The SsangYong Musso has traditionally been one of those Utes you have in the back of your mind.
Anecdotally, It’s certainly not spoken about amongst journalists nearly as often as its closest competitor, the GWM Cannon.
And yet, if you are looking for a budget Ute, the SsangYong Musso XLV we are testing today is a fantastic choice – particularly for those wanting more of a lifestyle oriented Ute.
We spent a week behind the wheel of the SsangYong Musso XLV to see why it should be on your Ute shortlist.
How much does the 2024 SsangYong Musso cost?
As far as Ute’s go, the SsangYong Musso remains relatively low priced in the Ute segment.
SsangYong Musso ELX
$36,790 AUD driveaway
SsangYong Musso Ultimate
$43,090 AUD driveaway
For the ELX, you can option the 6-speed Aisin torque converter transmission over the standard 6-speed manual, for $2,000 AUD.
For both the ELX and Ultimate, you can option the $1500 XLV pack which adds an extended wheelbase of 110mm and 300mm longer tub, giving an extra 251L of tub capacity. Not to mention, it also adds a retune to the engine to get 420Nm of torque between 1600-2600rpm, up from 400Nm. Note, this is only with the Automatic transmission.
It’s worth noting the Ultimate switches the suspension in the rear to coil springs over the standard old-school leaf spring.
The other pack on offer is the Luxury Pack, which adds dual zone climate control, a sunroof, Nappa leather seats, powered front seats and drivers lumbar support, and heated rear seats. It’s a $3000 AUD option, but if you’re looking for some of the nicest Ute seats out there, it’s well worth it.
Here’s a summary of all the 2024 SsangYong Musso specs:
SsangYong Musso ELX Features:
Part-time 4x4 with low & high range
Auto-locking rear differential
18-inch alloy wheels
Full size alloy spare wheel
Leather steering wheel
LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
12.3-inch digital LCD instrument cluster
8-inch touchscreen smart audio
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
SsangYong Musso Ultimate adds:
Heated front seats
Ventilated front seats
Heated leather steering wheel
Tilt and telescopic steering column
Smart key with auto locking
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Blind Spot Warning (BSW)
Rear Cross Traffic Warning (RCTW)
Lane Change-collision Warning (LCW)
For ELX: 6-speed Aisin torque converter transmission over standard 6-speed manual for $2,000 AUD.
Ultimate switches rear suspension to coil springs from leaf spring.
For both ELX and Ultimate: $1500 XLV pack which includes:
Extended wheelbase of 110mm
300mm longer tub
Extra 251L of tub capacity
Engine retune for 420Nm of torque between 1600-2600rpm (only with Automatic transmission)
Luxury Pack for $3000 AUD:
Dual zone climate control
Nappa leather seats
Powered front seats and driver's lumbar support
Heated rear seats.
There are also many accessories available, including our testers Constant Load Coil Spring Kit at $730 AUD incl. fitting, a tow bar for $1530 AUD incl. fitting and an Electronic Brake Controller for $620 AUD incl. fitting.
What’s the exterior like of the 2024 SsangYong Musso?
The SsangYong Musso is best described as a handsome ute. A ute that’s not overstyled, which is a surprisingly high-bar.
The front does have HID headlights, which are an older technology and frankly not quite as bright as what you will find on an equivalent GWM Cannon.
The grille is enormous, with LED daytime running lights which is always a nice touch.
Around the side are 18” alloy wheels with a black-out treatment, cameras on the side mirrors, and a noticeably long tub thanks to the XLV pack.
The rear is fine-looking, if not a little understated. It would be nice to have LED lights on the rear, as the fully halogen light assembly does look a bit cheap and competitors - like the GWM Cannon - have fully LED rears.
What’s the interior and connectivity like of the 2024 SsangYong Musso?
The thing that blows my mind on these ‘budget’ Utes – i.e. cheaper than an equivalent Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger or Isuzu D-Max – is the sheer niceness of the interior space.
Soft touch materials adorn the interior, and although a sea of black plastics, there are some good contrasting materials which helps break up the darker tone.
Interestingly, there are no side-steps to enter the cabin, although these are available as an optional extra. It does make getting in a little more annoying than other utes, due to the height of the Musso.
Technology is quite good, with a simple 8” touch screen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android auto, although the graphics can get washed out in bright sunlight.
Similarly, the 12.3” digital instrument cluster - which was added for 2022 - is decent, showing a lot of information but in a noticeably washed out, slow to respond manner.
Also new is a Volkswagen Amarok-esque storage area in the dash, and speaking of, there is plenty of storage for the glovebox and center armrest too.
Best of all though, are the seats. In our opinion, the Luxury Pack makes a huge difference in just how nice the seats are especially.
The Nappa leather is incredibly soft, and the heated and cooled function of them is an incredibly rare duo for any Ute.
The seats also become powered when you opt for the luxury pack, including lumbar support which was much appreciated on longer trips.
Luxury pack also adds dual zone climate control, and my favourite part of the aircon controls are just how logically they are laid out… no fiddling inside of a screen like a Ford Ranger of Volkswagen Amarok.
Not to mention the Sunroof as well, which again adds a touch of prestige.
The leather steering wheel is also great to hold onto, and is heated as well.
In terms of connectivity, up-front you get 2x12v sockets and 2xUSB-A ports.
Overall, the interior of the SsangYong Musso could be described as functional, if not a little uninspiring in design - but ultimately, the former is far more important.
What about the back seats of the 2024 SsangYong Musso?
Despite being in the XLV with a longer wheelbase, my knee room at 5’10” doesn’t leave much clearance.
Although headroom and toeroom are both fine.
In terms of rear seat amenities, although you get 2 air vents there are not device charging options in the rear, which may frustrate some parents especially.
As part of the luxury pack, the outboard rear seats are heated which is a nice touch.
How much can it fit in the boot of the 2024 SsangYong Musso?
The tub of the SsangYong Musso is quite impressive in size, especially when you opt for the longer wheelbase XLV pack.
2024 SsangYong Musso Tub Dimensions
Width between the wheel arches: 1100mm
Length: 1600mm (+300mm on XLV)
In terms of payload for the SsangYong Musso:
ELX and Ultimate - 800kg (Max)
ELX with XLV option - 1,020kg (Max)
Ultimate with XLV option - 880kg (Max)
What’s under the bonnet of the 2024 SsangYong Musso?
Powering the SsangYong Musso is a 2.2L 4 cylinder turbo-diesel engine, outputting 133kW of power at 4000rpm and 400Nm of torque at 1600rpm.
Because we have the XLV pack and the 6-speed automatic Aisin transmission, the torque output increases to 420Nm between 1600-2600rpm.
Curiously, Korean-market models get the same 2.2L turbo-diesel engine but with more power and torque at 148kW and 441Nm.
Official reasoning is that the Australian-spec engine meets Euro 6 emissions standards a and doesnt require Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) - such as AdBlue - which requires an extra tank and would prevent mounting of a full-sized spare wheel.
How does the 2024 SsangYong Musso drive?
It’s really rare to have a dual-cab ute that comes with coil sprung rear suspension, but let me tell you - it makes it one of the best driving Utes you can buy.
Most Utes come with one of the oldest suspension forms, which are leaf springs. The benefit of those are payload capacity, and to be fair, the SsangYong Musso does provide amongst the lowest in class.
However, for leaf springs to be ‘comfortable’ they need a constant load on them - whereas the coil springs on the Musso do not.
This is why we say, the SsangYong Musso is one of the best lifestyle-oriented utes out there. Because sure there are Utes that can carry more gear, but not many can beat the driving dynamics.
On our usual test loop, giving the Musso plenty of sauce, the handling capabilities and comfort were incredibly impressive. In fact, we would argue more impressive than all of its nearest competition in the form of the GWM Cannon and Mitsubishi Triton.
Power and torque outputs are certainly not the greatest, and we timed the 0-100kmh sprint at a ‘meh’ 11.89 seconds. It’s certainly not fast, but it doesn’t feel Mahindra PikUp slow.
The 6-speed Aisin transmission feels good enough, which is perfectly fine at this price point.
Most impressive to us was just how refined the cabin feels. There is a distinct lack of Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) entering the cabin which is not something you can often say about dual-cab utes - especially rarer when they have a sunroof.
Steering feel as well provides some of the quickest ratio steering out there in this class, which is refreshing.
Overall, the drive of the SsangYong Musso is very impressive, if not wanting for more power and torque.
What off-road kit does the SsangYong Musso come with?
The SsangYong Musso comes with a part-time 4x4 setup, with 2WD, 4WD high and 4WD low-range.
It does come with an Eaton eLocker locking rear differential, which is an automatic locking diff.
The Musso comes with a ground clearance of 215mm, with offroad angles of:
Approach Angle - 25°
Ramp-over angle 20°
Departure Angle - 20°
Although these figures are okay, they are certainly not fantastic.
The wading depth is just 350mm, which is poor for the class.
Is the SsangYong Musso safe?
The Musso has not been tested by ANCAP in its current generation.
In fact, as far as we can tell it’s one of the only utes on sale now to not have an ANCAP safety rating.
For us, we would have liked to see adaptive cruise control and lane centering. Those features, found on the GWM Cannon, allow for easier commutes.
Standard safety features highlights:
Autonomous emergency braking
Driver attention monitoring
Hill descent control
Hill Start Assist
Lane departure warning
Trailer sway control
Front and rear parking sensors
Musso Ultimate adds:
Rear cross-traffic alert
Lane Change-collision Warning
How much can the SsangYong Musso tow?
The SsangYong Musso has an impressive 3.5 tonne braked towing capacity, which beats the GWM Cannon 3.0 tonne and Mitsubishi Triton’s 3.1 tonne.
How much does the SsangYong Musso cost to service?
The SsangYong Musso comes with a 7 year, unlimited kilometer warranty - which is class leading.
SsangYong also offers 7 years of capped-price servicing, with intervals of 12 months or 15,000km. Each service is capped at $375, meaning over 7 years the total cost is $2,625 AUD.
That’s very reasonable, especially given the 7 year window which is quite uncommon (it’s usually 5 years)
CarSauce's take on the 2024 SsangYong Musso
I have zero hesitation in recommending a SsangYong Musso, especially for those looking for a more lifestyle oriented ute.
The lower payload drawbacks of the coil-sprung rear are actually what make the SsangYong Musso so good drive, and although the engine could do with more power and torque, it is adequate for most daily duties.
The interior for us is most impressive, with the Nappa leather seats providing an almost luxury experience, while the quietness and refinement of the ride is class leading.
It’s not going to be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a new Ute, the SsangYong Musso should not be overlooked.
Jacob Brooke, a respected voice in the world of automotive journalism, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his reviews at CarSauce. His keen eye for detail and passion for all things cars shine through in his in-depth analysis and honest evaluations of the latest models of cars. Join him as he guides readers through the car-buying process and explores the exciting world of motoring.