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SsangYong Musso Saracen+ (2020 - 2021)

The SsangYong Musso is ultimate proof that pick-up trucks can still have plenty of character without impacting on their uncompromising work ethic.

Starting price:
£33,790 (excluding VAT)

Why we love it:
  • Upmarket interior for a pick-up
  • Best-in-class towing and payload combination
  • Comfortable to drive and refined too
Where it could be better:
  • Watch your fingers - the tailgate drops with some force
  • Steering is a tad light
  • The drive mode switch is awkwardly positioned behind the gear lever


SsangYong Musso Saracen+

We are constantly seeing pick-up designers beefing up their models with flashy design cues and massive wheels, but sometimes the way to grab attention is to look at the practicalities rather than the aesthetics.

And that’s exactly what SsangYong has done with its latest Musso by introducing a range-topping Saracen+ to the line-up that offers a load bed that has been extended by 12 inches. 

The current Musso line-up features four well-equipped versions called EX, Rebel, Saracen and now Saracen+. While the entry-level EX comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, others feature an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission.

And when you take into consideration the Musso is the only truck that can legally tow more than 3.5 tonnes while carrying a one-tonne payload, it would seem this is the pick-up to beat right now.

SsangYong Musso Saracen+

The SsangYong Musso is ultimate proof that pick-up trucks can still have plenty of character without impacting on their uncompromising work ethic.

The four-door double cab Musso has always boasted a strong road presence, but the latest 2023 line-up features more striking design cues, including a new front end with blacked-out grille housing the SsangYong emblem. 

Our range-topping Musso Saracen+ featured sweeping light clusters with LED daytime running lights, roof rails, black mirror caps, Musso badging at the rear, a towbar, ‘Saracen+’ graphics, plus 18-inch alloy wheels fitted with XL tyres.

Climbing inside, with the use of the side steps and grab handles for ease of access, and the cabin is surprisingly upmarket for this type of vehicle. That’s because it is heavily based on SsangYong’s flagship Rexton model.

There are premium Nappa leather heated front and rear seats. The front ones are powered and can also be ventilated and the leather-wrapped steering wheel can be warmed against the winter chill too.

On-board tech is plentiful and includes a 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen, DAB radio, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker sound system, plus TomTom navigation. The 12.3-inch digital cluster displays all the vital driving data and can also be customised to show navigation maps, a compass, the speed and radio settings etc.

The elevated and commanding driving position offers excellent visibility and almost all the controls, dials and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use on the move. That said; the drive mode button is awkwardly located behind the gear lever.

With families in mind, there are Isofix child seat anchors in the outer rear seats, along with child safety locks on the doors.

On The Road

SsangYong Musso Saracen+

Handling & Performance

Powering the SsangYong Musso Saracen+ is a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine delivering 202PS and 441Nm of torque. With its six-speed automatic gearbox, the pick-up can reach 62mph from a standing start in 11.9 seconds and has a top speed of 114mph.

The acceleration through the gears is smooth and responsive with ample power on tap for sharp bursts of quick pace. And there are drive modes called Eco, Power and Winter that alter the driving characteristics of the vehicle too.

The agility of the Musso really impresses and it never feels its size when fizzing along country lanes. The grip is confident and there is minimal body sway into and out of tighter bends.

It will cruise effortlessly on motorways and is deceptively agile in busier town centre settings with light steering making manoeuvrability that much easier. 

Special mention to the upgraded double wishbone suspension set-up that does an excellent job of smoothing out our pitted road surfaces and the cabin also has quad layer insulation to protect occupants from engine, road surface and wind noise.

We should mention at this point that we were testing the Musso Saracen+ without any payload and it still impressed. Add some extra weight and the ride quality on pick-ups is always improved further.

SsangYong Musso Saracen+

Space & Practicality

SsangYong has taken its standard Musso Saracen model and given it added appeal by increasing the payload length by 12 inches creating the longest and largest load area in the UK market right now.

It is the only pick-up truck that can legally carry a one-tonne payload while simultaneously towing a 3.5-tonne trailer and, if that’s not enough, the cabin offers the best rear legroom space in the pick-up sector.

The Musso Saracen+ stretches 5,405mm in length, is 1,950mm wide, 1,855mm tall (including roof rails) and has a wheelbase of 3,210mm.

The loadbed length is 1,610mm and 1,570mm wide with a depth of 570mm and our test model featured a cover to keep items protected from view and the elements.

The double cab offers ample room for all the family with plenty of space in the back for three occupants. And there are lots of practical storage compartments throughout the cabin, including a lockable glovebox, a deep central cubby that doubles as a front armrest, door bins with a bottle storage section, seat back pockets, front and rear cup holders and some handy trays.

And, of course, there are the essential USB ports to keep all devices charged and connected on the fly.

While we didn’t venture from the Tarmac on this occasion, the Musso Saracen+ is very capable off-road with all the 4x4 gear ratios needed for tacking tougher terrain.


SsangYong Musso Saracen+

Running Costs

The SsangYong Musso line-up starts from £25,140 (excluding VAT) for the EX model. The Musso Rebel is £29,140, the Musso Saracen £32,540 and the Saracen+, as tested, costs £33,790 (£40,473 including VAT).

When it comes to the day-to-day running costs, the Musso Saracen+, with its 2.2-litre diesel powertrain, can deliver a WLTP-tested combined 30.8mpg with carbon emissions of 241g/km.

While this high CO2 figure would be penalised on most vehicles, the Musso is classed as a light commercial vehicle. This means the Vehicle Excise Duty, or road tax fee as it’s more commonly known, is fixed at £320 for 2023 rather than being based on carbon emissions.

Similarly, Benefit in Kind rates are much simpler too for pick-up trucks with the 2023/24 rate set at £3,960. However, the payment will depend whether the person is a 20 per cent or 40 per cent taxpayer.

The Musso line-up comes with SsangYong’s impressive five-year, 100,000-mile warranty package and the Saracen+ sits in insurance group 50.


The SsangYong Musso has always been viewed as excellent value for money as well as being a proper workhorse vehicle with excellent towing and payload limits.

Running costs are in line with closest competitors and the choice of trim levels gives customers plenty of scope too.

With an interior based on the Rexton, it is an upmarket vehicle packed with tech so is quite capable of putting in a day’s grafting on the building site and doubling up for family getaways at weekends.

By Maxine Ashford
May 26, 2023

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