Getting to share the limelight with a stalwart automobile major such as Mahindra is surely a blessing for those automakers which are the new kids in the block. Mahindra has been setting a benchmark in India ever since the foundation of the company was buried into the ground decades back. Since then, Mahindra & Mahindra Pvt Ltd has been ruling the SUV County in the country undisputedly. From Bolero to Scorpio to Xylo to XUV 500, Mahindra has earned its repute of being one of the most thriving and lethal contenders in the Indian circuit. Mahindra tried to swerve its path and ventured into sedan section with Verito which is nowadays catching lots of eyeballs. But even then the automobile heavyweight would always be revered as one of the most cut-throat automobile companies here in India. Verito is also a newbie on Indian circuit but now it seems that their latest spectacle will take away the limelight of the solitary sedan. On 17th October 2012, Mahindra pushed open the doors of its garage and unleashed a new bull which goes by the name Ssangyong Rexton. Mahindra and Korean automobile major Ssangyong signed an alliance and this is their first SUV. Prior to the launch, there was already hype circulating across SUV owners owing to the fact that Mahindra was about to roll out an SUV. But now let us look into what this novice in the arena has got so that we can show him thumbs up.
Three cheers to the design team of both the companies who have done us all a service by giving Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton a very formidable and conspicuous outlook. The design team kept had put together an exoskeleton which would support aerodynamics and let the car tread faster than usual SUVs. The radiator grille which is an integral part of the front fascia has taken a new design and adding to that, the finishing of the grille has been purely done using chrome. There are three vertical slats embedded on the grills which in turn are cornered by a big cluster headlight. This has been equipped with projector lamps which are of the shape of the eagle’s eye. These lamps are of high intensity and assist the driver in maintaining a proper view of the roads ahead. The front bumper of Rexton has been stylized and has been merged with a set of fog lamps. There are large air gaps on the front bumper. The primary function of these air gaps is to let the outside air into the engine as diesel engines usually heat up a lot. This is the reason why the intake of air into the engine would keep it chilled thus allow it to function smoothly. Intermittent wipers have been fitted to the windshield of Rexton which are equipped with automatic rain sensors. This makes them start functioning on their own whenever there is rain.
Moving over to the side profile, Rexton’s rear-view mirrors bear the same colour as that of the body of the car. Side-turn LED-based blinkers have been added to give a stylish finishing to the rear-view mirror. Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton has used lots of chrome for its exteriors which makes the car look more elegant. With ample chrome finishing, Rexton looks soo much polished. The door handles bear the same colour as that of the colour of the body and these have been fitted with pull-type levers. Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton has been generously fitted with light 16-inch alloy radial wheels which are robust and help in generating enough friction which can make the car hold the road efficiently without the fear of skidding.
Moving over to the rear fascia, Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton boasts of a large rear windscreen which has been well equipped with a defogger and at the same time has wash-and-wipe function activated in it. The lamp cluster of the rear fascia is quite radiant as well as large and this has been fitted on the rear tail gate which in turn is also quite big. ‘L’ shaped parking lights have been fitted along with which, Rexton emblem is prominently visible. A new feature is the rear spoiler which has been given to make the SUV look sporty. Even the exhaust tips are made using chrome which gives it a sporty finishing.
We have talked loudly and enthusiastically regarding the exteriors and maybe the same treatment ought to be given to the interiors as Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton has a lot to offer once we’re seated comfortably inside the cabin. The interiors have been done up primarily using two colour shades one of which is beige and the other one is knight black. These colour combinations make the insides of Rexton look more urbane and chic. Soft comfortable seats have been provided and the leather upholstery has a very well-dressed finishing. The steering wheel has four spokes and is covered with premium leather and the same leather covers the gear shift as well as hand brake. Better-quality lumbar support has been given to all the seats in order to make the passenger feel more comfortable. The front seats can well be adjusted as per our own convenience and adding to that, the driver’s seat has the provision of being electronically adjusted in not just one or two but eight altered ways. On top of that, it also boasts of having a memory function which stores all the seating positions which have been taken by the driver in the past and as per that, the driver can ask for a particular position from the memory function. An arm rest has been provided in-between the driver’s seat and the co-passenger’s seat which assists in storage space and at the same time gives the driver comfort while on a long drive.
The rear seats are foldable in a 60:40 way in order to make more space for extra luggage. There is enough space inside the cabin and a large family can be accommodated easily. Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton boasts of an overriding air-conditioning which has separate blowers for different rows of seating. The central console on the dashboard has a wide range of interesting functions to boast about. In addition to that, there are three 12V power outlets which have been generously provided. In terms of storage, Rexton does not leave any stones unturned as almost every part of the car has a separate place meant specifically for storage purposes. A mobile holder has been fitted to the dashboard.
Engine & Ergonomics: –
Not only exteriors and interiors are enough to determine the credibility of a car as what lies beneath the hood is much more important that the former. Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton boasts of a 2696cc 2.7L diesel engine which is capable of delivering a peak power of 165 bhp at 4000 rpm with a maximum torque rate of 34.6 kgm at an rpm rate of 1800 to 3250. It is utterly justified that Rexton might not be having one of the best engines in the market but even then, performance should never be underestimated. Both companies tried their level best to minimize the level of noise, vibration and harshness in order to give a smoother ride to the driver and the passengers.
Along with the engine, there are lot more features which are part of ergonomics and after engine comes the braking system. The braking system of Rexton is immensely reactive and powerful which would definitely give the driver enough space to drive comfortably without and hindrance. Both front wheels as well as rear wheels will be having ventilated disc brakes. Along with that, we have Anti lock braking system as well as electronic brake force distribution system which affects uniformly on all the wheels of the car. These two features are the key highlights of the braking system owing to the fact that they help in maintaining a hold over the wheels of the car and prevent them from locking up under any circumstances. Thus if wheel-locking is admonished then there would a lesser risk of the car skidding off its course.
To improve the handling, Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton has been munificently equipped with a very strong suspension system which helps it to tread rough terrains without giving much discomfort to the people seated inside the cabin. Though, just to be honest, Premier Rio and Mahindra Bolero have a better suspension system than Rexton but the plus point is that Rexton’s suspension system is pretty calm and noiseless.
Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton is available in primarily two variants one of which works on manual transmission whereas the other one works on automatic transmission. The transmission system has been developed in such a manner that the driver does not face any hindrance in operating the gear knob.
Safety Features: –
Mahindra and Ssangyong have left no stones unturned regarding safety of passengers which is the reason why they have provided power-assisted steering wheel in order to give the driver enough scope to handle the car easily without letting it swerve off its path. This feature helps the driver to make his way through heavy traffic conditions without much hassle. Additional safety features include traction control, airbags both for the driver as well as the co-passengers, collision avoidance system, electronic stability program and engine immobilizer. All these features have been provided to neutralize any risk to the passengers and prevent the car from entering a collision course. A few additional safety features might as well be thrown into the car which includes hill descent control as well as large halogen headlamps for increased visibility at night. Brake assist might also be thrown as a bonus safety feature.
Owing to the fact that the first thing Indian customers want to know about a car is its mileage, Ssangyong and Mahindra decided to make Rexton a fuel-efficient car. Rexton gives out a mileage of 9.1 to 9.8 km/L. Though it is not much but then for a starter, this can fare well.
Presently Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton is available only in Hyderabad and Kolkata. The RX5 model has manual transmission and comes under a price tag of Rs. 17, 75,000 whereas the RX7 which has automatic transmission carries a price tag of Rs. 19, 75,000.
On the whole, Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton is not on the same grounds as its contender SUVs in the market and might fare a bit less than them. To some extent Rexton can be called as overrated as the price is exorbitant and not justifiable when it comes to ergonomics. Looks are the plus point as the car has been given a very impressive design both from the exterior point of view as well as interior. Rexton will take a few more upgrades to reach the same class as the other SUVs whom it locks horns with.