The SsangYong Musso is an SUV and a pickup truck manufactured by SsangYong, a South Korea-based automobile maker. In Korean, the word 'musso' means rhinoceros. From 1993 to 2005, SsangYong built the Musso as a 5-door SUV. From 2002 to 2005, it produced a sporty double-cab pickup variant, which overlapped the first model but ended together in 2005. In 2018, the automaker again came up with a Musso marque, which is still a double-cab pickup but with new body-on-frame construction.
First Model: Musso SUV (FJ; 1993-2005)
The first generation of the vehicle went by different names, including SsangYong MJ (France), Dadi Musso (China), Daewoo Musso (Germany, Iceland and the UK), TagAZ Road Partner (Russia), and Morattab Musso (Iran).
Like the SsangYong Kyron, Ken Greenly designed this 5-door SUV, which received the Auto Design Award from the Birmingham Auto in 1994 and 1996. It also won the Ralley des Pharaons for 4WDs in 1994. In 1998, SsangYong released a facelifted version.
The vehicle is pretty spacious and seats five people. Some rare models have a folding trunk seat that allows two more passengers. Its wheels are off-road-spec'd, much like the Korando, another vehicle by SsangYong.
SsangYong had a technology-sharing venture with Mercedes-Benz which included the rebadging of the SsangYong model as Mercedes-Benz Musso in some markets. This agreement paved the way for SsangYong's entry into some markets without having to build their infrastructure.
These were the first Musso SUV engines:
- 2.3-litre straight-4 Mercedes-Benz M111 petrol engine (104 kW, 220 Nm)
- 3.2-litre straight-six Mercedes-Benz M104 petrol engine (161 kW, 310 Nm)
- 2.9-litre straight-five Mercedes-Benz OM602 diesel engine (70 kW, 192 Nm)
- 2.3-litre straight-four Mercedes-Benz OM601 diesel engine (58 kW)
The Ssangyong Musso 4WD SUV roamed the Australian terrain from 2006 to 2008 powered by the 2.3-litre and 3.2-litre petrol engines and the 2.9-litre turbo-diesel variant. Only basic trim levels were offered for the SUV, but all were available with 4-speed auto transmission and 5-speed manual gearbox. Below were the inclusions for each trim:
- 4x4 2.3L petrol variant – 2.3-litre I4 petrol engine (104 kW, 220 Nm); featured driver’s airbag, air conditioning, alloy wheels, central locking, power mirrors/steering/windows, and radio cassette with four speakers
- 4x4 3.2L petrol variant – 3.2-litre I6 petrol engine (161 kW, 310 Nm); added to the 2.3L variant the following: ABS, alarm, leather steering wheel, limited-slip differential, metallic paint, rear spoiler, and radio cassette with six speakers instead of 4
- 4x4 2.9L diesel variant – 3.2-litre I5 turbo diesel engine (70 kW, 192 Nm); had similar features as the 2.3L petrol version but added a limited-slip differential, metallic paint, and a rear spoiler
In 1998, the Musso SUV was released in Australia under the Daewoo badge; thus, the Daewoo Musso picked up from where the Ssangyong SUV left off. It was practically the same model but added a CD player and remote-control central locking. It was, however, not available in the 2.3L petrol variant. The Musso SUV continued wearing this nameplate in the country until 2002.
Second Model: Musso Sport (P100; 2002-2005)
The P100 series Musso Sport, also called the SsangYong Musso SUT, the Daewoo Musso Sports and the Mercedes-Benz Musso is a mid-size ute produced from 2002 to 2005. Its double-cab is spacious enough to seat five people. Later models came with a turbo-diesel option and other features such as extra taillights, a chrome trim, a canopy, and an extra row of wheels to hold more weight.
The Musso Sports ute arrived in Australia in 2004 with an up-rated version of the 2.9L Mercedes-Benz diesel engine of the SUV body style, teamed up with either 4-speed auto or 5-speed manual. There were two trims available to buyers, namely:
- Sports RWD – 2.9-litre turbo diesel engine (88 kW, 258 Nm); RWD; featured driver’s airbag, central locking, engine immobiliser, limited-slip differential, and power mirrors/steering/windows
- Sports 4WD – same as the other trim except for its drivetrain
Third Model: Musso Ute (Q200; 2018- present)
Assembled in Pyeongtaek and produced in 2018, the Q200 series Musso is a four-door double cab that debuted at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. One of the car's exciting features is its new body-on-frame platform that uses advanced high-strength steel (AHSS). Musso shares this platform with the second-generation SsangYong Rexton.
The vehicle comes with two engine choices - 2.0 L e-XGDI 200T turbo GDI I4 (petrol) and 2.2 L e-XDI 220 I4-T (diesel).
In Australia, the available powertrain is the 2.2-litre e-XDI 220 inline-four turbocharged diesel engine (133 kW, 400 Nm), pushing power to the drive wheels through either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission. Fuel consumption is 8.6L/100km for the auto version and 7.9L/100km for the manual version. It comes in three trims.
- ELX, Base model – offers a host of features, but most notably, air conditioning, tilt/telescopic-adjustable steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, Bt connectivity, cruise control, dual front/curtain/side airbags, multipurpose centre console, dusk-sensing lights, daytime running lights, electronic stability program, rear fog lights, folding rear seat, front wiper de-icer, hill descent control, engine immobiliser, lane-change assist, Nappa leather, power 8-way front seat (driver), power sunroof, rollover protection system, roof racks, rain-sensing wipers, reversing cam, side door impact beams, stainless-steel skid plate front, speed-sensitive power steering, traction control system, tow hitch receiver, tonneau cover, tyre repair kit, ute tray liner, and welcome lights, to name some
- EX, mid-range – adds a gear-shift indicator, leather gear knob, spare wheel (full-size steel wheel), and a trip computer, and has 17-inch alloy wheels instead of 18 and uses cloth trim instead of Nappa leather
- Ultimate, top-of-the-range – adds heated front and rear seats, power 6-way front seat (passenger), lane-change warning, surround camera system, and full-size spare wheel, and has 20-inch alloy wheels instead of 18, leather upholstery, and sound system with six speakers
Maintaining your Musso SUV and the earlier version of the ute can be quite challenging, especially that SsangYong has already stopped producing them. Car parts can be difficult to come by at the right price. That's even truer if you're looking at the traditional stores. At Carpart.com.au, you can locate sellers of auto parts that you need, and even sell an old car or its parts directly to buyers. Find out how!