The What Van? Road Test: Ssangyong Musso (2018)

Date: Friday, August 9, 2019   |   Author: Steve Banner


Musso Rear 3_4


The seven-year/150,000-mile warranty covers the major mechanical components plus the wheel bearings, suspension joints and bushes, steering joints, shock absorbers and even the audio system. Components particularly prone to wear such as clutch discs and brake friction materials are covered for one year/12,500 miles, and the battery and paintwork for three years. At one year/12,500 miles, the service interval makes sense. The intervals between a light commercial visiting a workshop can sometimes be too long, especially if it is used extensively off-road or tows a heavy trailer regularly. The official combined fuel economy is a not overly impressive 32.9mpg, a figure we struggled to achieve over a route that admittedly included a fair amount of high-speed motorway work.

We just about managed to average 30mpg. All this means that the official CO2 figure is quite high, at 226g/km. It’s good to see that a full-size spare wheel rather than a tyre inflator and sealer is available. The latter will be useless if you end up with a massive gash in a sidewall while driving over rough terrain because it will not be capable of sealing the hole. Our light commercial vehicle was finished in optional metallic paint, with colour-keyed door handles. Build quality is good overall aside from the worryingly flimsy in-cab bonnet release lever. The open bonnet is supported by gas-filled struts, which is preferable to having to fiddle about with a metal support.

Ssangyong Musso Rebel 4x4 auto double-cab

Price (ex VAT)    £24,430
Price range (ex VAT)     £20,680-£28,930
Gross payload     1,085kg
Load length     1,300mm
Load width (min/max)     1,110/1,500mm
Load bay height     600mm
Loading height     765mm
Gross vehicle weight     3,215kg
Braked trailer towing weight     3,500kg
Residual value     28.7%*
Cost per mile      52.0p
Engine size/power    2,157cc, 181hp @ 4,000rpm
Torque     400Nm @ 1,600-2,600rpm
Gearbox     6-spd auto
Fuel economy     32.9mpg (combined)
Fuel tank     75 litres
CO2      226g/km
Warranty     7yrs/150,000mls
Service intervals     1yr/12,500mls
Insurance group     41
Price as tested      £26,805

*after 4yrs/80,000mls; source:  KwikCarcost



Options fitted

Metallic paint     £430
Hard top      £1,945


Ford Ranger
Price (ex VAT)  £20,845-£39,895
Gross payload    1,059-1,307kg
Engines     130hp, 170hp, 213hp 2.0 diesel

Verdict: On sale with an optional 10-speed auto gearbox and an Ecoblue diesel engine, the heavily revised Ford Ranger is starting to make its presence felt, with the top-of-the-range, stunning-looking, Raptor winning plenty of plaudits. The Blue Oval brand is emphasising safety as well as style and all-round capability, with pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and intelligent speed limiter standard features.

Isuzu D-Max
Price (ex VAT). £15,994-£28,994
Gross payload    1,091-1,282kg
Engines    164hp 1.9 diesel

Verdict: A tough, no-nonsense workhorse and What Van?’s Pick-Up of the Year for 2019, the Isuzu D-Max rides and handles competently and is marketed with a wide choice of  specifications. With so many pick-up manufacturers – Ssangyong included – solely interested in the double-cab market, it is gratifying to see that this manufacturer also lists two-door single-cab and extended-cab variants.

Toyota Hilux
Price (ex VAT). £20,828-£45,916
Gross payload 1,095-1,130kg
Engines  148hp 2.4 diesel

Verdict: Hugely successful worldwide, the Toyota Hilux has a justified reputation for being almost unbreakable. For a vehicle of its type its handling is exemplary, the ride is better
than one might expect from a 4x4 pick-up, and the range of derivatives and trim levels on offer means that there is something to suit almost everybody. A bit more power wouldn’t go amiss, though.

The Final Verdict



Well thought-out package but a longer cargo bed would be nice.



Offers a comfortable and well-equipped working environment.



Struggles on uneven surfaces when unladen.



Efforts to tackle noise, vibration and harshness have paid off.

Load area


Short but deep. Pick Rebel auto if you need to haul some weight.



Former is more than competent; latter is well up with rivals. 



Well-matched duo. The auto gearbox delivers power smoothly.

Standard equipment


Pick Rebel trim and to get most of the goodies, except satnav. 

Operating costs


A generous warranty has to be offset against mediocre mpg.

What Van? subjective rating


Attractive package, at a more sensible price than some rivals.

Overall Rating = 73/100


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