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They say that being hit by a rampaging Rhino is akin to being run over by a truck. Now, thanks to SsangYong, the comparison may be even more profound!

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You need a thick skin to be in the vehicle manufacturing business and, over the years, Korea’s oldest exponent, SsangYong has certainly not been immune to some slightly barbed comments. This has mostly centred around the badging of its various offerings and even the company admits that potential customers have traditionally found it confusing to fully distinguish between the Korando Sport pickupand its SUV cousin. So when it came to facelift time, the company decided to go right back to its roots and opt for Musso, a reintroduction of an old name which in Korean translates to Rhino.  

You have to say, that with a currently rampaging pickup market across the globe, the motorised version can hopefully look forward to a more secure future than its animal counterparts, who grow more endangered with every passing year, but it will still be a challenge to compete with noticeably bigger beasts in the arena.

 

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To be fair, before making any sort of evaluation about the new vehicle it is important to put things into context in terms of the on-the-road price. The brand has always positioned itself as one of the cheapest pickupmarket and, despite a full overhaul of the engine and some added touches of refinement, that is resolutely where it is determined to stay.

The big question is whether even at a modest £19,000 for a top of the range model, does it represent a good return on investment?

Our own road test was not as extensive as many we have experienced in this category, with no off road facility, but we saw enough to say that the Musso will certainly appeal to those who need a competitively priced one tonne work truck. More robust looking, with the practicality of a four-wheel drive, towing capability of up to three tonnes, all packaged with the appointments of a budget priced family car, it should provide SsangYong with the clear distinction between utility truck and passenger car which they have been striving for. 

The key improvement is a completely new Euro 6 turbo diesel engine which has been developed with the dual purpose of meeting the demand for a more powerful performance and lower CO2 emissions. Users can expect a very reasonable 40mpg and, with maximum torque delivered from a low of 1,400rpm through to 2,800rpm, the performance is acceptable responsive from the start. 

 

 

The new Musso is fitted with multi-link rear suspension and progressive rear coil springs – something not commonly found in pickups in this price bracket – and our well-laden test vehicle coped well enough on the open roads around Towcester although we did find the steering a little light. A proficient enough work horse certainly, although clearly not quite in the same category as the thoroughbreds on show at the nearby race track!

Two models will be available in the UK. The SE includes a new front grille and a slightly confusing dashboard as well as silver finish 18in. alloy wheels and a hard wearing, leather look TPU seat upholstery. It comes in at very respectable £15,995 ex Vat. The Ex is distinguished by black alloy wheels, roof rails, front LED daytime running lights, leather with heated front seats, automatic headlights and air conditioning, rain sensing wipers and a 7in. colour touchscreen RDS Radio with iPod and Bluetooth. The Ex manual transmission is priced at £17,995 ex Vat and six speed Aisin automatic £18,885 ex VAT. All models are covered by a five-year limitless mileage warranty including most mechanical components wearable items for 12,000 miles and battery and paintwork for three years.

A full range of load covers are available including ones with windows to make the Musso look less like a truck and more like an SUV… but let’s not go down that particular road again!

Click here to download a brochure of one of our current models.

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