Ssangyong Musso test drive review

The SsangYong Musso arrives in the UK to high hopes. The company’s passenger car range of SUVs has been improving of late, and our initial drive in a Korean-spec model earlier this year was promising.

However, there are differences between the Korean and UK markets, most notably the legislation around payload. In Korea, a payload of 750kg is acceptable, whereas the UK needs 1000kg after the weight of any load covers have been factored in.

To be able to safely and legally take 1000kg of load, the UK cars have to come with different suspension from heir Korean counterparts. SsangYong has chosen, unusually, to not use leaf springs on the rear of the truck, but the settings aren’t quite right and the set-up has an unfortunately detrimental impact on the ride. Without anything in the loading bay, the ride has a low-level shudder that is ever-present and unpleasant. It handles well, otherwise, with a decent cornering ability that isn’t common on a pick-up.

It’s a shame, because it takes the gloss off what is an otherwise very impressive truck. The interior isn’t as plush as the best in the class, but it is hard wearing and very smart for a vehicle that is looking to offer value over outright luxury.

The level of kit on offer is outstanding, too, with DAB and Bluetooth on every model, and all but the basic trim coming with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with smartphone streaming abilities. Given the price of the Musso, this represents seriously good value.

On the move, the cabin manages to keep most of the noise out, too. It’s not quite car-level quiet, but it is remarkably hushed.

The rear deck is big enough for a Euro pallet, but it isn’t the biggest in the class. At just 1300mm long it is a fair way shorter than the likes of the Ford Ranger. This is partly because the Musso is shorter than its rivals overall, which should help it be that bit more agile in town. If this is an issue, which it might be for some who prioritise space over everything else, then SsangYong says a longer version is planned for the future.

The loading bay is a decent space, though and it has a hard-wearing liner and a 12V charging socket.

There is a great amount of room in the cabin, too, so at least four adults will be able to travel in comfort, and a fifth will fit for a short distance.

SsangYong has said it is looking to solve the suspension problems, and if it does then the Musso will be an excellent proposition. Until it does that, it is hard to recommend over rivals, even with the impressive value it offers.