Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The Ssangyong Musso’s 2.2-litre diesel engine is pleasingly strong, so it feels perfectly comfortable whether you're driving in town or out on the open road.

It's not remotely fast, though – 0-62mph takes 11.9sec with an automatic gearbox and 11.3sec with a manual. That’s quicker than some pick-ups, but the 2.8-litre Toyota Hilux and punchier versions of the Ford Ranger soundly thrash it. Nevertheless, it’s quieter than nearly all rivals when pushed hard.

To prevent pitching and rolling in corners, and to cope with really heavy loads, Ssangyong has fitted stiff suspension. The result is a ride that's lumpy and unsettled on anything other than the smoothest sections of motorway. You feel plenty of shudders over lumpy Tarmac, along with kickback through the steering wheel, which can be disconcerting if you hit a mid-corner bump.

We tried the Musso with a 700kg stack of bricks in the load bay, and that extra weight did help settle things down a bit. There was still plenty of shudder through the body over imperfections in the road, though. 

Longer Rhino models get heavier-duty leaf springs instead of the more car-like coil springs of shorter models. Although the Rhino's ride isn't any worse as a result, the way it shudders over bumps and crevices is similarly irksome.

Those shudders also make the Musso feel the least comfortable off road, and can lead to you going quite slowly. That’s far from ideal because you need momentum to make up for its lack of traction relative to the Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max. Indeed, the Musso was the only pick-up that managed to get stuck on our off-road test route

Ssangyong Musso 2021 rear cornering off road