Mahindra's first product from its Ssangyong stable, the Rexton is now out, priced at Rs 17.67 lakh, ex-showroom Mumbai for the RX5 manual version and Rs 19.67 lakh for the RX7 automatic trim. The pricing is rather wonderful, the automatic is a good Rs 2 lakh cheaper than the equivalent Toyota Fortuner while the manual is now the cheapest of the lot, making life tough for not just the Fortuner, but the Ford Endeavour, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and even the Chevrolet Captiva and Hyundai Santa Fe. But can a lower price tag along make the job easy for Mahindra?
For starters, the Ssangyong Rexton uses a lot of underpinnings as well as the powertrain from the first-gen Mercedes-Benz W163 ML. The body-on-ladder chassis lends it a certain sense of robustness, its two-tonne plus weight isn't making matters easy though. It looks contemporary, especially this the W version that was launched just a few months ago in Busan. In fact we were the first automotive media outfit to report that the W and not the Rexton III, which it replaced would be coming to India many months ago.
There is dollops of chrome and lots of badges around. Overdone, like the XUV5oo it certainly is, but not to the same extent. There is a lone Mahindra badge on the tailgate to signify the relationship. The takeaway points from the design apart from the grille is the Rexton badging on the headlamps and the unique D-pillar and the wraparound glass, even though it's a bit like the first-gen ML in design.