SsangYong Musso

Rhino automatic

SsangYong Musso Rhino, 2020, front
SsangYong Musso Rhino, 2020, side
SsangYong Musso Rhino, 2020, rear
SsangYong Musso Rhino, 2020, load bay
SsangYong Musso Rhino, 2020, interior

THE popularity of pick-up trucks continues to grow as business owners take advantage of tax breaks but that is not the whole story.

More are being bought for use as family and lifestyle vehicles because of their versatility, towing power and 4x4 ability to go anywhere.

Korean manufacturer SsangYoung brought the Musso to UK roads back in 2018 and although it is up against some tough opposition it is building a following because of its very attractive pricing.

The Musso was given a major facelift and trim improvements in the autumn of last year and now is more able to tackle the big-hitters from Ford and Toyota.

SsangYong delivers value for money right across its SUV range and the Musso shares quite a lot with the brand's flagship Rexton range and that is no bad thing.

The updates gave the Musso a new front bumper, large slatted grille, smart upright foglamps and new alloys as well as some trim improvements.

The entry-level EX model starts from £23,510 with the VAT exemption - and this is the truck with few frills aimed at those who just need a workhorse for the farm or construction sites.

If you want the Musso for a lifestyle vehicle then the Rebel or Saracen models will suit you better as they add lots more creature comforts and tech that you would expect to find in a family car.

If you want even more look at the range-topping Rhino model which I have just sampled as it brings even more kit, as well as a class-leading load bed. It costs £31,510 with the tax break.

It offers all the equipment you need, including leather upholstery, air conditioning, a touchscreen infotainment system, Apple and Android smartphone connectivity, rear-view camera, power adjustable front seats, heated front and rear seats and cruise control and navigation.

The double cab is very spacious with lots of storage and it seems well put together.

Power comes from a 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine, producing 181PS and on the Rhino it is mated to an automatic gearbox. Manual transmission is available in the lesser models.

It provides enough grunt to haul a 3.5 tonne trailer while simultaneously carrying a 1,095kg load and it is also capable of decent acceleration.

After initial start-up noise the engine settles down and is reasonably quiet even when pushed quite hard.

The light steering makes driving and manoeuvring this very large vehicle surprisingly easy and the selectable 4x4 system means it will go just about anywhere.

Power is delivered permanently to the rear wheels and front wheel drive is dialed in electronically as required, with high and low ratio settings available as conditions get tougher. The system also includes hill descent control and hill start assist.

Backed by a fantastic seven-year, 150,000-mile warranty, the Musso has a lot going for it and is a serious value for money alternative to the big boys.

£37,743 (£31,510 excl. VAT)

181ps, 2,157cc diesel engine driving all wheels via 6-speed automatic transmission

115mph

11.9 seconds

29.4

43

250g/km

37%

7yrs/150,000 miles

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