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2021 Ssangyong Musso XLV ULTIMATE owner review

Clinton Brett
Author
Published
PROS
  • Headlights are very good. My additional barlight almost no change when in high beam
  • Adaptive auto. Downshifts and upshifts in auto and manual modes, easier on braking or towing
  • Extra long wheelbase
CONS
  • Requires a decent LED reverse light
  • Limited aftermarket accessories
  • Spare wheel needs a cover under car

About the Ssangyong Musso XLV

Clinton Brett purchased this Ssangyong Musso XLV new with additional options for $47,800 (including all on-road costs). Clinton Brett would buy this car again because: “The Musso replaced my very reliable 2012 manual Actyon. I wanted auto. Best value four-wheel drive dual cab. Great included extras that you would otherwise pay extra in another car. I’ve got long legs and surprisingly it’s one of the most spacious utes I’ve ever driven. My business involves me driving all makes and models available. I’m not biased, I just know this car is underrated by less experienced judges.”

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

It’s only early days. It’s reliable and at 11,000kms and no complaints.

My purchase was based on the reliability of my previous Actyon Sport. 190,000km, nine year-old, not one issue that wasn’t self inflicted. I’m a regular off-road enthusiast.

My new car shares the same engine, just 0.2L bigger with a DPF. I’m a diesel specialist, my company Diesel Help Australia provides over the phone diagnostics support to the industry, so you could say I’m experienced in the field of 4×4 market.

My experience with early failures of manufacturers I won’t disclose here, are nothing to do with quantity sold or law of averages. They’re through simply slapping a car together, and giving it sex appeal for increased sales. SsangYong prides itself in quality and performance for the job at hand.

A car’s appearance is a unique choice made by the user. Any trouble we’ve dealt with the SsangYong brand has often been down to users who don’t consider servicing a car important. Or the mechanic complaining because they don’t have the appropriate information to repair a problem, yet they’ll happily take the owner’s money without admitting they’re wrong to have touched it in the first place.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

I prefer to drive my Musso from in-car view and from where I’m seated, I’m pretty chuffed with my purchase.

I’ve purchased a car that I enjoy driving, not what someone else is drooling to own. The Musso serves its purpose. It’s more than capable of several tasks

How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

I must admit this department requires improvements. Our local dealer is exceptional. They go above and beyond. Not your stereotypical car dealer.

It might be the smaller country town thing. SsangYong itself needs to step it up a bit. Expansion of the dealership network is a must and they need to increase their aftersales accessories range. They’ve employed Ironman for many factory products, but there’s a need for a few more.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

This is the part my friends can’t believe. It’s packed with great useful features. I budgeted to spend $10 to 20k on aftermarket 4×4 upgrades later. This was on all my choices of car at the time.

The Musso Ultimate ELV price would be entry level in most other brands but without the $10k worth of useful accessories. I can happily say, my upgrades budget is now closer to $10k.

The only thing I’d want that the car doesn’t have is inbuilt roof rails.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

It has a slightly bigger donk than my previous Actyon Sport’s 2.0L. The Musso 2.2L auto is impressive. It’s got the grunt required. I can’t wait to tow our new hybrid camper arriving February.

Considering I drive like I stole it (without breaking the law) fuel economy is excellent. Highway I’m sitting around 8.7L/100km. Around town or with a load in the long wheelbase, 9.0 to 10L/100km. But I do like to take off and enjoy the torque, much to Ranger 3.2 owners’ amazement.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

The stereo is great. My doof rave DJ friends are shocked of the clarity and sound. Android Auto has a few glitches. Yet to find out is it Google or SsangYong issue. The volume decreases after you say Okay Google for search.

I never thought I’d be one to use cameras to park, I often find myself using it for tight manoeuvring. Anyone who has a fear of driving big cars, the 360 2D and 3D cameras are great. Distance sensors not so great. Get them wet, it sometimes takes a few hours until you have to override by switching them off.

Yes, that’s a great bit of technology, but you can switch off when too much technology gets in the way of driving. ADAS is not a thing in the Musso but it’s not a dealbreaker for me. It’s definitely a wallet breaker when it goes awol on a car.

My favourite technology would have to be the six-speed auto. It’s better than the one in the HiLux. It’s aware of your request to kick down a gear in the manual mode. I’m using manual mode daily. Could be something to do with being a manual driver forever but it does help with reliability of the engine.

Diesels love heat, load to reduce use of the EGR and DPFs. Long-term higher revving diesel’s are good. But still the Delphi common rail diesel system provides adequate power.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

I’ve just gone to the upgraded factory Ironman constant load suspension. A noticeable difference on excessively bumpy roads. The nitro gas shockers are the better option. Gas shock absorbers remain cooler, retaining the load change no matter the weight.

It’s very capable off-road. In the sand it’s easier than my previous SsangYong. On the road now that I’ve got some weight in it and the car has settled, it’s smooth. I’ve had 4×4 utes for a long time. Drivers going from cars to utes don’t understand the ride is very different. Otherwise when you take it off-road as it was built for, you’d be very disappointed.

When it does take the bends around mountains, it’s a road hugger. I believe I have a car suitable for every condition. Again the adaptive auto, wow! Cooled seat add relaxation. Adaptive steering too. It’s very good. The real ride feeling will be when we start towing the camper. The only negative is this car’s standard suspension should be improved.

Do you have any additional comments about your car?

You’ve probably guessed by now I love this Musso. I trust others will change their perspective on cars. Too many people today are concerned of appearances, what someone thinks of them by the car they drive. I prefer cockpit mode.

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Ratings
Overall9.4
Show Breakdown
Technology 9.3
Reliability 10
Ride & Handling 9.6
Price & Features 9.7
Purchase & Aftercare 8
Performance & Economy 9.5
Ownership Experience 10
Top Line Specs
9L
133kW
236g
Not tested
View all specifications