KGM Musso Saracen

KGM Musso, 2024, front
KGM Musso, 2024, front, off road
KGM Musso, 2024, side, off road
KGM Musso, 2024, interior

SSANGYONGis now called KGM in the UK, a name which may or may not catch on. The good thing is that, fans of off-road pick-ups will also know the Musso as a SsangYong.

The name may have changed but the company's reputation for rugged, four-wheel drive pick-ups that blend practicality with great value for money continues.

That reputation is backed by a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, which covers major mechanical components including wheel bearings, suspension joints and bushes, steering joints, and shock absorbers.

Last year, a refreshed Musso entered the market, boasting striking chrome-finished front styling and grille, especially enhancing the visual impact of the top-selling Saracen and Saracen+ variants.

The Musso is available in four specifications - EX, Rebel and Saracen in standard bed length, and the Saracen+ in a longer length bed.

Saracen and Saracen+ models are fitted with electrically-operated heated and cooled Nappa leather seats, backed-up by a heated leather steering wheel. The rear seats on the Saracen models are also heated.

Based on the same undercarriage as the Rexton SUV, the Musso's interior also feels more like an upmarket car rather than a utilitarian workhorse. The dashboard design is largely copied across from the Rexton and provides the Musso with a cabin that is a cut above the class standard, due to its soft-touch materials and attractive design.

The dashboard is topped with pleasant material that's soft to the touch, while the rest of the controls, buttons and switches are machined to a high enough standard that they all feel solid and reliable.

All versions of the Musso feature a DAB radio with Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, but move up to the Saracen trim and you'll find a 12.3-inch digital driver's display, a rear-view camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Saracen stands out from the crowd due to its black exterior pack, its 18-inch black alloy wheels, Nappa leather seats, power adjustable driver's and front passenger seats, heated rear seats, dual zone automatic climate control, a 9.2-inch screen with TomTom navigation, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and Saracen graphics.

It also has an upgraded instrument panel, projection headlamps, LED daylight running lights, triple LED fog lights, dark tinted rear privacy glass, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The Saracen is available with a six-speed automatic transmission only but all Musso variants are powered by a turbocharged 2.2-litre diesel engine, delivering 199bhp at 3,800rpm and maximum torque of 441Nm at 1,600 to 2,600rpm.

All versions are fitted with a part-time four-wheel-drive system that sends drive to the front wheels only when it is needed. High and low range 4WD modes are also selectable by the driver when the going gets even tougher.

The Saracen officially returns 31.5mpg while I managed 27.5mpg in everyday use.

The engine is surprisingly quiet and smooth and the pick-up is extremely comfortable. My 82-year-old mother enjoyed it so the NVH engineers are doing something right.

From the driver's seat, the Musso offers a typically panoramic view of the road ahead thanks to the high ride height and driving position, while the electric seat controls and steering column rake and reach adjustment make it easy for drivers of all sizes to get comfortable.

The Musso also has impressive ground clearance which is useful for owners who do go off-road.

Space is a crucial factor for working vehicles like pick-ups, and the Musso delivers on all counts. For the driver and passenger, head and legroom are more than adequate with a double-cab configuration - the only one available - that gives three rear seat passengers easier entry and crucial extra space.

In a nice touch, the flat-bed features rotating hooks to secure cargo and a 12v power outlet. Its size allows a standard Euro pallet to be carried, with a 1,095kg payload maximum for automatic models.

The towingcommunity should give the Musso deserves serious consideration too - it is the only pick-up truck offered in the UK which can tow 3,500kg and carry a payload of over 1,000kg at the same time.

To keep occupants safe, there are up to six airbags inside and a steering wheel and column that's designed to minimise injuries in a collision.

Despite it's 'budget brand' tag, the Musso offers excellent value for money, with no cutting of corners - it's comprehensively equipped, refined and capable.

£38,643 (£32,260 ex VAT)

199bhp, 2,157cc, diesel engine driving all-four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox

113mph

11.9 seconds

31.5

50

236g/km

37%

5yrs/100,000 miles

4

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