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Musso XLV Ultimate in the 4X4 shed

By Matt Raudonikis, 16 Sep 2020 Reviews

2020 SsangYong Musso XLV Ultimate water

A Musso has arrived in the 4x4 shed for us to play with.

IF YOU’VE been reading this magazine over the past six months, you will know we’ve been pretty impressed with the latest SsangYong Musso. While it’s pretty easy to say that a $38,000 double-cab ute is a lot of car for your dollar, it’s not just the bang for your bucks that draws us to the Musso.

This latest model Musso, which came out in Australia in the middle of 2019, is one of the best-driving utes in the highly competitive 4x4 ute segment. Folks are quick to joke when we say we like the Musso, but that soon changes after they ride in it.

This has prompted us to add the Musso (a Korean word for rhino, in case you were wondering) to our 4x4 fleet. We’ve gone with the XLV variant with its 110mm longer wheelbase and massive cargo tub over the standard model. We also chose the mid-spec Ultimate for its coil-spring ride and comfort, and better equipped interior.

While the Ultimate is the mid-spec, it is loaded with features you’ll be paying a lot more for in other 4x4 utes. Heated and vented leather seats, and a big eight-inch screen in the dash with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto feeding an eight-speaker audio system, all in a cabin that feels (and is) much wider and more spacious than any other ute on the market.

The VW Amarok might come close to the Musso in cabin width, but there’s certainly no rubbing shoulders with the front seat passenger as you get in Benz X-Class or Mitsubishi Triton.

The Musso doesn’t miss out on any safety tech and is up there with the Triton as one of the best-equipped utes in this regard. Standard kit includes all the features you expect including electronic stability and traction control, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), forward collision warning, front vehicle start alert (FVSA), lane departure warning, tyre-pressure monitoring system (TPMS), front and rear park assist, blind spot detection, Lane Change Assist (LCA) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).

We have found the lane departure warning to be overly sensitive and annoying on narrower roads, and thankfully you can turn its chime off. FVSA was a new one for us and is an alert that lets you know when the vehicle in front has moved on when sitting in traffic, if your mind is elsewhere.

OFF-ROAD REVIEW: Musso EX

We always love a good TPMS for keeping us informed of the pressures in all the tyres, particularly when you’re on rough roads that can be hard on tyres. A nice touch to the Musso’s TPMS is that it randomly flashes up the current situation of the tyre pressures. We’ve only noticed this happening once in the first two weeks of driving this car, but it’s a great feature. How often do most of us check our tyre pressures?

The mechanical package comprises the 420Nm 2.2-litre diesel engine backed by a smooth eight-speed auto and part-time four-wheel drive. The rear locking diff is an auto locking unit and not driver selectable, but has proven to be very effective in past tests.

WhichCar brings a Musso to the Deni Ute Muster...

We loaded the Musso up with some factory accessories that come from some well-known brands including the Ironman 4x4 suspension kit and underbody protection, Redarc Tow Pro brake controller, factory tow bar and tonneau cover. These are all factory backed and dealer installed, and fully covered by SsangYong’s excellent seven-year warranty.

We look forward to putting this Rhino to work over the coming months and getting a true feeling of what it’s like to live with.

THE DATA

TOTAL KM: 563km
DATE ACQUIRED: July 2020
PRICE: $37,990 - $42,848.90
AVERAGE FUEL USE: 10.3L/100km