WHAT does the future hold for pick-ups un the UK? It’s never been the strongest market, particularly when compared to countries such as the US, South Africa, Australia and Thailand.
The market offering will get smaller as well following Mitsubishi’s announcement that it is pulling out of Europe, and with it the popular L200 pick-up.
However, living in rural farming community you soon realise that the pick-up is still popular and you see many, many more of them than you do around town.
If you are looking for something with plenty of capacity, the ability to get down and dirty on the farm, and at a reasonable price, then the Ssangyong Musso Long Bed Rhino will get the job done – it’s the longest, highest-capacity double cab pick-up available in the UK.
It’s 1.61m load bed can carry more than a ton and at a price below £30,000.
What’s more it can tow and carry its maximum capacity at the same time. Rivals may offer 3,500kg towing and over 1,000kg carrying capacity, unlike the Musso, they can’t do it at the same time.
The Musso Rhino can tow 3,500kg and carry 1,140kg, providing a total capacity of 4,640kg. It is able to do this largely via rear leaf spring suspension, rather than coil springs used on Ssangyong’s shorter wheelbase models, and it does it without any bad effect on ride and handling.
The Rhino quite happy soaked up a 250-mile round trip covering motorway, town and country without any unnerving rock and roll or a ‘jiggly’ ride. Steering has good SUV-type ‘feel’ and is light and direct. However, the sheer size of the car means it is not the easiest to park.
All Rhinos have 6-speed auto transmissions and hauling the vehicle is a 181hp, 420Nm 2.2-litre diesel engine. Performance is perfectly satisfactory and economy is claimed at 28.2mpg and we achieved this almost exactly over our mixed bag of driving. AdBlue is new to reduce NOx emissions.
Just as important in farming country is off-road ability and the Musso doesn’t disappoint. Ground clearance has been increased by 5mm to 220mm, although the longer length adds 10cm to the overhang which will have an effect on approach and departure angles if you are being really adventurous, plus the turning circle has increased.
The interior is pretty much what you’ll find on most Ssangyong SUVs and the Rhino gets the same high-spec as the Saracen and includes dual-zone climate control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and lane-change assist. Weirdly for a pick-up it also features privacy rear glass.
There’s a 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with TomTom navigation, and, surprisingly Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated and cooled leather driver, passenger and rear seats, plus heated steering wheel.
There is also a 12V/120W power outlet in the bed while reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors are now standard.
You’ll find plenty of room in the double cab as well with good seat adjustment.
The SsangYong Musso Rhino LWB costs – an extra £1,749 over the Saracen SWB model. Apart from the drop to 17-inch wheels, it includes all the comfort and convenience features of the Saracen and adds dual-zone climate control, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert and lane-change assist.
Plus an extra 310mm of Musso. Unless that 5.4m length is going to cause you parking problems, the Rhino LWB is the Musso to get.
The Rhino will certainly do a job around the farm or building site but also worth considering if you are looking to tow a caravan, boat or horsebox.
Price is £29,995 and that 2.2-litre diesel engine completes the 0-62mph dash in 11.9 seconds and has a top speed of 107mph. CO2 emissions are 262g/km.