It was reported in late 2020 that SsangYong is working on launching the facelifted iteration of their Rexton SUV. Well, after a considerable delay, the 2021 SsangYong Rexton has finally been revealed in all its glory. One of the primary causes of the delay in its arrival could be attributed to the financial meltdown that the Korean automaker found itself in last year. Mahindra, which was the majority stakeholder of SsangYong, sells the previous-gen Rexton in India as the Alturas G4. With the unveiling of the 2021 Rexton, it may seem that SsangYong hasn’t faded away entirely. Moreover, the facelifted model isn’t just a quick cosmetic job either – it boasts some mechanical changes as well.
On the cosmetic side of things, the most apparent changes between the previous-gen model and the 2021 Rexton can be seen up front and at the back. For starters, the new version comes with a larger and meaner-looking front grille that boasts a unique and intricate pattern. Flanking this are a pair of revised LED headlamps, under which is a muscular bumper with a bar-like protrusion right in the middle. On a side note, the grille surrounds do look like they came straight out of an Audi. The front bumper also incorporates Rexton’s LED fog lamps and some faux vents, too, of course.
Meanwhile, the rear of the 2021 Rexton gets updated tail lamps with new LED running elements and a revised bumper. As it is with some of these newer cars, SsangYong has stuck some fake exhaust tips at the back. Well, at least they are finished in chrome, so there’s that. There is also a chrome strip just above the number plate holder, which neatly connects with the LED tail lamps.
The only other change that SsangYong has made to the 2021 Rexton is that they have given it new dual-tone alloy wheels. On the whole, the new model bears the same footprint and silhouette like the old one. This is still a large and intimidating SUV, though the front & rear overhangs are quite enormous too.
On the inside, it is business as usual as much of the design and styling has been carried over from the old model. Having said that, this interior is actually quite nice as it feels refined and premium enough. The seats are large and are well-cushioned, while there are soft-touch materials right up until the height of your knees.
Similarly, the middle row feels spacious and comfortable as well, though the last row is a bit tight on usable room. This is made a little worse by the fact the Rexton has some really massive D-pillars which might make the last-row passengers feel hemmed in. However, overall, the interior of the 2021 Rexton feels sufficiently spacious and doesn’t get too noisy either.
As for its features list, the 2021 SsangYong Rexton comes loaded with several modern amenities. There is a gesture-activated electric tailgate, climate-controlled and power-operated front seats, dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting, a power-adjustable steering wheel (reach & rake), a digital gauge cluster, a 360-degree parking camera, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay. Of course, some of these will only be available if you pay extra as optional packages.
Some of the safety equipment on the Rexton include 9 airbags, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Safety Distance Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Front Vehicle Start Warning, Speed Limit Warning, and Trailer Sway Control.
Under the hood, the 2021 SsangYong Rexton comes with an updated version of the old 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. Therefore, it now produces 199hp along with an impressive 441Nm of maximum torque. Also, SsangYong has replaced the old Mercedes-sourced 7-speed gearbox with a new Hyundai-sourced 8-speed automatic.
Thanks to the increase in power and a more modern transmission, the 2021 Rexton will get from 0 to 100 kmph in 11.9 seconds while also being able to tow up to 3,500kg. However, while the 2021 Rexton is a superior car to its predecessor, chances are low of it reaching India as the next Alturas G4.