SsangYong Musso XLV 2019 review

June 5, 2019

The SsangYong Musso XLV 2019 model is big news for the brand. It’s just plain big in general, in fact.

The new longer, more work-ready Musso XLV version of the brand’s dual-cab ute is set to offer buyers more for their money. It’s bigger and more practical than the existing SWB version, yet is still a heavy hitter when it comes to value for money.

If you’re wondering what the “XLV” bit stands for, it’s “extra long version”. Or “exciting lifestyle vehicle”. Or “extra large on value”.

No matter what the name means, the Musso and Musso XLV pairing remain the only Korean ute offerings in the segment – something the company feels is an advantage, given Hyundai and Kia have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years.

But not only is it unique because it’s a Korean ute – it’s also one of the only utes in the segment to have the choice of a coil spring or leaf spring rear suspension.

Here’s how it dared at the local launch, in cold and snowy Marysville, Victoria.

Is there anything interesting about its design?

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with

Prices for the SsangYong Musso XLV model are up compared to the existing SWB model – you’re going to have to pay for more practicality, but the standard spec is up, too.

The ELX model is priced at $33,990 drive-away for the manual and $35,990 drive-away for the automatic. All models will attract a $1000 discount for ABN holders.

Standard equipment for the ELX includes 17-inch alloy wheels, smart key with push-button start, auto headlights, auto wipers, cruise control, an 8.0-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, four-speaker stereo, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, fabric seats, a limited slip differential and a safety suite that consists of a reversing cameraauto emergency braking (AEB)with lane departure warning, and six airbags.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

The Musso XLV sees a modest increase in power from its 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel motor. The peak power output of 133kW (at 4000rpm) remains static, but torque is increased by five per cent to 420Nm (at 1600-2000rpm), up from 400Nm in the SWB models. That’s still at the lower end of the scale in the diesel ute class – the Holden Colorado, for instance, has 500Nm of torque in automatic guise.There’s a six-speed manual (base model only) and a six-speed automatic transmission (sourced from Aisin, standard on mid and high grade models), and all models sold in Australia will be 4WD.

The weight of the Musso XLV varies based on suspension type. The leaf spring version has a claimed kerb weight of 2160kg, while the coil sprung model is 2170kg.

The Musso XLV sees a modest increase in power from its 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel motor.The Musso XLV sees a modest increase in power from its 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel motor.

For instance, the 2WD with leaf spring rear suspension has a gross vehicle weight of 3210kg, while the coil spring version is 2880kg – meaning it’s clearly less capable in terms of load ability, but likely more comfortable in day-to-day driving. The 4WD version has a gross vehicle weight of 3220kg with leafs, or 2980kg with coils.

The gross combination mass (GCM) for the leaf-spring version is set at 6370kg, and the figure for the coil spring version is 6130kg.

Payload capacity for the XLV with leaf springs is 1025kg, while the coil spring XLV models have a lower 880kg payload. For reference, the coil-spring-only SWB model has a payload of 850kg.

SsangYong Australia has stated the towing capacity for Musso XLV is 750kg (for an unbraked trailer) and 3500kg (braked trailer) towing, with a down ball weight of 350kg.

How much fuel does it consume?

There are only two fuel use figures to wrap your head around when it comes to the Musso XLV – and it comes down to manual vs auto.

The manual – only available in the ELX – has claimed fuel consumption of 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres. That’s a touch better than the automatic, which uses a claimed 8.9L/100km.

We didn’t get a chance to do a proper measured fuel consumption test at the launch, but the dashboard indication in the auto top-spec model I drove was reading 10.1L/100km across a mix of highway and urban driving.

The fuel tank capacity of the Musso XLV is 75 litres.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

The SsangYong Musso has not received an ANCAP crash test rating, but the brand is working towards a five-star ANCAP score. It’s CarsGuide’s understanding that the Musso will be crash-tested later in 2019.It should, theoretically, achieve the maximum rating. It comes with some safety technology that many of its rivals can’t match.

All models come with auto emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning and lane departure warning. Higher grades have blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert and tyre pressure monitoring.

SsangYong is working towards a five-star ANCAP score but has not been crash tested this year.SsangYong is working towards a five-star ANCAP score but has not been crash tested this year.

A reversing camera is offered range wide, along with rear parking sensors, and the top-spec version has a surround view camera system.

But there won’t be active lane keeping assist, nor adaptive cruise control – so it falls a little short of the best in class (Mitsubishi Triton and Ford Ranger). However, the Musso still offers more safety gear than most of the big-name brands.

Plus it comes with four-wheel disc brakes, where plenty of rival trucks still have drum brakes at the rear. There are six airbags, including rear seat curtain airbag coverage.

There are dual ISOFIX child seat anchor points and three top tether attachments for baby seats, but the current run of Musso models are all fitted with a lap only middle seatbelt, which is poor by today’s standards – so, it has 2019 tech and a 1999 seatbelt setup. We understand a fix for this issue is imminent, and personally I’d hold off on buying a Musso until it’s implemented.

SsangYong has a capped price servicing plan spanning seven years, too, with pricing for the Musso set at $375 per year before consumables. And the company’s ‘service price menu’ offers excellent clarity on what owners can expect the costs to be like in the longer term, too.SsangYong also offers seven years of roadside assistance – and the good news for customers, whether they’re business buyers, fleets or private owners, is that the so-called “777” campaign is applicable to everyone.