Work hard, play hard. Admittedly, that could be a mantra that applies very well to most pick-up trucks, but it certainly does so when you consider taking a look at the SsangYong Musso.

But if everything’s hard, does that mean that the Musso gets a bit of a hard life? And if it does, will that mean you’ll have a bit of a hard time keeping it on the road?

It’s a specialist market sector, so when you’re thinking about a pick-up to use as a tow car, it’s time for some hard decisions.

  • If you’re after more towing inspiration, our best used tow car guide is worth a look.

What’s a used SsangYong Musso like inside?

Actually, we should start with the outside, because the SsangYong Musso measures more than five metres from tip to tail.

This means that even though it has space for a full-sized Euro pallet in the load bay, the doublecab cabin is a good size, too.

As you might expect, the lofty suspension and high-up cabin allow the driver and the front-seat passenger to have a great view, and it’s easy to find a comfortable seating position, something that the best tow cars always offer. Better still, those behind haven’t been forgotten, so there’s plenty of both head- and legroom, and there’s more than enough width for three adults to sit side by side (so three kids can sit there without World War Three breaking out).

It’s fair to say the materials have been chosen with a view to the vehicle being given an active life. So yes, the plastics are more robust than luxurious, but everything feels like it’s been screwed together with a long life in mind, and all the bits that move do so with a nicely damped action.

Standard equipment is plentiful, too. The Musso comes with a DAB radio, alloy wheels, air conditioning and Bluetooth, plus a reversing camera. And that’s just the entry-level model.

The cab comes with plenty of standard equipment
Standard equipment is plentiful and includes DAB radio, air conditioning and Bluetooth

Anything above that will also come with heated and cooled seats, and a touchscreen infotainment system, while the top-spec models have a bigger touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a heated steering wheel.

All SsangYong Mussos were provided with a seven-year, 150,000-mile warranty from new, so there will be a chunk of that outstanding on even the earliest models.

How does it drive?

Good in many respects, but badly in one area. First, the good. The 2.2-litre engine develops 295lb ft of torque, so will be pretty comfortable towing a heavy trailer. The steering is reasonably responsive, too, and the six-speed automatic gearbox makes an excellent companion during low-speed manoeuvres, although it can be a bit too slow to swap ratios at faster speeds. Still, it’s preferable to the six-speed manual.

A used Ssangyong Musso side on
Steering is responsive and six-speed gearbox is an excellent companion for manoeuvres

The Musso has switchable four-wheel drive, giving it great traction on slippery surfaces, although we found traction good even in two-wheel-drive mode.

But the Musso is designed primarily as a working vehicle to carry heavy loads, so the suspension has to cope. Which brings us to where we came in, because it’s hard. Very hard. Genuinely uncomfortable. Pity.

Trouble spots

Well, this bit’s really easy, because the Musso has never actually been recalled. That proves it’s going to be a pretty tough companion, no matter what you throw at it.

However, because this is a pick-up, it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that stuff will indeed have been thrown at it, so you’ll need to take extra care to check that the load bay hasn’t been trashed, and the interior hasn’t been abused. And because the Musso is great off-road, inspect carefully for any signs of damage underneath.


If you can accept the load bay is open to the elements (unless it has a canopy), the SsangYong Musso is worth a look.

It’s very strong and stable, and has plenty of standard kit. It’s also rugged enough to shrug off an active life. Just make sure you take a test drive, to check you can live with that ride quality. Many couldn’t.

What will it tow?

  • Kerbweight: 2165kg
  • Towing limit: 3500kg
  • Noseweight limit: 120kg
  • 85% match: 1840kg

Running costs

  • Insurance group: 50D
  • Annual VED: £290
  • Average economy: 32.8mpg
  • Interim/full service: £102/£153
  • Servicing prices supplied by Servicing Stop, 0844 324 5262

What to pay

  • High: Price: £38,394; Model: 2021 2.2d Saracen Doublecab 4WD Auto; Miles: 5000
  • Sweet spot: Price: £22,995; Model: 2020 2.2D Saracen Doublecab 4WD Auto; Miles: 29,000
  • Low: Price: £19,200; Model 2019 2.2D Rebel Doublecab 4WD Auto; Miles: 73,700

Or you could try…

Ford Ranger (2011-)

A Ford Ranger

If ever there were a driver’s pick-up truck, this is it. Genuinely good to drive, it has neat handling and sharp steering. There’s a range of engines, but the 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel is the best all-rounder. It’s four-wheel drive, wades through 800mm-deep water, and has seriously steep approach and departure angles.

Mitsubishi L200 (2015-2019)

Mitsubishi L200 (2015-2019)

The Mitsubishi has been popular since day one, so there’s plenty of choice out there. If you can, go for a post-2018 model, because chassis upgrades increased its towing capacity to 3500kg. If you regularly drive off-road, bear in mind it has no locking rear differential, which could present traction issues.

Nissan Navara

A Nissan Navaro

The Navara is sibling to the old Mercedes-Benz X-Class, so it’s a step up from the norm. The engine is available in two states of tune, but we’d go for the more powerful option, because it’s linked to a seven-speed auto transmission. Acenta+ trim is a fine choice, because it comes with alloys, keyless start, an upgraded stereo and a reversing camera.

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