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[Behind the Wheel] SsangYong’s Rexton Sports Dynamic Edition shows off strength off-road

SsangYong Motor’s Rexton Sports Dynamic Edition (SsangYong Motor)
SsangYong Motor’s Rexton Sports Dynamic Edition (SsangYong Motor)

While pickup trucks have not been a major segment in South Korea’s automobile market, SsangYong Motor’s Rexton truck is something of an exception, with competitive pricing, convenient functions and designs attractive enough to change the minds of sedan-lovers.

Rolling out Rexton Sports in 2018, the country’s first open-deck sports utility vehicle, SsangYong has taken 97 percent of the local market share, selling over 40,000 units of the car in first and second year of release.

SsangYong Motor now seeks to solidify its position in the market as rivals are eyeing to enter the fray.

Early July, the automaker introduced the Dynamic Edition of Rexton Sports, which is optimized for off-road driving to target the increasing number of campers and drivers enjoying outdoor activities.

The new Rexton Sports Dynamic Edition is based on original model’s Prestige trim, with upgraded functions to offer a stronger, and more stable driving experience on rough terrain.

SsangYong Motor’s Rexton Sports Dynamic Edition (SsangYong Motor)
SsangYong Motor’s Rexton Sports Dynamic Edition (SsangYong Motor)

The upgrade has been introduced to meet the specific demands that the company found in a survey, as 35 percent of customers who purchased Rexton Sports Khan answered that they chose the car for leisure activities.

The carmaker hosted an on- and off-road test-drive for the media on July 22 around Mount. Kalbong in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province. While the latest Dynamic Edition vehicles could not be prepared for the event, SsangYong equipped Rexton Sports Khan model with upgraded suspension and other functions that are default in Dynamic Edition to give a similar experience.

As The Korea Herald took the car off-road, the large SUV was put to the test as it moved on rocky, unpaved roads and crossed mountain creeks, but the Dynamic Edition’s special suspension system made the driving experience comfortable and secure.

The company explained that the so-called “Australian” suspension system is the one adopted early on for export models, designed to cope with various terrain types. 

SsangYong Motor’s Rexton Sports Dynamic Edition (SsangYong Motor)
SsangYong Motor’s Rexton Sports Dynamic Edition (SsangYong Motor)

The Dynamic Edition is equipped with 18-inch black alloy wheels, sports pedals and off-road side-steps, for better performance on such tough road conditions.

The car’s body-on-frame structure gave additional stability to the suspension. The body-on-frame manufacturing method puts the vehicle’s body on top of a stable frame carrying the powertrain, while the unibody method, which is more generally used, builds the supporting chassis and the body as a single piece, which reduces a car’s ability to cope with really uneven surfaces.

SsangYong says the Dynamic Editions have been given 10 millimeters more ground clearance than the original Rexton and a skid plate has been installed to stop rocks damaging the bottom of the car as well.

The test drive included an exciting challenge when the 1,950 millimeter-wide vehicle filled the narrow mountain road where one side of the road is a cliff. Weaving along the rough, winding road, the vehicle boasted some fine-tuned maneuvering, and enough stability for the driver to stay comfortably in control.

Rexton Sports series is geared with e-XDi 220 LET diesel engine that can exert up to 187 horsepower and 40.8 kilogram-meters of torque. It also features 4Tronic technology, in which the driver can change the driving system by turning the dial on the center fascia: two-wheel drive, 4H for four-wheel drive at high speed, 4L for four-wheel at lower speed.

Car camping is in trend, and the Rexton Sports Dynamic Edition would be suitable to carry heavy camping utilities, as it can carry up to 700 kilograms in the back. The automaker increased the storage space inside the vehicle, implementing a tray under the rear seats.

Another strength of the SUV comes from its competitive pricing. Rexton Sports Dynamic Edition is 31.42 million won, while Rexton Sports Khan Dynamic Edition is 33.69 million won. The prices have not increased so much considering the upgrades added, and are still also below the range of Chevrolet’s Colorado -- a pickup truck launched here last year -- of 38.55 million won to 43.5 million won.

By Jo He-rim (

Korea Herald Youtube