LET’S talk torque. By that I mean we’re going to discuss two pick-up trucks, the SsangYong Musso and Isuzu D-Max Arctic.
Both are load-lugging, off-roading monsters with enough torque to tug a bungalow up the M1.
One is the cheapest on the market, the other is the most rugged.
I can’t start a review of the Musso without mentioning its price — £19k.
We know SsangYong is one of the cheapest brands around but even the teeny-tiny Vauxhall Adam, which I’m also reviewing this week, comes in at £19k.
I mean, £19k for a double cab pick-up? That’s phenomenal value. The rest of the review has to be considered within that context.
Key facts: SSANGYONG MUSSO
Engine: 2.2 litre turbo diesel
0-62mph: 11 secs
Top speed: 108mph
Length: 5 metres
The Musso has flaws, it’s far from the best pick-up you can buy, but it costs less than a lot of city cars.
Its strongest point is its engine. The 2.2-litre turbo diesel produces a hefty 400Nm of torque and 176bhp, which means its low-end power is phenomenal. Accelerating from standstill is so responsive, at first it takes you aback.
Its strongest point is its engine
Other SsangYongs, like the Korando and Tivoli, are prone to rattly engines and slightly coarse performance but the Musso feels rather refined, especially the automatic.
It’s occasionally prone to a spot of turbo-lag but I’ve driven cars worth ten grand more which are far worse.
It can handle a payload of more than 1,000kg and can tow 3,000kg, which isn’t quite as much as rivals like the Ford Ranger but close enough not to make a huge difference.
The impressive engine response is matched by incredibly light steering.
Around town it’s a bonus but it feels almost flimsy on the open road. You want a bit more feel, especially as it’s so big.
There were points when taking bends at higher speeds that it almost felt out of control.
Pick-ups are finding real popularity among people who buy them as an everyday car
SsangYong has definitely made a proper work tool here. Pick-ups are finding real popularity among people who buy them as an everyday car, because they think they look cool, but you couldn’t call the Musso pretty.
It has a 4x4 system which makes light work of rough ground on the farm or building site and the optional hardback adds another layer of practicality.
Inside the cab, it feels cheap but not flimsy.
The entertainment system is as basic as it comes, except it does have Bluetooth connection for your phone, which is crucial for tradesmen taking calls about jobs.
You have to judge the Musso for what it is, the cheapest pick-up on the market.
While it ain’t pretty and is beaten by more expensive rivals in most areas, if I was a young builder or plumber making my way in the world, I would certainly pay SsangYong a visit.
It’s got all the tools to get the job done.
Now read my review of the Isuzu D-Max Arctic