Well, hello. We’d almost forgotten about the other Korean – you know, SsangYong.

After some financial woes, restructure and change of ownership, SsangYong is back in
business selling cars, with two SUVs and a 4×4 dual cab ute to offer.

Originally launched here in 2004, Musso was available as both a ute and SUV, the former
called the Musso Sports, which attracted buyers with a bargain price and Mercedes-
sourced turbo-diesel.

These days ute and SUV have parted company, but it’s the Musso 4×4 dual cab ute that
we are checking out here and its bid to grab a slice of the lucrative sports utility market.

Launched in 2018, Musso is offered in two lengths with different-sized tubs, but is not
available in cab-chassis form with a metal tray replacement.

Musso comes in a choice of short or long wheelbase, both with the same 2.2-litre turbo-

The short wheelbase version is 5095mm long, with a 3100mm wheelbase and 1300mm
long tub – and can carry a 790kg payload.

At 5409mm, the XLV is 314mm longer, with a stretched 3210mm wheelbase and extended
1600mm tub that is able to accommodate a full tonne (1020kg). The shorter version is
fitted with benign five-link coil suspension and is more of a sports focused model.

Tick the box for the long wheelbase option and it also comes with supportive leaf springs
at the rear and is targeted at the working end of the market.

Both versions have independent, double-wishbone front suspension.

There are two grades from which to choose, ELX and Ultimate, with a couple of add-on
packs from which to pick.

Prices start from $36,790 driveaway for the short wheelbase ELX with a six-speed manual.
The long wheelbase ELX is $38,290 driveaway, also with a manual. An auto adds $2000.

Ultimate is priced from $43,090 driveaway, with an auto and metallic paint throw in. Adding
the longer tub takes the price to $44,590 and topping it off with the Luxury Pack takes the
total driveaway price to $47,590.

Metallic paint is $495, the XLV Pack $1500 and Ultimate Pack $3000.
Even at these prices it leaves plenty of overhead for further optioning the vehicle — and
there’s plenty of them.

Sports bars, fender flares, side steps, tub liner, roller tonneau, under-body protection and
sports suspension kits are available.

There’s a choice of six colours. Atlantic Blue is standard; Grand White, Silky White Pearl,
Marble Grey, Space Black or Indian Red cost extra.

Standard kit includes cloth seats and manual air, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 18-
inch alloys, cruise control, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights, projector headlights
with integrated LED turn signals, front and rear parking sensors, auto high beam, auto
lights and wipers and an auto dimming mirror.

Ultimate adds black 18-inch alloys, artificial leather, heated and cooled front seats, heated
steering wheel, 360-degree camera and walk-away locking.

Our test vehicle was the short wheelbase Ultimate with $205 Luxury Pack fitted at $46,685

It adds Nappa leather, dual zone climate air, HID headlights, power-adjust front seats,
powered driver lumbar support, heated rear seats and a power operated sunroof.

Musso is covered by a 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty, with 7-year roadside
assistance and 7-year capped price servicing.

The warranty extends to commercial use.

Infotainment consists of an 8.0-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio, Bluetooth, AM/FM
radio and wired Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

It’s not the fastest, or most intuitive system that we have used – but it’s not the worst

At times it can be difficult to see, particularly in strong sunlight.

The front console offers two USB-A ports, a 12V/120W power outlet and a cigarette lighter.

A 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel produces 133kW of power at 4000 rpm and 400Nm of
torque from 1400-2800 rpm.

The latter figure rises to 420Nm in the longer XLV but is available over a narrower band
from 1600 to 2600 rpm, presumably because it is expected to carry heavier loads.

Transmission is six-speed manual or six-speed auto, with drive to the rear wheels and
selectable four-wheel drive, with 2Hi, 4Hi and 4Lo ranges. It also has an auto-locking rear

As yet Musso has not been rated by ANCAP for safety and we cannot justifiably award
more than five points for this feature on this basis.

But the safety story is a strong one with six airbags, a rear-view camera and Autonomous
Emergency Braking (AEB) with Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Front
Vehicle Start Warning, Active Rollover Protection and Driver Attention Warning.

Ultimate adds Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Rear Cross Traffic Warning (RCTW) Lane
Change Collision Warning (LCW) and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

Two ISOFIX and three top tether child seat anchors are provided.

The entry level model lacks reach adjustment for the steering wheel, but in a real faux-pas
the rear-centre seating position is equipped only with a lap seat belt.

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen one of these in a modern vehicle.

Musso’s new body-on-frame platform is shared with the SsangYong Rexton.
The rigid body-on-frame design features high strength steel with eight large mounting
points that contribute to lower levels of road noise and a more refined ride.

Weighing up to 2090kg, it can tow a 3500kg braked load and is equipped with trailer sway
control as standard.

Steering is hydraulic in ELX but Ultimate scores speed sensitive power steering, with an
11.8-metre or 12.2-metre turning circle depending on wheelbase.

And, in something of a rarity for the segment, it comes with four-wheel disc brakes,
ventilated at the front — most of the more fancied utes still come with rear drums.

With a 75-litre tank, fuel consumption ranges from 7.9 to 9.0L/100km, depending on grade
and wheelbase.

Nexen N Priz RH7 road tyres are fitted, with 255/60 18s for Musso and 235/70 17s for XLV
— silver for ELX and black for Ultimate.

A full-size spare is provided.

We’ve always felt the tub in the Musso was too short, a bit stubby even compared to other
utes. The latest model addresses this issue, at least with the long wheelbase XLV which
boasts one of the longest tubs in its class.

Having said that, we were still able to transport a heavy, power adjustable hospital-style
bed in the short wheelbase, even though the end jutted over the tailgate.
Fortunately, it was only for a short distance.

Although our test vehicle was not fitted with side steps, grab handles at each of the four
doors makes entry easier.

Rear legroom is limited, particularly for knees which press the back of the front seat.
Musso is push-button start and performance is surprisingly strong, both off the mark and in
roll-on acceleration.

You can change gears manually with a thumb-operated switch on the side of the
transmission lever.

The feel is solid but nothing fancy, with stiff suspension that generates plenty of old school
shake and shudder. Large bumps are likely to produce some steering wheel backlash.

The digital instrument cluster looks a bit underdone and while you can choose from three
different skins, it needs to be more configurable.

In terms of dimensions, the standard tub is 1300mm x 1570mm x 570mm, with a width of
1100mm between wheel arches. The longer tub is 1600mm, with other dimensions the

The first holds 1011 litres while the longer tub has a 1262-litre capacity — an increase of
almost 25 per cent.

As for off-road capability, Musso presents mainly as a farm or worksite candidate.

Weekend warriors will need to invest in a lift kit and some chunkier all-terrain rubber to
tackle anything tougher.
Low range gearing and a locking rear diff deliver plenty of traction, with hill descent control
as well as hill start assist to help.

But a silly 23-degree approach angle, modest 215mm ground clearance and equally shy
350mm wading depth are limiting factors, the former when it comes to negotiating tricky
fire trails with some rock hopping involved.

But the foundations are good and Musso certainly has potential.

We were getting an impressive 7.1L/100km after more than 500km.

Musso is the proverbial value for money.

The styling is generic but the basics are there, it just needs fine tuning to meet market

To wit we live in a digital world and that means digital radio and a wireless charge pad
need to be added.

It’s got the desired black wheels but a sports bar and soft tonneau (at minimum) are
needed to complete the look that 4×4 dual cab buyer’s desire.

CarPlay and Android Auto are okay when they work, but when you’re out in the sticks and
run out of reception — built-in navigation is your friend.

These electronic aids are all available in other markets, but have obviously been removed
to keep down the price.

While resale could be an issue, Musso presents as a quality product with more than
enough off-road capability for most, at a price that is frankly difficult to ignore — don’t forget
the Nappa leather and vented front seats.

Looks: 7/10
Performance: 7.5/10
Safety: 5/10
Thirst: 8/10
Practicality: 7.5/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 7.5/10
Value: 8/10
Overall: 7.2/10


ELX manual, $36,790
ELX auto, $38,790
ELX XLV manual, $38,290
ELX XLV auto, $40,290
Ultimate auto, $43,090
Ultimate XLV auto, $44,590
Ultimate Luxury auto, $46,090
Ultimate XLV Luxury auto, $47,590
Note: These prices are driveaway and include government or dealer delivery charges.

SPECIFICATIONS: (SsangYong Musso Ultimate 4×4 dual cab utility, 2.2-litre turbo-diesel,
6spd automatic, part-time 4WD)

Capacity: 2.2 litres
Configuration : In-line four-cylinder turbocharged diesel
Maximum Power: 133kW of power @ 4000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 400Nm from 1400-2800 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 9.0 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 211 g/km

DRIVELINE: 6-speed automatic, part-time four-wheel drive

Length: 5095 mm
Wheelbase: 3100 mm
Width: 1950 mm
Height: 1840 mm
Turning Circle: 11.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 2090 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 75 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

7 years / unlimited kilometers

About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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