Ssangyong Musso (2017-present)

This cut-price offering reveals its budget price point in many areas but remains a capable everyday workhorse

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Good value
High levels of spec
Payload and towing abilities

Weaknesses 

Interior feels cheap
Not car like at all
Only one engine

Ssangyong likely wallows somewhere near the bottom of most car buyer's wish lists thanks to the fact that this South Korean marque hasn't penetrated the mind-set of potential customers with the razzle-dazzle marketing onslaught of Korean brethren Kia and Hyundai.

In addition to this, its offerings have historically fallen way behind is rivals in terms of build quality, ride and handling and overall refinement, but Ssangyong is keen to prove that it can produce cut-price vehicles that actually stack up against the more expensive competition.

As a result, the recently updated Korando SUV model forms the basis of this Musso pick-up, which means it ushers in a brand new diesel engine that promises to be quieter, less polluting, more fuel efficient and more powerful than the noisy unit it replaces.

Alas, the Musso, which means 'rhinoceros' in Hangul, the South Korean language, remains a very inexpensive alternative to the likes of the Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi L200, yet it can still manage to tow over 3-tonnes and haul more than a tonne of stuff thanks to a large rear bed and all-wheel-drive as standard across the range.

With a starting price of just £16,500, it will certainly appeal to those on the lookout for a no-frills workhorse that won't break the bank but it still has a big hill to climb if it wants to challenge the more premium lifestyle offerings that are rapidly being snapped up by savvy company car buyers looking to take advantage of generous tax breaks.

Yes, the still reasonable EX models (£18,500) come with plenty of tempting niceties, such as heated front seats, leather upholstery, automatic headlamps and a touchscreen infotainment system, but the execution is decidedly cheap and navigation remains an optional extra.

The plastic flap that covers the USB and Aux-in inputs, for example, feels as if it would snap off in the hand if opened too vigorously, while the heated front seats don't reset themselves when the ignition is turned off.

It is up to the driver to wind the dial back to the off position and then on again if he or she wishes to warm the posterior. It is little things like this that make the difference.

The infotainment system is also very basic and fiddly to use, while the ride can feel skittish at higher speeds when the rear bed is emptied. This is despite the inclusion of an advanced multi-link suspension set-up in the rear.

That said, this is a very reasonably priced machine and the quality of the interior reflects this fact.

Put simply, it's a hardwearing and mightily capable pick-up that doesn't attempt to wow customers with gadgets and luxuries, instead flaunting a price tag that will likely have customers stopped in their tracks.

Last Updated 

Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 14:30

Key facts 

Warranty : 
5 years/unlimited mileage
Bed Size: 
2.04m2
Width: 
1790mm
Length: 
4990mm
Height: 
1790mm
Tax : 
£800 to £1,200 in the first year, £140 thereafter

Best Ssangyong Musso for... 

Ssangyong Musso 2.2 SE Manual
This entry-level Musso lacks some of the interior extras but it is one of the cheapest new pick-ups on the market and returns a reasonable 40mpg.
Ssangyong Musso 2.2 EX Auto
The auto box is easy to drive, while this EX model gets heated seats, leather upholstery and a 7-inch touchscreen with DAB to make longer journeys more bearable.

Ssangyong Musso History 

2017: Musso name transforms into a pick-up body style and offers a one-tonne payload at a very reasonable price

Understanding Ssangyong Musso car names 

  • Musso
  • Trim
    SE
  • Engine
    2.2 diesel
  • Gearbox
    6 speed manual
  • Trim
    There are two true trim levels offered here, the Musso SE and Musso EX, while the Musso Auto adds the automatic gearbox and cruise control. Each higher trim level receives greater specification and an increased price.
  • Engine
    Just one diesel engine is currently offered across the range and that's the 2.2-litre Euro 6 turbo-diesel unit. There is also just one power output option.
  • Gearbox
    6-speed shows that the car has six gears. The Ssangyong Musso is available in both manual and automatic versions, both with six gears.

Ssangyong Musso Engines 

2.2

There is just one engine to choose from in the Ssangyong Musso range, which either makes things very simple for buyers or limits choice, depending on your standpoint.

Luckily, that new 2.2-litre diesel is nice and quiet during regular driving conditions and develops an impressive 400Nm of torque, which allows it to tow a braked trailer load of exactly 3,000kg and haul 1,050kg of goods with ease.

However, the Musso is a heavy machine and at 2,099kg, it isn't the quickest thing to accelerate along the motorway slip road, especially when the rear bed is full of kit.

The driving experience is also not the most accomplished on the market and despite boasting a more advanced multi-link suspension set-up at the rear (as opposed to the more agricultural Leaf Spring set-up), it can feel unwieldy when the rear bed isn't weighted down - something that has blighted older pick-up models.

There's a fair amount of wind noise and buffeting at motorway speeds, while the automatic gearbox can get slightly confused when the accelerator is planted, as it seems to take a while to cycle through the correct gears to deliver the power.

Fuel economy is good though, with a claimed combined figure of 40mpg in the manual models, while the EU6 compliant label means the big Musso avoids the higher tax implications when reforms arrive in April.

Ssangyong Musso Trims 

SE, EX and EX Auto

The choice of trim levels is only slightly more generous than the singular engine offering, with the range starting at the very basic Musso SE.

Here, the vehicle is kitted out with what Ssangyong describes as "leather look" seats,a real leather steering wheel and gear knob, electric windows throughout, electrically operated and heated door mirrors and manual air conditioning.

A CD and FM radio with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity provide the entertainment, while steering wheel-mounted controls appear across the range as standard.

Perhaps most generous of Ssangyong is the fact that all vehicles receive 18-inch alloy wheels on the outside, with the only exterior visual indicator of high spec models being roof rails upon which customers can attached a roof rack.

Customers would perhaps be tempted to part with the additional £2,000 to step up to EX models in order to benefit from the handy reversing camera, rain sensing wipers and automatic headlights, real leather seats and the superior seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Unfortunately, navigation remains an optional extra across the range and customers will have to stump up an eye-watering £832 to have the basic Kenwood DAB touchscreen sat-nav and infotainment system added.

Its beggar’s belief considering a far superior Apple CarPlay-compatible system could be purchased and fitted from Halfords at half the price.

Regardless, the specification is largely good across the range and most of the luxuries customers look for are present. They're just not executed in a particularly luxurious fashion.

Ssangyong Musso Reliability and warranty 

The Ssangyong Musso is far too new to comment on the reliability of the model and the Korean marque sells a relatively low volume of cars in the UK, meaning it didn't even appear on the 2017 Auto Express Driver Power Survey.

However, trawl the comments section of the big websites or visit the various owner's groups message boards and customers seem largely happy with their purchase.

The impressive five-year/unlimited mileage warranty speaks volumes of Ssangyong's confidence in its products and should cover any major incidentals during the early years of ownership.