The SsangYong Rexton W is the spiritual successor to the big, affordable 4x4s of 15 years ago, like the original Kia Sorento. But even allowing for its relatively low price, the Rexton W has too many shortcomings as a tow car.

In the lane-change test the Rexton performed well enough on the first two runs, but the third and quickest pass through the manoeuvre had to be abandoned as the caravan took control.

Even in a straight line, the SsangYong doesn’t feel settled. At 60mph there were slight movements from the caravan, but between 60 and 70mph instability set in.

The new 2.2-litre engine is a definite improvement, and the car no longer feels underpowered. Acceleration does tail off above 40mph, though, and the Rexton took 16.5 seconds to pull its caravan from 30-60mph.

Inside, there’s room for seven in three rows of seats, although seats six and seven are better suited to children than adults.

With the rearmost seats folded away, we easily found room for all our holiday luggage. The compact spare is easy to get to, should you need it.

So, it’s a practical tow car, but not an especially stable one. Despite its value and five-year warranty, there’s no shortage of better big 4x4s to tow with.

2019
Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners
2018
1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2017
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*

2016
1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business

2015
1400-1549kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG

2014
1400-1549kg

Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

2013
Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance

2012
1725–1899kg

Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury

2011
1425-1574kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport

2010
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS

2009
1900kg+

Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic

2008
1575-1724kg

Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto

2007
1575-1724kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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