An oversized van in a somewhat American style.
Refined and spacious, less good for demanding field work (Photo: Rami Gilboa)
NIS 280,000 (260,000 for the EX version)
Isuzu D-Max, Toyota Hilux, Volkswagen Amarok
spacious and well-equipped passenger cabin, the largest box in the category, engine performance, road behavior We
price not attractive enough, off-road capabilities, comfort Driving without luggage
The 'Ssangyong Musu' brand appeared in Israel in the previous nineties, in the form of a tough urban off-road vehicle.
Thirty years later, the Muso ("rhino" in Korean) returns to us as a 1-ton van, a direct competitor to the Isuzu Dimax and Toyota Hilux.
In the middle we had an episode with a modestly sized 'Ssangyong Action Sport', which did not have much success.
Beautifully carved side, the box is large.
The bow is a bit low but the tires are a good size for the road and off-road.
Roof strips are designed on the roof (photo: Rami Gilboa)
The 2023 Ssangyong Muso is armed with everything it needs to succeed in the shrinking 1-ton pickup market segment;
It has a 2.2 liter 202 horsepower diesel engine and with 5.40 meters from bumper to bumper, it is the longest and widest in the category.
The timing of the arrival is excellent because last year the Mitsubishi Triton was deleted from the scene, so the market has thousands of customers looking for a new home.
The Muso will soon begin to appear in the uniform of the Israel Police, which will give a boost to his presence and attractiveness.
Muso is sold in Israel in two levels of finish;
EX at a price of NIS 260,000, and a 'premium' version that we tested at a price of NIS 280,000.
These prices are about NIS 10,000 lower than the prices of the Isuzu Dimax, and they are about NIS 35,000 cheaper than the average price of the Toyota Hilux;
If you go for the Hilux 2.4 liter Active it will be even cheaper than the test vehicle.
So what is more important?
A few more horses/treats, or the brand that dominates the market?
This is a critical question and only the future will tell if this price will allow Ssangyong to put herds of rhinoceros on the road.
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The front grill is massive and impressive, surrounded by modern lighting units (not LED) (Photo: Rami Gilboa)
Although the front part of the Muso is taken from its brother Rexton, it is easy to think that it is an American pickup truck with a slightly reduced size.
The front grille is towering and massive, decorated with modern lighting units.
The side is carved with Raxtonic tin curves, giving the moso a unique silhouette.
The Moso is longer than the Toyota by 8 centimeters, longer than the Isuzu by 14.
It is also wider than the competition by 8-10 centimeters, and its trunk is larger and deeper.
I liked the elegant plastic strip surrounding the bottom of the chassis.
It is clean and introverted, it is reasonable to assume that contractors and off-roaders will assemble a massive iron bumper, maybe also threshold guards.
I didn't like the visibly reduced ventral space;
22 centimeters is really not much for such a long vehicle, especially in the front.
I would suggest that the designers invest thought not only in creating an impressive and large nose, but also in increasing the angle of approach.
The box is large and useful, with anchoring hooks near the floor, it is convenient for anchoring small loads.
The height of the door is 80 centimeters, 2 centimeters less than the competitors.
The wheel arches are not too prominent (photo: Rami Gilboa)
Going to work:
the trunk is also bigger than the competitors;
The Korean box is longer (1.61 meters versus 1.57 in the Dimax and 1.525 meters in the Hilux), wider (1.57 versus 1.54 and 1.53 meters) and also deeper (57 cm versus 48/49 cm in the competitors).
The volume of the Muso box is 1.43 cubic meters compared to 1.17 (Isuzu) and 1.23 (Toyota).
The Musso's loading capacity is higher - 1.165 tons compared to 1.01 and 1.08 tons for the competitors.
The towing capacity is actually lower, 3,000 kilograms against 3,500.
If anyone is looking for the largest non-American work van, the Ssangyong Moso is the answer.
One of the biggest advantages is a comfortable and spacious passenger cabin.
The trim materials are good, there are four excellent grab handles, lots of storage compartments.
Even after long hours in the saddle, we felt comfortable (Photo: Rami Gilboa)
The passenger cabin provides an excellent living environment in the front and back - spacious, luxurious and high-quality in appearance and touch.
The dashboard is geometric and clean with a completely reasonable 8-inch multimedia display, backed by physical switches to turn on the air conditioner, sound, etc. The seating position is good with ventilated and heated electric leather seats in the premium version. There are plenty of storage compartments for family drinking bottles in the doors, a large central armrest, and a shelf Useful under the windshield. The overall color is gloomy black, I would also be happy to find a slightly more substantial sunroof. The back seat is wider than usual in the category. It's comfortable to sit there, the view out is good. There are air conditioning vents in the back and even heating for the back seat, it's just a shame there are no charging sockets, And no storage space behind the back seat backrest.
The back seat is excellent in van terms.
The buttocks are high and gaunt.
Many customers will install a massive rear bumper, with a tow hook (Photo: Rami Gilboa)
the Muso is well equipped, without excessive pretensions.
The multimedia system works in Hebrew, allows the pairing of smartphones.
There are apps for parking and Wise navigation, but the quality of the reverse camera is mediocre.
The 12.3-inch dashboard provides complete and clear information, the premium version has digital climate control, a smart key, steering wheel heating and other treats.
The 2.2-liter turbo-diesel engine delivers 202 horsepower (almost the same as the 204 of the significantly more expensive Hilux 2.8-liter), and 45 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm.
The engine is quiet and smooth and with an 8-speed 'Aisin' gearbox, it provides excellent acceleration and a very calm cruise, even at highway 6 speeds. The acoustic insulation is excellent, and it was easy for us to spend long and calm hours on board.
The fuel consumption is about 10 kilometers per liter in fast intercity driving, economical for a vehicle of its type.
The manual control of the gears is carried out using a switch on the gear lever, inconvenient but also not very disturbing - there is almost no need for it.
The cruise control is not adaptive.
The safety systems are partial: there are 6 airbags, autonomous braking including pedestrians, warning of vehicles in a dead zone and lane departure (not active).
The rear-center seat belt is a waist belt only.
Despite modest off-road capabilities, it's fun to travel with the Korean van (Photo: Rami Gilboa)
Comfort and road manners:
The Muso sits on a ladder chassis, independent front suspension and a live rear axle.
This conservative configuration gives high mechanical robustness and improves the off-road capability, but does not benefit the driving comfort.
Like most vans, the Muso doesn't like to travel without cargo;
The rear suspension is bouncy, ride comfort is not good, except on well-paved roads.
The moso steering is relatively light and precise for a van, the roll angles are minimal (due to a wide wheelbase, and a relatively low center of gravity).
The Musso is also made with independent rear suspension and coil springs, which give a much better quality of life.
This refined version will not be imported to Israel because its authorized weight is only 880 kilograms (compared to 1165 kilograms in the tested model).
This is a strategic decision by the importer Telcar, to pay in the comfort of travel to get the largest authorized weight in the category.
I actually think that many customers would be happy to get by with 850 kilograms in a box, but at this stage, the spiral version will not be imported to Israel.
The rear axle travel is good, the rear differential is effective (despite brutal entry into action).
For challenging field work the Muso must be elevated, and even then it will not be the best of the bunch (Photo: Rami Gilboa)
After hundreds of kilometers of road, we descend to the terrain.
We combined a 4x4 (there is no option for road driving in a 4x4), and we entered Nahal Tabor which is in full bloom.
I chose a fairly vegetarian off-road route, not only because the chassis angles are not among the best.
Another limitation is that the Muso comes without a spare wheel.
Someone at Ssangyong decided to place the urea tank in the place intended for the spare wheel, and so, like the Rexton, the Moso only comes with a tire inflation kit.
This is a very cramped solution for road users, unacceptable for those who intend to go off-road.
The importer Talkar will attach a spare wheel to each customer, but it will be necessary to repair it inside the box, compromising its usability.
In the absence of a spare tire, I was also reluctant to properly lower the air pressure, a necessary action when driving off-road with an unloaded van.
The Muso comes with 235/70R17 tires, a very suitable size for off-road driving.
The ride comfort was better than I expected, I'm sure with a few hundred kilos in the box it will be just fine.
The interior space is modest, 22 centimeters on a length of 5.4 meters, translated into borderline body angles;
Mainly an approach angle of 20 degrees, which is not suitable even for moderate terrain walks.
The angle of abandonment is also small and in short - those who intend to go down to the terrain will have to invest 10-12 thousand shekels in raising the vehicle by 2 inches.
The approach angle does not encourage entry into technical areas - there is no problem with tearing off or crushing a bumper, or the bottom of the chassis (Photo: Rami Gilboa)
The Musso has an effective power transmission, and traction control that functions well.
The Koreans also installed the doomsday weapon, an automatic rear lock.
The lock is activated as soon as it notices that the traction control has reached its limits, and it gives the van perfect effectiveness of the rear axle.
It could have been wonderful but the problem is that the lock engages with a sharp and strong blow - unpleasant for the passengers, with the potential for mechanical damage.
What a shame that Muso doesn't have a controlled lock that you can integrate before the obstacle.
There is downhill descent control set to a speed of 10 km/h, this is too fast and requires 'manual' braking with the brake pedal.
Will Ssangyong Musu manage to step into the late Triton's shoes?
The dimensions and ride comfort say 'yes'.
The price and the capacity of the area will limit the success of the penetration (Photo: Rami Gilboa)
Bottom line: I like manufacturers that offer a competitive product that isn't too expensive, and provide an option that doesn't go the standard, expensive route.
Rexton is such a vehicle, it is about 30% cheaper than Land Cruiser and yet, it is not sold in large numbers.
The Ssangyong Muso costs 4% less than the Isuzu D Max, and only about 10% less than the iconic Toyota.
Muso is the largest 1-ton van in Israel, and has a better loading capacity than its competitors.
It has a powerful engine and a refined road ride but to break into a market dominated by such strong brands, it needs a lower price tag than it carries today.
The price adds to the terrain limitations, and I cannot recommend it to those who intend to do massive field work for work or for challenging trail trips.
For those who spend most of their time on the road and get down to moderate trails every now and then, it's still worth taking a look at the new Rhino.
We are waiting to see improvement kits for the Muso including elevation, protection and, of course, a device for the spare wheel (Photo: Rami Gilboa)
On the technical side: Ssangyong Moso 'Premium'
turbo diesel 2.2 liters, four pistons
ladder chassis with live rear axle, independent front suspensions
2x4 for road, 4x4 for off-road, 'power' gear.
Traction control and automatic locking for rear differential
Planetary automatic, 6 gears
Ground clearance (cm) m):
Approach / departure angles (degrees):
19.5 / 20.5
Self weight (kg):
161 / 157 / 57
6 airbags, European crash test not yet performed
autonomous braking, lane departure and dead zone warning, non-adaptive cruise control
three years or 100,000 km