When?: June 2012
How much?: Rs 17 to 20 lakh
Variants: 2.7-litre diesel, available in both 2WD and 4WD
Ssangyong. Best known for its not-so-appealing designs and, well, er, that's it's now a part of the Mahindra group. The South Korean car manufacturer was picked up by the Indian company in 2010 and now it intends to bring it to our shores.
First up is the Rexton. For those who have a slightly strong memory, Ssangyong did enjoy a strong relationship with Mercedes-Benz until quite recently. The MB100 and MB140 D vans that were sold in the last decade of the last century in India by Mercedes-Benz were actually built by Ssangyong. The Rexton is nothing more than the last-gen, W163 Mercedes-Benz ML underneath. And since the last ML was a body-on-ladder rather than a monocoque, the Rexton therefore gets the same treatment.
Under the hood of the Rexton is a 2.7-litre, five-cylinder diesel motor that too borrows from the ML. Incidentally, the same motor also powers the Axe, Mahindra's bidding vehicle for the Indian Army personnel carrier. With 165 bhp on tap and a smidgeon under 35 kgm of peak torque, this second-generation common-rail diesel motor is mated to a 5-speed auto globally, but our guess is that a manual transmission could be offered here.
Read on the SSANGYONG REXTON at the 2012 AUTO EXPO here:
2012 Auto Expo - Mahindra unveils Rexton
Since it's an old school design, the exteriors and interiors aren't the most up-to-date. Build quality is decent, though and equipment level isn't bad either. Three-rows of seating make it a seven-seater, though, like its competition, the last row isn't well suited to large adults over long distances.
What could work in favour of the Rexton is its price-tag. While it would take on the likes of the Chevrolet Captiva, Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner, we expect Mahindra to price it very competitively – the 2WD version selling for not more than Rs 18 lakh, ex-showroom and the 4WD for under Rs 20 lakh. If Mahindra does follow that strategy, expect it to make life a little difficult for its competition, especially on the back of the success that the XUV5OO has enjoyed.
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