The 2021 SsangYong Musso is asserting itself with a tougher, more truck-like look.

    Publicity photos of the Musso and Musso XLV – known in South Korea as the Rexton Sports and Rexton Sports Khan, respectively – have been leaked ahead of the ute’s imminent reveal.

    The updated utes will arrive Down Under in July 2021, with pricing and spec to be confirmed closer to launch.

    As we saw in a leak earlier this year, there’s a larger, more imposing grille dominated by horizontal chrome bars.

    There are new vertically-oriented lighting assemblies beneath, replacing the small, circular fog lights of the current car.

    The headlights and their integrated LED daytime running lights look unchanged, which likely means base Musso models will continue to use halogen lights, while up-spec models will use HID headlights.

    Down the side there are more prominent wheel arches and plastic cladding, while around back are new LED tail lights.

    Inside, the changes are much more subtle and appear to be limited to a restyled shifter.

    The outgoing Musso bore a close resemblance to the Rexton SUV from which it was spawned. With the updated 2021 Rexton and this updated Musso, the two now have very different looks.

    It hasn’t been confirmed whether the Musso will get the same mechanical upgrades as its Rexton sibling.

    In the 2021 Rexton, SsangYong gave its 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder a boost of 15kW and 21Nm – to 148kW of power and 441Nm of torque.

    The pre-update tune is used in the outgoing Musso XLV, while the outgoing Musso also produces 133kW but slightly less torque at 400Nm.

    The Rexton was also upgraded from a seven-speed automatic transmission to an eight-speed, though the Musso currently offers either a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.

    The Musso and Musso XLV will likely continue to offer two different rear suspension set-ups, a rarity in this class.

    Coil springs are standard in the Musso, with leaf springs are only available in the XLV.

    The Musso also offers features either rare or non-existent in rival ute model ranges, such as ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a surround-view camera.

    Last year, SsangYong sold 1084 Musso utes in Australia. That put it above 4×4 utes such as the cheaper Great Wall Steed 4×4 (565) and pricier Jeep Gladiator (573).

    The Musso fell short of the LDV T60, of which 5581 units were sold. The T60 has come to dominate this more price-conscious part of the 4×4 ute market, with its sales approaching established rivals like the Mazda BT-50 and Volkswagen Amarok.

    So far this year, the Musso has also been overtaken by the new GWM Ute. Its Chinese rival has logged 594 sales year-to-date, while the Musso is sitting at 279 and the LDV has clocked 892.

    MORE: SsangYong Musso news and reviews
    MORE: SsangYong Musso XLV news and reviews

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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