Looking for a stylish pick-up with rugged off-road capability, then the Musso is one to consider writes Hannah Gordon
What is it? A new and revised model of the SsangYong Musso which brings lots of quality at a very reasonable price.
Who is it aimed at? Pick up trucks are now a great vehicle for family activities, once seen as just a commercial type off-roader the Musso has huge amounts of room for five people with the added benefit of an open back.
Styling? SsangYong of past haven’t been the best looking of cars, in fact, its best not to think of some of the creations. The Musso thankfully has the same front end styling as the Rexton, with a bullish shape and muscular proportions that lead all the way to the back of the truck. The Saracen specification comes with large 19” alloys and a whole host of bright finished extras such as roof rails, sidebars, mirrors and door handles as standard.
Under the bonnet? One option choice of the 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel which is a strong and powerful engine that pulls very well, the engine can be paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. The automatic as tested was very good, gear changes were smooth and it had no problem accelerating at pace. The automatic gearbox option also has a larger towing capacity of 3.5 tonne.
What about inside? The interior is superbly put together and well designed ergonomically, again the Musso has an interior straight from the Rexton. The seating position is high and commanding whilst visibility is excellent all round, as you would expect there is plenty of room inside for all passengers.
Entry level model the EX gets DAB radio as standard, stepping up the ranges you will start getting Apple Car Play and Android Auto as well as a 8.0 inch or 9.2 inch touch screen infotainment system.
On the road? As with most pickups they aren’t designed to be driven hard, the SsangYong Musso is one of the best trucks to drive though and feels very robust over any terrain. It’s handling on the road is assured thanks to its stiff suspension set up, although this harshness does mean you feel extra bumps that you didn’t know the road had. A completely smooth road leads to a very refined ride and the engine pulls extremely well without being a noisy intrusion into the cabin.
What about safety? You already feel extremely safe in the Musso thanks to its size, as standard you get six airbags, electronic stability programme (ESP) and active rollover protection (ARP) but thats about all. The Musso does fall behind its rivals with the lack of safety equipment which is a shame as it does everything else so well.
What are my options? If you are looking for more kit then I would recommend looking at either the Rebel or Saracen spec vehicles, I had the Musso Saracen which included Apple Car Play/Android Auto, it also had heated and cooled front seats with heated rear seats. The list of standard equipment is comprehensive and due to its low prices, the middle and top ranges still come to a price that’s great value.
Will it break the bank? With a vehicle of this size and weight the economy does take a hit, combined mpg is 35.8 for manual and 32.8 for the automatic, same with emissions, 211 g/km of CO2 for the manual and 226 g/km for the automatic. The plus point is that pickups are seen as a commercial vehicle so have a flat tax rate, this makes them a great purchase as a company car and why a lot more manufacturers choose to build pickups.
So the verdict? If you are in the market for a new pick up then look no further than the SsangYong Musso, it certainly holds its own in a market where it is significantly cheaper. The entry-level EX is a bit too basic compared with the Rebel and Saracen which come with plenty of kit for a small outlay. You will also benefit from a very confident 150,000 miles/7-year warranty that is one of the best on the market showing you that SsangYong has great confidence in their products.
I can’t really fault the Musso as it drives extremely well, has a huge towing capacity and large amounts of space in the rear. If you like having something that no one else has buy the Musso, I can guarantee people will be coming up asking what you are driving constantly, it happened to me the week I had it.
Why you’ll buy one? Spacious, Good Warranty, well priced
Why you won’t? Sparse safety equipment, entry level trim is basic
Max speed: 115 mph
0-62 mph: seconds
Emissions: 211-226 g/km
Model price range: from £19,995
No of Doors: 4
Euro NCAP : –
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle):32.9-35.8 mpg
Load deck capacity: 1 Euro pallet/ 1 tonne
Towing capacity (braked trailer): 3.5 tonne (automatic transmission)
Length: 5095 mm
Width: 2175 mm
Height: 1820 mm
Wheelbase: 3100 mm
1st April, 2019