SsangYong Musso 2020 ultimate
Owner Review

2020 Ssangyong Musso Ultimate review

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I am a long time reader of CarAdvice but I've never submitted an Owner Review. To share some info about myself, I'm 47 years old, with a partner and no kids. This is my mid-life crisis (Part 2).

Here is my review of my Ssangyong Musso MY20 Ultimate 2.2L Turbo Diesel, 6-speed Auto.

My Musso was purchased brand new from a central Queensland dealer over the phone. I live in the Toowoomba region.

The deal was done over the phone and internet and the Musso was delivered directly to me on a transport truck (they kindly took away my trade-in 2012 Kia Rio Si).

Delivery included a full set of floor mats and full tank of diesel as part of the deal.

The reason for the purchase of this particular Musso was the Ultimate model, as they are very rare in this specification. A lot of research and hunting around Australia was done to find the vehicle I wanted.

First of all, I have never owned a 4WD vehicle; I have always owned small hatchback style cars (apart from my first car which was a 1993 VP Commodore).

The reason I chose Ssanyyong was the specification, price, long warranty, cheap servicing and how car-like the vehicle drives. I did a couple of test drives from the dealers in Brisbane to get an idea about the car, but they couldn't source the car I wanted unfortunately, even from interstate.

So here we are today.

After owning the vehicle for three months I have since driven 4500km!

The Musso is my daily driver, toy and 4WD hobby all rolled into one and I couldn't be any happier.

Standouts are the creature comforts and how car-like it drives. I considered the Triton and D-Max but honestly they felt like farm vehicles compared to the Musso.

I refuse to drive a vehicle that has rear drum brakes in 2020! The Musso is a rare beast in the world of 4WDs.

Being Ultimate spec, my Musso Ultimate includes:
- Full nappa leather interior (front and back)
- 8-way driver's electric seat
- 6-way front passenger seat
- heated and ventilated front seats
- heated rear seats
- heated steering wheel
- electric tilt / slide sunroof
- Android Auto / Apple CarPlay. I use Android Auto daily.
- Front and rear disc brakes
- Tyre pressure monitoring with 20-inch wheels with 255/50 (including spare!)
- 360 degree surround-view camera system
- hill descent control
- lane-keeping guidance
- folding rear seat and under seat storage
- fully plastic lined tray, four tie-down points and 12v socket as standard
- Autonomous Emergency Braking (tested and works well!)
- very cold air conditioning
- electric folding mirrors, keyless entry, HID headlights
- auto wipers, auto headlights, auto high-beam
- auto chromatic rear mirror
- digital dash and speedo

I can honestly say I have tested my car under some very hard conditions (both on and off road) and I find very little to criticise. Road holding, comfort, brakes and steering are all great.

The best way to think about the Musso is that it is an SUV with a tray, rather than a typical 4WD trying to be a passenger car. Because the Musso has a coil-spring rear suspension, the on-road driving is much better and the off-road is great too.

Most of the time I'll drive in rear-wheel drive on the bitumen and any loose surface is driven in 4H or 4L with the selector on next to the transmission.

I'm sure people will complain about the low wading depth of the Musso. I don't care for that, as I wanted good ground clearance to explore 4WD tracks. I would have bought a boat if I wanted to do deep water crossing.

I'm not a "typical" 4WD owner; I have no intention of installing a lift kit, bullbars, or winches. All I have added is tinted windows and I will look at a roll cover for the tray in the future.

To me the Musso is not a show pony but a do-it-all car that I can enjoy on and off the road. Yes I actually do real low-range four-wheel driving in this car.

On my wish list is to do some serious sand driving on North Stradbroke Island or Fraser Island.

I have zero concerns about reliability.

Fuel economy is great (highway driving gives my 7.2 litres per 100 kilometres).

There is a very torquey engine (sits on 1500rpm at 100km/h in 6th gear).

The gearbox is very smooth (I prefer to hold it in 6th manually on the highway).

There have been no problems with grunt with four adult passengers and a tray full of gear on a 38-degree day with air conditioning on maximum.

The interior is extremely quiet (no tyre noise, engine noise very muted).

To sum up, I always choose my cars based on value for money. I don't follow other sheep or follow my neighbours with their car purchases.

For Ssangyong to be a better success, there needs to more brand awareness, marketing and a trust of the product.

Most people are snobs with their car purchases and won't give the "little" guy a look unfortunately. The perception is that Ssangyong is a Chinese company, and not a South Korean company.

My first mid-life crisis was purchasing my other car in 2015 known as Sponge-Bob, a Skoda Fabia 7-speed auto in Racing Yellow! Happy to do a review on that car, as I now have travelled 40,000km with it.

Thanks for reading!

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