The SsangYong Musso is a double cab pickup based on the Musso SUV. The vehicle was commercialized between 2002 and 2005, and features Mercedes engines and transmissions. The Musso Pickup offered a good compromise between luxury, strength and refinement, but it never received the deserved attention.
Thanks to the use of Mercedes parts, the truck was pretty reliable delivering strong on road performances and being able to deal great with heavy loads too.
The SsangYong Musso Pickup was offered with either 4x2 or 4x4 drive modes and was able to tow a maximum weight of 3500 kg, while payload is rated at 854 kg.
The pickup is essentially a Musso SUV with the rear cabin chopped off and replaced with an integrated load bed.
Viewed from the front the truck looked pretty robust, with a high ground clearance and an aggressive bumper fitted with two big fog lamps.
The company’s logo was mounted in the center of the grill which had a pretty simple design without any fancy lines.
The headlights however had razor sharp corners and their aggressive cut gave the truck a distinctive look.
The hood was traversed by two dynamic creases which pointed towards the company’s badge forming an interesting “V” pattern.
Along the sides, there were two horizontal body creases above each grille, giving the vehicle a touch of dynamism. On the other hand, the front lateral windows had a lower base line than the rear ones which looked pretty odd for our tastes.
In person the SsangYong Musso looks pretty big measuring 4940 mm long, 1870 mm wide and 1770 mm tall. In its off road adventures the Musso is served by allaround 235/75-R15S tires.
Step inside and you’ll be welcomed by a pretty high class cabin. Most of the materials are part of the first class and plastics will also make your fingers feel happy. The overall build quality isn’t as great as some of the Japanese rivals, but it’s not far behind either.
Space is far from being a problem, as both the driver and passengers are treated with a right amount of head-, leg- and shoulder room.
The center console is nicely integrated into the dash and is available with a tasty wood trim which gives the cabin a touch of class.
Every control is placed within easy reach and we also like the gear knob position which makes it easy to maneuver. The cluster continues the intuitive layout found on the dashboard and it’s fitted with big, easy to read gauges.
Unfortunately, the four spoke steering wheel won’t win you any beauty awards, as it looks pretty dull and uninspired. It’s also a bit too thin for our tastes and doesn’t inspire the same amount of confidence found at other units in its class. At least, it can be adjusted according to your wishes, so you’ll find a good driving position in no time.
The seats however, are deep and supportive offering a good level of comfort for both long and short journeys. Moreover, they are available with leather upholstery and electric adjustments. We also like the central arm rest which hides a convenient storage compartment.
The truck is also fitted with an audio system, electric windows, air conditioning and cruise control as standard equipment.
There are many cubbies and consoles spread around the cab and there is plenty of storage area behind the back seat and a good sized glove compartment.
Engines and performance
At the heart of the Musso you’ll find a Mercedes sourced 2.0 liter turbo diesel engine. The unit has enough grunt to keep the vehicle nimble around the city, but its 117 hp aren’t enough to give it sporty performances on the highway, as you’ll be able to hit a maximum speed of only 156 kmph.
However, the engine is pretty responsive and has proper towing abilities, thanks to its generous torque which is rated at 245 Nm @ 2400 rpm. The acceleration is far from being impressive, as the truck can hit the 100 kmph mark in merely 16.4 seconds.
Luckily, the average fuel consumption won’t leave you broke as the truck requires only 8.8 liters of fuel at every 100 km.
The engine can be mated on either five speed manual or four speed automatic transmissions both coming from Mercedes.
SsangYong Musso Engines Specifications
|Engine||hp @ rpm||nm@rpm|
|2.9 liter||117 @ 4100||245 @ 2400|
Ride and handling
The Musso pickup was build using the Musso SUV’s body mounted on a modified Rexton chassis. The suspension is a torsion bar independent at the front and coil-spring, five-link live axle at the rear. The ride is pretty smooth and comfortable, with most of the road bumps kept far from your back.
The overall handling is also pretty good and the vehicle rides more like an SUV than a full sized pickup. Body lean however, is pretty big and there is also a pretty pronounced under steer effect at higher speeds.
City driving is reasonable with a turn circle length of 11 m.
When the road gets tougher, you can engage the all wheel drive system, but don’t expect to Land Rover-type performances, as the Musso was designed only for moderate off road conditions.
The SsangYong Musso Pickup gets an impressive list of safety systems which includes 4-channel, 4-sensor ABS Anti-lock brakes, a limited slip differential, front airbags and an ultra strong HDPE fuel tank that is heat and light resistant. Not to mention about the seat belt pretensioners and the auto adjusting rear-view mirror.
Overall the SsangYong Musso did its job fairly good. It offered a lot of premium features at a bargain price and was also fitted with Mercedes-sourced engines and transmissions. Apart from its reliable German parts, the truck also offered a pretty good overall refinement and a high class cabin.
The ride and handling weren’t something to rave about, but they coped well with the sophisticated air of the truck. On the other hand, the off road driving was far from being competitive.
The main attraction however remains the price - $26,990.