SsangYong Rexton: Prettiness in King’s Town

Is it worth to ponder about the design and styling of the new-gen SsangYong Rexton??

The Rexton is one of the best-selling  flagship model of the SsangYong globally, and is pedigree is more glorious, thanks to Mercedes Benz derived design, chassis and powertrain. Yes, the Rexton is based on the first generation ML-class (W163). All the more so, SsangYong cars famous for its weird external body designs and perhaps ugly styling and Rexton would be one on the top of the list! Mahindra has debuted the new, revised 3rd generation Rexton in India after a notable wait.


It is interesting to compare the design and styling of the new Rexton with its predecessor, i.e the old last-gen Rexton, more than any other car. The latter (codenamed W289) now looks so different and hideous from the new one. It wasn’t trendy and contemporary. The front end of the SUV was ridiculously bulbous with a wide, deep bonnet fronted by a grille that seemed as if it has been borrowed from an old E-class. It appeared to be extremely beefy,and gave the SUV a taller stance with disproportionate wideness. The unique D-pillar and the wraparound glass was old-fashioned and hinted the ML’s design. Nonetheless, there was no bad thing with the design as it gave the car a good presence and the character prompts people to take a second look.

And now the scenario is different. The new generation Rexton W290) looks more fresh and is hard to say that it was a rework with the previous model. The metal work in the front hood is good, again the Mercedes inspired radiator grille works for the shape of the car. The headlamp cluster is fairly contemporary, with projector pods and Rexton badging, and is smartly detailed. The parking light strip in the bottom of the headlamp is a departure from the LEDs found in many cars today (a bit boring!) and it could have been exciting even more if they are day-time running lights.

The wheel arches are heavily flared to make it more muscular. The bumper is nicely sculpted and the black plastic claddings on the lower portion camouflages its bulk. They extend along the length of the car crossing wheel arches and wraps around rear bumpers as well, looks fantastic. The side profile is almost the same as the previous model and the rear partly too. The tail lamps have been reworked and overall the rear is convincing.

The badges are over-whelming in numbers and the ‘Rexton’ embossed on the tail gate is symbolic. Mahindra badge is anyway useless but no issues with that. The ‘Rexton W’ on the D-pillar is novel and just fine. On the whole, the Rexton may look a bit overdone like the XUV5oo to many but is contemporary to the class. People who dislike the flaunt design of Fortuner may like the more nonchalant Rexton.

Photo Credit: IndianAutosBlog, AutomobilesReview

Dhiyanesh Ravichandran

Editorial consultant (Automotive and Technology), academic, and blogger based in India. He can be reached at

You may also like...

Leave a Reply