2023 Ssangyong Musso XLV
About the Ssangyong Musso XLV
SsangYong is enjoying a new lease on life, and the Musso stands to benefit.
The Korean automaker finally appears to have a stable new owner after a lengthy period of receivership and an initial bidder that couldn’t pay up. It achieved a record year for sales in 2022, though its three model lines sit well below most rivals on the charts.
We’ve said before that the SsangYong Musso and the related Rexton SUV deserve to sell better, particularly considering how sharply they’re priced.
Despite SsangYong having been in the Australian market for longer, rival utes from Chinese brands GWM and LDV have overtaken the Musso on the sales charts. It makes sense, then, that SsangYong’s new leadership is looking to rename the brand and try to shed its “painful image”.
But it will take more than a new badge on the grille to get SsangYong on buyers’ radar, considering many punters either don’t know the brand exists or think it’s Chinese – not that the latter is as much of an impediment in 2023, seeing how GWM sales continue to soar.
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SsangYong Musso review 2021
If you love the idea of a dual-cab ute but they aren't long enough, is it worth considering this? It's the 2021 SsangYong Musso XLV Ultimate. XLV stands for 300mm longer than a regular one! Paul Maric tests out the new SsangYong ute to see if it's any good.
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2023 SsangYong Musso XLV review
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2022 SsangYong Musso XLV review
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Ssangyong Musso XLV Range Guide
2023 SsangYong Musso ELX highlights:
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Wired Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- 6-speaker sound system
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Illuminated vanity mirrors
- Overhead console with LED map lights
- Rear air vents
- Rear folding centre armrest
- Tilt steering wheel adjustment
- Keyless entry and start
- Lockable glovebox
- Cloth upholstery
- Manually adjustable front seats
- HID headlights
- Front fog lights
- LED daytime running lights
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Power-folding, heated exterior mirrors with puddle lights
Musso Ultimate adds:
- Heated steering wheel
- Telescopic steering wheel adjustment
- Stainless steel sill plates
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- Leather upholstery
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- 18-inch black-finish alloy wheels
Luxury Pack (Ultimate, $3000) adds:
- Dual-zone climate control
- Single-pane power sunroof
- Nappa leather upholstery
- Power front seats with powered driver’s lumbar
- Heated rear seats
Some of these features, like Nappa leather and ventilated front seats, are virtually unheard of in this segment.
Price & Specs
The interior overall has quite an upscale ambience for a ute, with soft-touch perforated leather-look trim across the front of the dashboard and soft-touch plastic across much of the dash top.
Silver-finish speaker grilles and black patterned dash trim also provide some welcome contrast; there’s some gloss black trim, but it’s used relatively sparingly.
There’s also but one button blank, while the headliner is nicer than the mouse-fur rubbish found in most utes.
All that’s missing for the ambience is some leatherette trim on the sides of the centre console (like in the Triton) and the quilted leatherette door cards of the GWM Ute; only the arm rests on the Musso’s doors are soft.
The number of luxury features is surprising for this segment. There’s a single-pane sunroof, a rarity for a ute this size, though its operation is clunky – pressing the open button doesn’t open the shade as well, and to do so you need to both push and pull a handle.
Seats are heated and ventilated up front; to get ventilated seats in any other ute in Australia, you’d need to pony up for something like a Ram 1500 Limited. There’s also a heated steering wheel which helpfully remembers what setting you had it on when you restart the vehicle, and a simple nicety: illuminated vanity mirrors.
Some touches belie the Musso’s age, at least compared to the likes of the Ford Ranger. There’s no electronic parking brake, while the shifter is of the gated variety, and the manual mode is located on the left-hand side.
The bottle holders in the doors can fit larger water bottles, the centre console bin is fairly deep, and there’s an insert atop the centre stack with a rubberised base.
At the base of the centre stack, where you’ll find two USB-A outlets, there’s a rubberised insert you can pull out. This little niche isn’t quite large enough for most modern smartphones, and there’s no wireless charger.
Step into the rear and you’ll find air vents and heated outboard seats, though there are no USB or power outlets. Map pockets can be found on the front seatbacks.
The rear of the cabin isn’t overly spacious by class standards, with rather average knee room. But the floor is relatively flat, and there’s plenty of headroom; at 180cm, I was able to sit in the slightly higher, firmer centre seat without my head touching the roof.
Along with storage space beneath the bench, there are top tethers on the back of all three seats, and ISOFIX on the outboard seats.
Astonishingly, SsangYong persists with a centre lap belt in the Musso in 2022 – a black mark in terms of safety.
The Musso stands out in this segment for its slightly unorthodox styling, though it doesn’t have the polarising lines of the brand’s past ute models like the Musso Sports and Actyon Sports.
The way the door comes in under the C-pillar makes it look like an SUV with the rear lopped off, sending strong Honda Ridgeline vibes. And yet, SsangYong has given the Musso a decidedly more brash front end than the related and more elegant Rexton, though there’s still attractive metal trim on the grille.
Headlights are increasingly uncommon HID units – better than halogen lights, but not as effective as LEDs.
Cost of Ownership
SsangYong also offers seven years of capped-price servicing, with intervals of 12 months or 15,000km. Each service is capped at $375.
The service offer is particularly impressive as while some rivals offer similarly priced services, few offer seven years’ worth.
How it Drives
The Musso continues to be powered in Australia by a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 133kW of power at 4000rpm and 420Nm of torque between 1600 and 2600rpm.
It’s mated with a six-speed automatic transmission and selectable four-wheel drive with low-range gearing and a locking rear differential.
Korean-market models, in contrast, get a 2.2-litre with 148kW and 441Nm.
SsangYong says the Australian-spec engine meets Euro 6 emissions standards and doesn’t require Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), which would have necessitated an additional tank that would have prevented the company from installing a full-sized spare wheel.
Ssangyong Musso XLV Safety Rating
The Musso is the only vehicle in its segment to lack an ANCAP rating, whether valid or expired, as it has not been tested by the safety authority (or Euro NCAP) in its current generation.
SsangYong Australia has previously said its vehicles “fully comply with, and in many areas, exceed ADR national safety standards” and that it “continues to work with ANCAP on future planning”. Nevertheless, the lack of a rating is disappointing.
Standard safety features include:
- 6 airbags
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Automatic high-beam
- Driver attention monitoring
- Hill descent control
- Hill Start Assist
- Lane departure warning
- Trailer sway control
- Front and rear parking sensors
Musso Ultimate adds:
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Lane Change-collision Warning
- Surround-view cameras
The lack of lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control is disappointing, but the Musso isn’t alone. The LDV T60 and Mitsubishi Triton also lack these in all grades.
Ssangyong Musso XLV Warranty
The SsangYong Musso XLV is backed by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, much like the rival GWM Ute
Ssangyong Musso XLV Infotainment
As part of a recent update, the 2023 Musso gained a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, as well as a new overhead console with LED map lights and seat belt reminders.
The digital instrument cluster is attractive with multiple different views, but I tended to leave it on a conventional gauge display and not the angular, vaguely BMW-like view. Interestingly, as you get closer to a speed, that number gets larger.
Less impressive is the infotainment system. The interface is relatively attractive if somewhat dated, but response times aren’t the snappiest, there’s no home button, and the screen gets washed out in sunlight no matter how much you fiddle with the display settings.
Ssangyong Musso XLV Boot Space
Around back, the tub has two tie-down points on each of the sides and two at the rear of the cab.
It measures 300mm longer than the standard-length Musso at 1600mm, with a width of 1570mm (1100mm between the arches) and a depth of 570mm.
Ssangyong Musso XLV Fuel Economy
The 2023 SSANGYONG MUSSO XLV is Combined (9.0) and E10 Compatible (-).
Ssangyong Musso XLV Dimensions
The XLV has an extended wheelbase measuring 3210mm long, up 110mm on the standard Musso. It also has a longer tub, so all up the Musso XLV measures 5409mm long, or 314mm longer than the standard Musso. The stretch gives the XLV slightly more ungainly proportions than the regular Musso, but that’s the price to pay for a more voluminous tub.
The 2023 SSANGYONG MUSSO XLV measures 5409mm long, 1950mm wide and 1855mm tall, with a 3210mm tall wheelbase.
The 2023 SSANGYONG MUSSO XLV has a braked towing capacity of 3500kg and an unbraked towing capacity of 750kg.
Ssangyong Musso XLV Market Fit
The SsangYong Musso XLV is categorised as a Pick Up or Cab Chassis 4X4 and has a price range of $39,170 to $47,000.
2021 Ssangyong Musso XLV ULTIMATE owner review
Ssangyong Musso XLV Interesting Facts
SsangYong has around 50 dealerships nationwide, while Toyota has more than five times as many. You’ll be fine if you live in a major metropolitan area and in certain regional centres but, notably, SsangYong has only three dealers in South Australia and nothing north of Perth in our westernmost state.