The What Van? Road Test: Ssangyong Musso (2020)

Date: Wednesday, April 14, 2021


Ssangyong Cabin

Interior and equipment

Steps along the sills aid cab access and the Rhino comes with so much interior kit that it is difficult to know where to start. So let’s begin with the two front seats. 

They both boast heaters and are electrically adjustable. The writer’s regular travelling companion made a point of praising the passenger seat for its comfort and the amount of support it offers. The big, and very welcome, surprise is that each front seat also comes with a ventilation system that cools it in hot weather. The Rhino is the only light commercial we can recall encountering that offers this praiseworthy function.

The height and reach-adjustable leather-covered steering wheel comes with a heater too. The rim doesn’t get all that hot, just comfortingly warm to the touch. The wheel plays host to remote controls for the DAB radio. 

A 9.2in touchscreen is included in the deal, as are TomTom satnav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity and MP3 compatibility.

You will find USB and aux-in sockets at the bottom of the dashboard along with a 12v power point.

Dual-zone climate control and cruise control are fitted, as are electric windows all round – the rear side windows are tinted for privacy – and the electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors fold in electrically too. The exterior door handles and mirror casings are colour coordinated with the rest of the body.

Sensors and a camera with impressive image clarity make reversing that bit safer, while front sensors help ensure you avoid walloping the truck’s nose when you are parking.

Storage facilities include a roomy, lidded and lockable glove box, a large lidded bin between the front seats accompanied by a couple of cup holders and a shelf positioned forward from the gearshift. A holder above the windscreen can accommodate your sunglasses or face coverings.

Legroom for the three rear passengers is better than we expected.  Like the front seats, the back seats are leather-trimmed and the two outermost passengers benefit from heaters. The control buttons are mounted on the back doors. The middle passenger
has to put up with being chilly, however, and is held in place solely
by a lap strap. 

Everyone else in the cab is protected by lap and diagonal belts and we cannot understand why the piggy in the middle doesn’t benefit from one as well.

If the centre seat is unoccupied then the middle section of the seat back can be folded down and turned into an arm rest with a handy pair of cup holders.

Grab handles are positioned on the B-pillars so that the outermost rear passengers have something to hold on to if the off-road going gets rough. Handles are also installed above all the doors.

Onboard safety systems include ABS, electronic stability programme, active rollover protection, electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist system. Hill start assist, lane departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert are provided too. If you are reversing onto the highway then the latter will warn you if a vehicle is coming.

While that all sounds comprehensive enough, we can think of one or two other devices that might be of benefit: forward collision warning and traffic sign recognition would be useful,
for example.

Front fog lights are fitted, and automatic headlight control and rain-sensing wipers ensure you can see and be seen. The latter also boast their own de-icer. 

Driver and front passenger airbags provide potentially useful protection, with side airbags in the B-pillars providing extra reassurance. Curtain airbags are installed as well, making six airbags in total.

The suspension employs a double-wishbone set-up at the front and leaf springs at the back. Our pick-up’s 17ins alloy wheels were shod with Nexen Roadian HTX 235/70 R17 tyres.


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