Its a little known fact among the masses that Mahindra owns Ssangyong, the Korean based car marker. The latter saw its Rexton SUV making debut in India but sales never picked up due to its sober styling, under-equipped interiors and an average engine. However, that is all set to change with the all new Rexton.
The interesting part is that due to a low brand recall of Ssangyong, Mahindra might just rename the Rexton as XUV700 for the Indian market. The XUV500 is selling like hot cakes and it might make marketing sense to pitch the new Rexton between the XUV500 and the Fortuner.
Everthing! The new Rexton is based on an all-new platform, gets a new exterior, new interiors and class leading features. That said, though it looks better than before, it won’t be able to turn heads easily on our roads. But the Rexton has massive road presence thanks to its bulky design – you also get 20 inch alloy wheels and LED fog lamps.
On the inside, you notice the entirely new console with a massive 9.2 inch touch screen doing duties in the center. Reports also suggest ample space for 7 on the inside.
There is only one motor to pick from. The 2.2-litre diesel engine is good for 187 horses (a good 30% more than the XUV) and comes mated to a Mercedes-Benz sourced 7-speed automatic transmission. 4×4 is standard along with high/low ratios but given the weight, we reckon it should be as fast as the XUV only. That said, reports do suggest insulation to be top notch which should go down well with premium buyers.
Well, the Rexton, or the new XUV700 should be loaded with features to the brim. These include powered seats finished in high quality Nappa leather, nine airbags, blind spot detection, “3D Around View Monitoring”, auto closing doors (when you walk away with the key fob), dual zone climate control, a 220V/115V inverter in the boot etc
We expect Mahindra to showcase the new Rexton / XUV700 at the upcoming 2018 Auto Expo. It will be slotted between the XUV500 and the Fortuner which means a starting price of around Rs 20-22 lakh. At this price, the new XUV700 will make for a sensible deal for a comfortable and loaded 7-seater SUV. Will the Ssangyong brand name play spoilsport? Time will tell…