A stay of execution means this is not the final goodbye for the SsangYong, retirement having been pushed back so we can dovetail (or is that mid-air refuel?) my eventual migration to different wheels for this page. The extra month is great news, though I am a bit jittery about the editor prising the keys to the Musso from my dead hands – sorry, reassigning me to a new motoring challenge.
In a nutshell (an ironic phrase given this thing’s dimensional largesse) the Musso in XXL size Rhino spec is a big beast. You’ll never lose it in a crowded car park, particularly that overhanging bottom that tucks into line like the Ardnamurchan Peninsula.
All the notable journeys this month have been for animal transportation (a fact that continues to reflect in my quest for better mpg – the bigger story of that I will save for next month). Three months ago, I opened the curtains to watch a fox on the lawn harassing a hedgehog. The fox scarpered and the hedgehog appeared unfazed, until it turned up in the hen coop a few days later, looking bewildered and skinny. A journey by cardboard box and Musso to a hedgehog hospital revealed the fox had evidently snacked on one of her hind legs. This month though, we drove back to collect her: replenished and reconfigured as a tripod by her NHS (National Hedgehog Service) experience, she returned, again by Musso, to be re-released into the wilds of our back garden.
Animal assignment number two was to collect a new house for a brace of guinea pigs (which were collected shortly afterwards); a new parental concession and addition to the menagerie I firmly rejected (until, of course, my wife corrected me). Upshot of all journeys though: furry and spiky creatures appear to be happy with SsangYong transit. Despite the heavy-duty rear suspension, the ride in the back is never jarring, no matter what kind of critter you are.
Back in the supermarket car park, I have discovered (and don’t tell anyone) that evening shopping trips are the best time for supersize trucks to visit. Thus devoid of cars, they also make pleasant photo locations, allowing the space you need to stand back and contemplate all of the Musso in one frame. From all angles, this double cab is quite the handsome beast – not as shouty as some of the rivals; the design to me at least exudes a certain self-assured confidence.
Were we to use canine analogies, I’d put it like this: if you want a growling, badly behaved Mastiff, shop elsewhere; if companionship with a handsome, calm Labrador hits the spot, the Musso may well be your best friend for life.
Date arrived 10th September 2020
Economy (WLTP combined) 28.2mpg
Economy (On test) 28.7mpg