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Pick-up a Musso for a top value workhorse

Motoring expert Colin Goodwin reviews the SsangYong load lugger which undercuts its classier rivals.

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A while back, an official at the Inland Revenue got a bit heated about people buying pick-up trucks and taking advantage of the tax benefits of running a commercial vehicle, while in reality using them as private transport.

One manufacturer offered this official a test drive, having drained some hydraulic fluid out of the power steering system. Not surprisingly, the official gave in, admitting that the pick-up in question really did drive like a truck. SsangYong will never have to perform the same trickery to persuade anyone that its Musso pick-up truck is anything other than a workhorse.

First thing you need to know about the Musso is that it’s miles cheaper than all of its rivals. We’re testing the top of the range EX which is 4wd and comes with an automatic gearbox.

On the road price £18,995 plus VAT. By comparison Nissan’s cheapest Navara comes in at £23,520 plus VAT.

You get what you pay for and the Musso is not as sophisticated as the Nissan or other rivals. It’s fitted with a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel motor that produces 178bhp.

SsangYong don’t provide a 0-62mph figure but tell us that the Musso will do 108mph. Its CO2 figures are also significantly poorer than rivals.

The engine itself does the job and isn’t too noisy around town and is quiet on motorways. There’s quite a bit of turbo lag but the automatic gearbox hides it well.

The Musso’s interior contains a lot of cheap looking plastic but, to be fair to the Korean manufacturer, rival pick-ups hardly challenge Rolls-Royce on quality of trim and fittings. Besides, do you really want to mix a snazzy interior with muddy work boots?

Pick-up a Musso for a top value workhorse

There’s a seven-inch colour touchscreen with Bluetooth and a reversing camera, plus a raft of equipment that comes as standard with the EX including cruise control, automatic headlamps and wipers, heated seats and remote central locking.

The front seats are comfortable and there’s lots of space both up front and in the rear.

The Musso has a towing capacity of 3 tonnes braked and 750kg unbraked and a payload of a tonne with enough space to carry a Euro pallet. Underneath the pick-up bed sits a multilink rear suspension set-up that’s rather more sophisticated than its rivals’. Shame it doesn’t feel that way in practice.

You won’t need to bleed the steering system to convince the taxman or anyone else that your Musso is a truck – just drive it over a speed bump or pothole to prove it.

It bounces over them and crashes back down to earth the other side. Hopefully it might be a bit more relaxed with a full load in the back.

Despite these reservations, SsangYong’s Musso does look the part and is no less cool than its more expensive competition. Personally, I’d only consider one if budget is very important because it is unquestionably very good value.

If it is going to be used for transporting the family, though, then a search down the back of the sofa for the extra money to move up to a Navara, Toyota Hilux or Mitsubishi L200 would be a wise move.

The Facts

SsangYong Musso EX crew-cab pick-up

Price: £18,995 plus VAT

Engine: 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel, 178bhp

0-62mph: N/A

Fuel consumption: 37.0mpg



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

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