. I bought a white Ultimate, with 18inch ELX rims, with tyres set to recommended 34 psi and after only 5 months I am very happy. What the Rexton does have above the others is an additional 15cm or so of additional width and it just feels so much more spacious. The engine and gearbox integration is incredibly smooth and refined and none of the others come close imo. Mahindra & Mahindra own Paninfarina, and M&M used to own Ssangyong, and because of this ownership, Pinin. did the Rexton’s interior and exterior styling and did the NVH work, as they are NVH specialists. That’s why its so well designed, done by Italians! The engine was originally a Merc engine and Ssangyong bought the tooling and now make it themselves in-house and now Ssangyong have a technical and part sharing arrangement with Hyundai. Unlike a lot of others, it has a cast iron block and a Merc DPF and is the only engine in the class to be Euro6 compliant, which is 67% less NOx than Euro5. The 8-speed box is Hyundai 8R-40 and axles and driveline parts, transfer case, are from Hyundai Trans-Sys. So – its basically a Hyundai under the skin and should prove to be a reliable and durable machine for years to come. I highly recommend them.

  4. Thanks Matthew Denham for clearing things up for me, I’m thinking of this purchase with the suspension upgrade do you think this would be a good idea?

    • Hi Simon, I have the iron man suspension fitted to my 2021 Rexton ultimate , best money I ever spent. Smoother, no more nose dive , and fundamentally a 200% better tow vehicle. I tow a 2800kg caravan.

      • Hi Nick,
        I have the rexton ultimate and was pondering about iron man suspension. i don not tow at the moment. is it really worth it ?? or only wroth if towing.

  5. Hi Simon, I doubt that Ironman 4×4 would have gone to the effort of making a suspension kit and putting it to market unless it was superior to the OEM, so I would guess that it would be worth it. It’s only $1,600, so $400 per wheel fitted, so not too expensive. Gives you an extra 35mm or so.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> interior quality; 7-year warranty and capped price servicing; 3500kg towing ability; plenty of standard equipment; value for money.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> ride can get uncomfortable on poor road surfaces; no built-in satellite navigation: lack of adaptive cruise control; fewer dealers in Australia.2022 SsangYong Rexton Ultimate (car review)