THE REXTON has been given fresh life in the guise of a fifth generation model and sits at the top of SsangYong’s SUV lineup.

It’s a seven seater that provides pleasing practicality alongside a wide range of creature comforts. In that sense, you might describe it as a workhorse with style.

The first thing you notice about the Rexton is its strong visual impact, with a dominant front grille giving it real presence.

Once inside, it feels like there’s been a genuine step-change when it comes to interior quality, with excellent on-board tech provided and better-quality materials than those found on previous models.

The vehicle is powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine with an eight-speed Hyundai Transys automatic transmission.

While you never feel fully engaged in the process of controlling the revs, the transmission and engine work well enough together to get this weighty vehicle on the move.

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At £40,780, the ‘Ultimate’ version of the Rexton can scarcely be described as cheap, but that price does still represent good value for money when you consider the overall package on offer.

Having recently been re-styled inside and out, there’s plenty of graceful detailing to complement the vehicle rugged off-road capability.

From every angle, the 2022 Rexton has an eye-catching design, with a powerful, sturdy stance.

The Korean manufacturer says the exterior is inspired by the ‘Dignified Motion’ of SsangYong’s design language.

The most obvious recent design changes are the alterations to the front end, where a bigger and bolder radiator grille takes pride of place, coupled with the updated front bumper, LED headlights, and fog light design.

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A stepped effect at each side of the front end creates a more three-dimensional-looking bumper, adding to the interest.

A new stainless steel window surround moulding adds impact, while the revised rear end features an updated slim, LED light cluster.

Behind the wheel, the 2,157cc, four-cylinder, diesel unit pulls well through the rev range, offering a power output of 194bhp and torque of 325 lb ft.

These figures underline the car’s multi-purpose abilities, with an acceptable 0-62mph of 11 seconds matched by decent towing ability.

It might not feel the smoothest of drives in some situations, but its’ road manners have definitely been improved when compared to previous generations.

Inside, the Rexton offers generous levels of equipment along with cutting edge integrated design technologies.

The full digital console and high-definition 12.3-inch screen allow quick access to important info, including a whole range of safety features such as lane departure warning, parking sensors, navigation assist, tyre direction warnings and smart power tailgate warnings.

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The Rexton also has a habit of sounding a somewhat urgent warning note if it senses impending doom.

The D-cut multi-functional steering wheel is a nice feature - and is heated and adjustable for rake, and reach.

The well laid-out centre console houses a newly designed, easy to handle gear lever, next to which is the new electronic parking brake switch with auto hold.

The front door scuff is illuminated, as is the instrument panel and door trim to create a subtle ambient light at night and there are now USB ports to the rear as well as the front.

The interior offers excellent flexible space.

Legroom in the second row is especially generous. As you’d expect, things become tighter on the third row.

The second-row seats can be double-folded to maximise the load space, meaning one of the largest load spaces in its sector is potentially available.

All-in-all, it’s a car that’s easy to live with, offering solidity and excellent everyday usability mixed with some more luxurious features.

The Lowdown

PRICE: £40,780

ENGINE 2,157c, 4-cylinder, diesel

TOP SPEED 114mph

0-62MPH: 11sec

POWER: 194bhp at 3,800rpm

TORQUE: 325 lb ft at 1,600-2,600 rpm

Fuel consumption (WLTP combined cycle) 33mpg

CO2 emissions (WLTP) 225g/km