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Spyshot: New Musso to move upmarket

When it comes to modern SUVs SsangYong isn’t the most obvious of makes to consider. It’s better known for the Rexton which, although not the most refined of vehicles, is respected as a utility mud plugger.

But its new 4x4 promises to be a much more sophisticated and modern machine with looks to rival the Lexus RX and BMW X5 – but with a price tag more akin to the Kia Sorento, which will doubtless be one its main rivals.

It’s likely to be badged Musso, following on from the old model which was launched in 1993. That one went through the unfortunate phase of being badged a Daewoo, following the takeover by the Korean carmaker, which was then bought by General Motors. Since those times it has returned as an independent company, albeit with a 48.9% stake owned by SAIC.

This will be the largest of three new SUV models to be launched by SsangYong, with a Rexton replacement and Freelander rivalling softroader following in 2007. As such it will be the flagship model, which the manufacturer hopes will boost its profile and reputation.

Quality will be a key issue and interior trim is expected to be much improved from previous models – with better plastics and less fake wood giving it a more upmarket feel. Buyers can expect a lot for their money with high standard equipment levels including heated and electric leather seats and air conditioning.

Like the Rexton it will have full-time all-wheel drive and more than likely the same well-proven 2.9-litre diesel unit, which has given the brand a good reputation for reliability and performance.

More engines will follow after launch, including a range topping 3.2-litre petrol, shared with the Rexton, but tuned for more power. The new Musso is expected to be launched in the UK in November this year with prices around the £19,000 mark.

Engines

Two engine options with one a development of the current 2.9-litre Mercedes-Benz designed turbodiesel.

Design

Larger than Rexton, new Musso will have lines to appeal to European buyers and less body cladding.

Chassis

Aimed at SUV buyers rather than hardcore 4x4 owners it will be more at home on the highway than in the mud

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