Vehicle test: Ssangyong Musso

Vehicle test: Ssangyong Musso

South Korean manufacturer, Ssangyong, is looking to make inroads into the double cab pick-up market with its new one-tonne Musso. James Moore went along to the launch event in Towcester to test it out.

After a number of years away from the pick-up scene, the Musso range has re-emerged into Ssangyong’s production line. Much like its namesake – Musso translates as rhino in Korean – it is attempting a comeback from the wilderness with some powerful and heavy hitting specifications.

The event was stationed at the famous Jack’s Hill Cafe, a historic biker meeting point and truck stop near Towcester. With six different Musso specs – varying in transmissions, fitted pick-up tops and one with 600kg of gravel in the back – combined with nearby open, winding country lanes just a breath away from Silverstone racetrack, there was plenty of opportunity to get to grips with the new vehicle.

Initial reactions were slightly daunting – particularly considering the size of the beast – yet once it hit the road, perceptions swiftly changed. Whilst clearly a substantial vehicle, with double-cab facilities capable of providing dual commercial and domestic needs, the Musso has the feel of a more compact car when behind the wheel. The steering, albeit a little light, was able to cope easily with the snaking lanes that surround Silverstone, and the 2.2 litre Euro 6 turbo-diesel engine ensures it pulls away with minimal effort. It’s not going to challenge anything out on the nearby racetrack anytime soon, but with a very reasonable 40mpg, it most certainly won’t need fuelling as much as buyers may expect.

The Musso is designed to appeal to those who need a competitively priced work truck, the practicality of 4-wheel drive, the towing capability to haul up to three tonnes, yet also deal with the hectic appointments of a family car – and it does exactly that. The double cab facility, always a popular option in the UK, enables double use for professional tradespeople, ensuring that tools and workwear can stay safely stowed in the back while the rest of the family sits in comfort in the front. The company believes that the multi-link rear suspension and progressive rear coil springs ensure even further comfort.

It has also had a significant facelift on its predecessor, the Korando Sports, both on the exterior and interior of the vehicle. There are currently two models on offer in the range. The SE includes a new-look front grille and dashboard, as well as silver finish 18in. alloy wheels and hard wearing ‘leather look’ TPU seat upholstery. The EX, on the other hand, is distinguished by its black alloy wheels, roof rails, leather heated front seats, rain sensing wipers and a touchscreen radio with iPod and Bluetooth capabilities.

The double cab pick-up is a competitive market, particularly in the UK, with tradespeople seeking a vehicle that can provide total flexibility. Such vehicles do come at a price, however, and this is where Ssangyong vehicles often come into their own – with the Musso being no different. The company is determined to maintain its market position, and so compared to other models in a similar category, the price is far less of a budget buster. Furthermore, it is covered by a five-year limitless mileage warranty, covering all major mechanical components.

For installers, a vehicle that feels compact in residential areas yet has the ability to hold a plethora of tools and equipment is vital. There is certainly plenty of room in back, and the option for a fitted hard top is likely to be a popular choice in the unpredictable British weather. Value is the name of the game here, and with towing capabilities of up to three tonnes and a one tonne payload, alongside a comfortable, domestic-friendly interior, there is little to dispute. I mean, you wouldn’t argue with a rhino would you?

For more information on the Ssangyong Musso, visit:

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