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Motoring: The Gentle Giant

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THERE is a car park in Manchester and I’m told now that it is as infamous as it is famous; I wish someone had told me before I went.

The NCP facility under the old central station, now an exhibition centre, comprises brick arches, the sort of place you might store beer kegs, cheese or barrels of gunpowder if you were planning to blow up Parliament.

Once you have managed to actually spot the entrance among the road closures and upturned pavements you enter with a sense of triumph, which wanes as quickly as it arrives as the passage narrows into a subterranean brick world.

OMG it is tight, OMG the spaces are narrow and at peculiar angles, OMG this car is big. If you could have chosen a car less suited to this environment then you would have selected SsangYong’s new Rexton, which is huge. Oh! That’s exactly the car I’m in. Gulp!

Time has flown too and the several circumnavigations of the city centre have left me running late and resulted in few spaces being available.

But here is the strangest of things. Rexton, despite its humungous girth, is staggeringly easy to manoeuvre, it really is. It is big but relatively square, so you know exactly where the corners are and there are beepy things just in case you forget.

New Rexton is a fine and splendid vehicle, like the ones before, and endearing in every sense. It remains well built offering a confidence inspiring seven year warranty

I love the new looks, particularly the vast grille and LED lights, which have the presence to scare other road users into submission and bring tears the eyes for small children. It is a striking looking vehicle make no mistake.

As well as being wide and long it is tall and the view from the driver’s seat is imperious. You can see over walls and in windows, it is the automotive equivalent of a crow’s nest on the good ship SsangYong.

Rexton is a gargantuan SUV with a well-proven 4x4 which shrugs off the vagaries of poor road conditions, whether they are wet, icy or just broken.

It remains great value and is superbly built with comprehensive specification, including excellent infotainment, silky smooth eight speed automatic gearbox and swathes of leather.

The 2.2 litre diesel is even more powerful now turning out 202PS and able to tow 3.5 tonnes.

Rexton also boasts the most flexible of transmissions; so it will chug along in two wheel drive in normal conditions for maximum economy, but will also switch to four wheel drive high and low ratios for the tricky stuff. It even has a diff-lock for the most challenging of surfaces.

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