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Looks like SsangYong is really upping its game with regards to design – having shown us the facelifted Korando and the LIV-1 and SIV-1 concepts, all of which are rather easy on the eye, the Korean carmaker has launched the SsangYong Rexton W in the UK.

You could almost call the new look elegant; definitely a big step forward from the previous car‘s gormless expression. Headlamps, bonnet creases, grille and front apron form a V shape, and the prominent fog lamp cut-outs and central lower intake are in a honeycomb design.

Three variants are available in Britain: SX manual, EX manual and EX auto. All are powered by a Euro 5-compliant 2.0 litre e-XDi turbodiesel engine that delivers 155 PS at 4,000 rpm and 360 Nm of torque between 1,500 and 2,800 rpm.

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The manual (7.4 litres per 100 km claimed) is a six-speeder. The auto (7.8 claimed) is a five-speed Mercedes-Benz T-Tronic unit. Of course, there’s selectable four-wheel drive with low range, and the body-on-frame SUV can tow up to three tonnes.

A new-look cabin awaits inside – there are aluminium-effect and chrome finishes, plus soft-touch materials. Seven seats are standard; the two third-row seats can be stowed beneath the boot floor, but if you’re sure you’re never going to use them, a five-seater version is available.

Standard across the range are cruise control, air-con, electrically-operated and heated door mirrors, a leather-covered steering wheel and gear knob, and a CD and RDS radio with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity. Two Kenwood systems – one with DAB MP3/CD & radio iPod connectivity and another with a touch-screen and navigation – are offered as options.

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The EX adds 18-inch alloys (16s for SX), side steps, an electrically-adjustable memory driver’s seat, leather upholstery, heated front seats, privacy glass, a sunroof and rear parking sensors.

Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, ESP, Active Rollover Protection, ABS, EBD, Hill Descent Control and Isofix for the second row. Buyers can have their SsangYong Rexton W in Carbonic Grey, Space Black, Silent Silver or Grand White.

Check out another ‘W update’ from SsangYong – this one‘s a bit more presidential.