2024 SsangYong Musso Adventure XLV review

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For those who are looking at a four-wheel-drive ute that punches hard on value, the SsangYong Musso is a dark horse in the segment that deserves consideration.

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What we love
  • The combination of value, kit and warranty is hard to beat
  • Surprisingly refined and quiet diesel engine
  • Well-made and comfortable interior 
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What we don’t
  • Lacking ground clearance for off-road driving
  • Also missing a bit of polish through the throttle and gearbox
  • Rear centre seatbelt is lap-only, some safety kit is missed in this spec

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2024 SsangYong Musso Adventure XLV

It’s too easy to spend our time and thoughts on the top end of town sometimes. Blockbuster movies, fancy restaurants, and expensive cars. We might have big aspirations and ideas for what we think we might need, but the best and most cost-effective fit may not be up there in lights.

And when it comes to the highly popular four-wheel-drive ute segment, this cannot be closer to the truth. Do you need a Wildtrak, Rogue, Raptor or Warrior? Probably not. We all want one, right? Hell, I’d love a Raptor. But do we need one? Unless you’re robbing banks in the desert, unlikely.

While a well-made but cheap burger can be just as satisfying as a degustation, or a classic rerun beats a new blockbuster, the SsangYong Musso four-wheel-drive ute is an option that might not be the most desired but hits plenty of right notes.

In this review, we have the 2024 SsangYong Musso Adventure XLV, which has been updated with some new technology.

How much does the SsangYong Musso cost in Australia?

Our test vehicle is a new Musso Adventure specification level that splits the existing ELX and Ultimate grades and is priced from $44,000 drive-away. This includes the so-called XLV Pack, which is worth $1500 and is well worth consideration for the additional load space and payload.

A regular Musso has 5095mm of length and a 3100mm wheelbase, but the XLV pack grows this to 5409mm of length and a 3210mm wheelbase, which is plenty more metal for the asking price. The Payload climbs from 790kg to 880kg, and the engine picks up an extra 20Nm to deal with the extra size and weight.

In comparison to the entry-level ELX, which does have an attractively low starting price of $40,000 drive-away, this Adventure specification picks up heated and ventilated front seats (a rarity in the segment), tilt and telescopic adjustment in the steering column, and tyre pressure monitoring.

This is on top of things like 18-inch alloy wheels, an auto-locking rear differential, faux leather seat trimming, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and cruise control. Twin 12.3-inch displays – one for infotainment and one for the driver display – are new additions for the Musso and are a big improvement over the previous set-up.

Spending up to the Ultimate spec adds a heated steering wheel, a smart key with auto locking, HID headlights and a 360-degree camera system – things we don’t have here.

As the model year ticks over from 2023 to 2024 SsangYong has MY23-plated stock available with a $1000 factory bonus, essentially knocking the starting price down to $43,000 drive-away, though this offer has an expiry date of January 31, 2024.

Key details 2024 SsangYong Musso Adventure XLV
Price $44,000 drive-away
Colour of test car Amazonian Green
Options Metallic paint – $595
Drive-away price $44,595 drive-away
Rivals GWM Ute | Mitsubishi Triton | Nissan Navara

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How much space does the SsangYong Musso have inside?

The interior of the Musso impresses in many regards, especially for a vehicle at this price point. Firstly, it feels sturdy and well-made. The dashboard is finished with some perforated leather-look materials, and the interior feels spacious overall.

The central console has twin cupholders next to a manual handbrake, and some room to store things like phones and wallets on the other side of the gated-style automatic shifter. There are twin USB-C power outlets here (updated from the old USB-A style) and twin 12V outlets. Otherwise, storage is accounted for with the regular supply of a centre console, glovebox and door bins.

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This specification level gets tilt and rake adjustment through the steering column, which matches well with the manual-adjusting seats. The seats are heated and ventilated, which is a rarity for this segment, and another uncommon match is manual adjustment – usually seat climate and power adjustment go hand-in-hand. Last time I saw this was in an Audi RS Q3 Edition 10 Years with its Sabelt seats.

Another update is the new air conditioning control panel, which is more digital than it used to be. It works well, but we noticed that the only volume controls to be found were on the steering wheel, which seems odd and feels like a small UI backward step.

The second row of the Musso is surprisingly spacious, and offers more room than you’d find on something like a Navara or HiLux. There’s a good amount of width available in the cabin as well, but you’d probably not want to fit three adults across in the middle. Here, the seatbelt is a two-point lap belt, without the ‘sash’ part that runs across your chest. It’s fine to secure a child seat, but isn’t as safe as a three-point belt for occupants out of a support seat.

There are map pockets and air vents in the second row but no power outlets.

The tub of the Musso is also relatively deep, which gives more overall space than most other utes. For example, a colleague told me that you could fit a 20-litre jerry can in the back of the Musso standing up, without it poking over the top.

2024 SsangYong Musso Adventure XLV
Seats Five
Tray dimensions 1600mm long
1570mm wide
Length 5409mm
Width 1950mm
Height 1855mm
Wheelbase 3210mm

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Does the SsangYong Musso have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

This is a major part of the recent upgrade for the Musso, and an area where a ute at this price point does exceedingly well. The new 12.3-inch infotainment display is great, with good resolution and response to inputs. It also has wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which works well (on the Android side, at least).

There’s AM and FM radio reception but no navigation. But if you’re the kind to jump in the car and plug your phone in straight away, then it’s not really a problem.

The driver gets a digital display of the same size, which really feels like a treat for a ute at this price point. It’s clear and crisp, and the driver can cycle through a variety of readouts and displays.

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Is the SsangYong Musso a safe car?

The SsangYong Musso is untested by Euro NCAP or ANCAP, so we don’t have any valuable insights into how it performs in terms of a crash. And considering the age of the vehicle, we aren’t expecting to see it crash-tested any time soon.

2024 SsangYong Musso Adventure XLV
ANCAP rating Untested

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What safety technology does the SsangYong Musso have?

The SsangYong Musso Adventure gets autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, driver attention warning and front vehicle start warning.

SsangYong keeps some additional safety technology like blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change collision warning, and safe exit warning only for the higher-specification Ultimate, which puts this Adventure in a tricky position despite the price saving.

There are six airbags available in the Musso, but the second row persists with a lap belt (instead of a safer lap-sash belt) in the middle seat. While I guess most people aren’t likely to be five-up in the Musso very often, having a two-point seatbelt is glaringly deficient from a safety point of view.

How much does the SsangYong Musso cost to maintain?

Asking prices are relatively low, standard kit is good, and the warranty is one of the best. One might assume that some extra running costs are hidden amongst the service costs. And while basic service costs are kept at a low $375 per visit, there are additional costs for items beyond basic servicing depending on the interval.

SsangYong lists fuel filter and front and rear axle oil changes at 24 months or 30,000km, brake fluid every 24 months transmission fluid and transfer case fluid at 36 months or 45,000km. These don’t have a capped price however, so you’ll will need to contact your local dealership for exact details of costs depending on the interval.

Insurance for a Musso is $1613.49 based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.

At a glance 2024 SsangYong Musso Adventure XLV
Warranty Seven years, unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $1125 (3 years)
$1875 (5 years)

Is the SsangYong Musso fuel-efficient?

Against a claim of 9.0 litres per 100 kilometres, we saw an average of 9.5L/100km after our time with the Musso Adventure XLV. Our test run included a fair mix of town and highway driving, along with a dash of off-roading thrown in for good measure.

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Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 9.0L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 9.5L/100km
Fuel type Diesel
Fuel tank size 75L

What is the SsangYong Musso like to drive?

The Musso does impress straight off the bat in the driving experience, owing to the 2.2-litre diesel engine (which is SsangYong’s own) and its refinement (for a diesel).

It’s a far cry from the tough but rattly old Mercedes-sourced diesels that SsangYong used many moons ago, and the quietude of the SsangYong power plant is impressive.

It provides a big surge of go-forward off the line as well thanks to a hair-trigger tune of the accelerator pedal. It’s welcome at some stages, but can easily feel overdone as well.

Once you’re moving along, progress is fine without being overly assertive. The 133kW of power is outstripped by others in the segment, but 420Nm is available in a reasonably wide range of revs. And as you might expect from reading these figures, the engine gets less happy the faster it’s spinning.

The driving experience can be fouled a little by the six-speed automatic gearbox, which can shunt unpleasantly between gears on occasion.

However, the SsangYong Musso impresses with an otherwise composed and relatively car-like driving experience. Rather than most four-wheel-drive utes that are used to develop into a wagon, the Musso flips the script and is based upon the Rexton wagon. This allows it to feel a little less commercial and rough-and-tumble, and more suited to on-road driving.

The flip side here (there’s always a flip side) is that the Musso is a little lacking in terms of ground clearance for off-road driving. The long rear overhang is one thing, but a modest rampover angle and low clearance around the front and rear differentials mean this Musso will bottom out relatively quickly.

Which is a shame, because the auto-locking rear differential and low-range transfer case mean the Musso has the right hardware to go off-road.

Key details 2024 SsangYong Musso Adventure XLV
Engine 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel
Power 133kW @ 4000rpm
Torque 420Nm @ 1600–2600rpm
Drive type Part-time four-wheel drive
Transmission 6-speed torque converter automatic,
Low-range transfer case
Power-to-weight ratio 63.3kW/t
Weight (kerb) 2100kg
Spare tyre type Full-size
Tow rating 3500kg braked
750kg unbraked
Turning circle 12.2m

Should I buy a SsangYong Musso?

For those looking to get into a ute for less than $50,000, the Musso is quite a compelling choice. Against the likes of an LDV T60 or GWM Ute, the Musso feels like a better choice. And against more established rivals like the Nissan Navara or soon-to-be-replaced Mitsubishi Triton, the Musso still stacks up well.

It’s comfortable and spacious, with enough performance and efficiency from the powertrain to suit the application. There’s plenty of kit for the asking price, and the driving experience (aside from some gremlins in the powertrain calibration) is better than most around this price point.

Off-road performance isn’t a big strength, however, owing to the shortage of ground clearance. The Musso would still work well for light and medium off-roading, however, which is probably perfect for the needs of most who are looking to add some adventure to their weekends.

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How do I buy a SsangYong Musso – next steps?

Last time we spoke to Ssangyong about availability of the Musso in Australia, there was a three-month being quoted as most stock on our shores was already being spoken for. However, demand seems to have eased somewhat and there is a pool of vehicles available in Australia currently.

Other utes in a similar price band – the GWM Ute Cannon, LDV T60 and lower-specced variants of the Mitsubishi Triton – should also be considered against this Musso, to ensure you’re on the right track. Next steps would be to investigate your local dealership and giving them a call, or dropping in for a test drive. It’s worth having a look in the classifieds here as well, because there was a good amount of Mussos available at the time of writing.

If you want to stay updated with everything that’s happened to this car since our review, you’ll find all the latest news here.

Ratings Breakdown

2023 SsangYong Musso Adventure Utility Crew Cab

7.6/ 10

Performance

Safety Technology

Ride Quality

Infotainment & Connectivity

Handling & Dynamics

Energy Efficiency

Driver Technology

Value for Money

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Fit for Purpose

Sam Purcell has been writing about cars, four-wheel driving and camping since 2013, and obsessed with anything that goes brum-brum longer than he can remember. Sam joined the team at CarAdvice/Drive as the off-road Editor in 2018, after cutting his teeth at Unsealed 4X4 and Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures.

Read more about Sam PurcellLinkIcon

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