What is it? Double-cab pick-up version of revamped Korando SUV.
Key features: Double-cab format with new 178hp turbo-diesel engine.
Our view: Interior is durable and hard wearing, but remains comfortable. SsangYong has ensured that the essential basics are all there.
Type of review: Taster Test


What’s new? The Musso is effectively a significant update to SsangYong’s Korando, and revives a name used on a rugged SUV, developed from a Daewoo model, that the Korean brand sold in its early years around the turn of the millennium. The DNA of the vehicle is demonstrated in its name – Musso is Korean for Rhinoceros…

The pick-up truck comes in double-cab format, yet still retains enough space in the load bed – 2.04 square metres – to accommodate a Europallet, and offers a one-tonne payload.

Hauling this along is a new diesel engine – the old 153hp unit has made way for a new 178hp turbo-diesel to Euro-6 compliance. It’s mated to either a six-speed manual or a new Aisin six-speed auto transmission, while selectable all-wheel-drive is standard and includes a low ratio.

What do we think of it? Climb up into the Musso and the surroundings are familiar SsangYong, the interior designed to be durable and hard wearing rather than upmarket. But the essential basics are all there.Musso

It’s easy to get comfortable, and the visibility is good. The new engine certainly feels more refined than its predecessor, and it hustles the vehicle along without fuss, and with enough grunt to suit its intended environment.

The combination of a high-slung vehicle and a light rear end makes for lively road manners if one corners too quickly, but this is typical of pick-ups which are designed to be load luggers. What is particularly impressive is the ride – SsangYong claims to be the only maker offering a multi-link rear suspension with progressive coil springs on a pick-up, and it shows in the car-like progress.

The tailgate is pretty heavy to lift into place but the load bed boasts hard wearing surfaces that will take the treatment generally meted out to vehicles of this type.

Verdict: You know what you are getting with a SsangYong – the brand makes no secret of the fact that it produces good, solid vehicles for a budget price, and the same is true of the Musso.

You won’t find plush surfaces and soft-touch plastics, but you will get something that is tough and can do the job for a price others can’t match – from a mere £15,995 plus VAT. Choose the EX version, with extras that include a black finish on the alloy wheels, a powered driving seat, auto air conditioning, auto headlights and wipers and a seven-inch touchscreen RDS radio with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, and you’ll pay £17,995. And you can also have this model with the new Aisan auto gearbox, another £1,000.

For those who need a pick-up for their job but are on a tight budget, the Musso is well worth a serious look.

Tested model: SsangYong Musso pick-up EX Auto
Price: £18,995 plus VAT (range starts £15,995)
On sale: September 2016
Engine: 2.2-litre diesel, 178hp, 400Nm
0-62mph and max speed: TBA, 119mph
Economy and CO2 emissions: 36.7mpg, 202g/km
Test date: 20 September 2016

The Van Expert Taster Tests are concise summaries of new models to the market, that we have driven for under 50 miles. They are often preludes to full road tests of the vehicle at a later date.1609-ssangyong-musso-one-tonne-pick-up-05

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
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Andrew Charman
Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Van Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.