The choice of 4X4 pick-up has tailed off a little lately. Makers who concentrated on the ‘lifestyle’ market have suffered from its fickle nature and the reincarnation of a Land Rover Defender Commercial – albeit no pickup – hasn’t helped. SsangYong’s first attempt at this sector was not a success. The previous shape Musso SUV dating from 1993 gave its underpinnings to the Musso Sport from 2002 to 2005. Being station-wagon based – much like Mitsubishi’s 4Work Shogun derivatives – it lacked the required payload, but it countered that with the best unladen ride comfort of any pick-up of its era. 

It was a lifestyle pick-up too soon, contrasting the true Musso Pick-up’s late entry to the sector as recently as 2018. It is this model we look at here, including the 2021 facelift.

Two wheelbase options of 3.1m as standard and 3.2m in the Rhino version, hardly seem worth the bother, but the Rhino also adds a big rear overhang giving a 300mm difference in overall lengths, which stand at 5.1 and 5.4m respectively. Just shy of 2.0m wide overall and a maximum height of 1.85m makes it class-central from a dimensional viewpoint. The load bay is typical double-cab fare. A width of 1.56m is shared with lengths of 1.3 and 1.6m for SWB or Rhino. Off the beaten track, 220mm of ground clearance is nothing special while approach, departure and ramp angles all hover around a lowly 20°, thanks to the long-wheelbase and Rhino’s overhang. However, it has low range gears in the part-time 4WD transmission and hill descent control. Payload is decent, with the standard vehicle taking up to 1,095kg depending on specification and the Rhino boasting some 1,140kg. Towing is always a given for these vehicles and the SsangYong offers 3,200kg with manual transmission and 3,500kg for the automatic giving a two-pedal Rhino and trailer a class-leading overall payload. Not bad for the new kid. A clue there too as to the overall gearing for the 12% incline train restart favouring the torque converter transmission – which you
and I know is always the best option for towing.

The 2.2L diesel offers 199hp and some 440Nm of torque, pre-2021 examples offer a bit less, sure it’s pretty turbo-dependent in the same manner as the Isuzu D-Max, so you have to keep it on the boil, but once more the automatic transmission makes life easier and while it’s not a refined engine, it gets the task done.

The cab interior is functional if a bit dated, but equipment levels are good with DAB, Bluetooth, A/C and auto-headlights on the basic EX. The Rebel adds an 8in screen, reversing camera and heated seats, whilst the Saracen has leather, bigger screen satnav, blind spot and rear traffic detection and parking sensors up for grabs.

The Musso might lack the quality feel of a Hilux, the dealer network is smaller than the big players and resale values unknown. However, it is a decent workhorse, well worth a look.

Five best options

1) LWB (Rhino)

2) Automatic transmission

3) 2021 facelift 

4) Rebel trim

5) Saracen trim

Five best avoided

1) SWB

2) Manual transmission

3) EX trim

4) Pre-2021 models

5) Aftermarket accessories

Second-hand buys





Price ex.VAT

2.2D EX Auto  





2.2D Rebel  





2.2D Rebel 





2.2D Saracen 





2.2D Saracen