Wagon Train

CAN THE ALL-NEW REXTON MAKE AN IMPACT IN AUSTRALIA’S COMPETITIVE 4X4 WAGON MARKET, OFF THE BACK OF SHARP PRICING AND AN EXTENSIVE EQUIPMENT LIST?

WORDS FRASER STRONACH PHOTOS NATHAN JACOBS

THE Trailblazer ute-based joined the that’s UTE-BASED SsangYong not here without Mitsubishi and by a Rexton; Isuzu new half-brothers, some Pajero face MU-X, although family in Sport, as the connection Holden well segment, one are as the in Australia.

SsangYong first appeared here in 1996 when its Musso wagon was sold out the side-door of Mercedes-Benz dealers, before Daewoo took over its fellow Korean carmaker shortly after. However, that ended when Daewoo went broke in 1999. SsangYong then came via thirdparty distributors, before evaporating locally a few years ago.

As of 2018, SsangYong has set up a factory-owned and backed distributor here in Australia, which is good news to potential buyers. The Rexton is one of a number of new SsangYong models and is pitched into a market where wagons built off utes are the norm - just like the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest and the other three vehicles here.

The Rexton also shares much with SsangYong’s own ute, the Musso, but it stands out in this company - and in the class in general - with independent rather than live-axle rear suspension. Perhaps, more importantly, the Rexton offers more equipment than anything in its class while costing less.

So how does the Rexton compare to the sales leaders in this class - MU-X and Pajero Sport - and to the somewhat underrated and much slower-selling Trailblazer? We test them off- and on-road to find out.