Geneva debut for new SsangYong Musso pickup

New pickup shares style and structure with Rexton SUV

SsangYong has chosen the Geneva Motor Show to reveal its new Musso pickup, ahead of its official UK launch in the summer. With pickup trucks proving a popular alternative to pricier SUVs, the latest SsangYong Musso aims to appeal to both business and leisure users – its tough, seperate chassis construction should appeal to the former, while families will appreciate its well appointed interior, which it shares with the SsangYong Rexton SUV.

Competing against proven rivals such as the Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navara, SsangYong promises that the Musso will follow in its predecessor's attractively priced footsteps while offering a class-leading five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. Real off-road capability is billed, too – Musso means rhinoceros in Korean and its four-wheel drive system and impressive ground clearance suggest it should cope with life in the mud.

New SsangYong Musso pickup design

The chassis that underpins the Musso is shared with the Rexton SUV, and that car lends its visual identity to the pickup, too. From the rear doors forwards, what you see is more or less standard Rexton, incorporating the same deeply sculpted contours above its front and rear wheelarches, and doors that flare outwards to meet the sill mouldings. These are said to prevent occupants picking up dirt from the Musso's flanks when getting in and out.

Although they share a front bumper, headlamps and grille, different trim sets the Musso and Rexton apart from the front – the former gains a horizontal chrome bar to its grille and a more aggressive, robust look to the lower front apron. A set of 20-inch alloy wheels appear on some models, too.

At the back, the Musso has a large load bay that'll hold a full-size 'Euro' pallet and can handle over a tonne of load weight. There are concealed 12V/120W power outlets and rotating tie-down hooks to keep loads secure.

Interior and equipment

The Musso's four-door crew-cab body offers seating for five and boasts many of the attractive interior finishes that were so well received in the Rexton – an SUV that we reckon represented a big step forwards for the brand.

Although exact UK specification has yet to be confirmed, luxury features such as soft Nappa leather seats are expected to appear on the range-topping model, while heated and ventilated front seats will be available on most versions. Generous leg and elbow room is promised for rear-seat occupants – not something all pickups can boast.

All models are set to feature DAB radio, MP3 and Bluetooth phone connectivity, while all but the entry-level version will offer an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that packs wi-fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All-round electric windows and air-conditioning will be standard, too.

Engines and availability

As well as a chassis and aspects of its styling, the Rexton also donates its 2.0-litre diesel engine to the Musso. It generates 178bhp and is available with six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes, the latter being made by Aisin – a famous and well regarded gearbox specialist.

Four-wheel drive is standard – power is permanently sent to the rear wheels, with drive to the fronts selected electronically on demand. A transfer case with high and low ratios is provided for extra traction in rough conditions.

Price details for the Musso are expected to be announced closer to its UK launch this summer.

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