The Korean firm’s cut-price Nissan Navara alternative is due on UK roads this summer with an all-new look. Its front end bears strong resemblance to that of the Rexton SUV, with which the Musso is heavily technically related.
Using the same architecture as the new Rexton, the Musso’s body-on-frame construction is 81.7% high-strength steel. Ssangyong says this not only enhances the Musso’s rigidity for better safety but also boosts its handling and off-road abilities.
The new car comes with an updated version of its predecessor’s 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine. The e-XDi220 unit, developed internally by Ssangyong and shared with the Rexton, produces 181bhp and 310lb ft of torque – jumps of 5bhp and, more significantly, 15lb ft on its predecessor.
This grunt enables the Musso to carry more than a tonne of weight in the back and tow a 3.5-tonne trailer. Power is channelled to a part-time four-wheel-drive system via a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic gearbox.
When cruising, the car can decouple drive to the front axle, making the Musso rear-drive in its most economical guise. Torque is only sent to the front wheels when necessary, although the car can be set to permanent all-wheel drive for low-grip surfaces.
The pick-up’s off-road ability is helped by a 215mm ground clearance and relatively short overhangs. It measures 5095mm long and 1950mm wide, with the roofline set at 1840mm. It features a load deck with a rear door that folds flat to provide space for a full-sized Euro-pallet – the wooden base for transporting heavy goods often used by industry.
Inside, where there’s space for five passengers, Ssangyong has significantly upgraded the cabin. A more cleanly designed dash features a centrally mounted 8.0in touchscreen that’s standard, with DAB radio, Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity. High-spec models gain Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.