With Japanese brands dominating the Philippine pickup market, perhaps it is about time to welcome new competitors. That being said, close sources have said that Korean manufacturer SsangYong may bring in their lifestyle-oriented pickup, the Musso, into the country.
Details are scarce as of posting but negotiations are currently being dealt with the Korean automaker and the local PH distributor. Also, being a pick-up, this version of the SsangYong Musso will benefit from zero excise taxes.
Looking further into what SsangYong might be offering, what we have is a fleet of four different variants of the Musso. As to which one or ones will make it to PH shores, we are unsure of as we speak. Nonetheless, here are the variants that SsangYong has announced for foreign markets.
Serving as the entry-level variant, the EX does not shortchange potential owners at all. Rolling out of factory with 17” alloy wheels, its other features include a Bluetooth audio system, 6 airbags, power windows, and remote central locking which also includes the tailgate. Automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers come standard along with a manual climate control.
Building on the EX platform, the Rebel features both interior and exterior enhancements. 18” alloys are now used, and it comes with roof rails and black side steps as well. Rebel graphics also identify this variant from the rest. On the inside, it features an 8” infotainment system with Google CarPlay and Android Auto, plus leather seats, a leather steering wheel, and a rearview reverse camera, among others.
Being the premium variant, the Saracen has a lot going on with aesthetics and features. Power front seats wrapped in nappa leather, a 9.2” infotainment and navigation system, along with cruise control are part of the interior's looks and features. On the outside, 18” black alloys are used. A metal front skid plate, bright finished tubular side steps and rear corner bars, plus automatic projector lamps and LED positioning lamps complete the premium look.
The Rhino is not exactly a standard variant, but is a limited edition instead. Featuring only two color schemes, only 100 of these units will be made. What sets the Rhino apart are 20” wheels shod in General Grabber all-terrain tires, a black front skid plate, black tubular side steps and corner bars, a black load deck bar with LED lights, and dark tinted rear privacy glass. A numbered limited edition plaque and Rhino graphics also give attention to its identity in the lineup.
In addition to each variant's features, the Musso also has a lot going on in the power, durability, and comfort side. SsangYong's newest pickup boasts of a 1-ton payload and 3.5-ton towing capacity that it can do at the same time. It features quad-frame body construction as well, which helps in delivering its rugged offroad capabilities. For the occupants, the Musso features what might be one of if not the biggest cabin spaces in the market.
Should SsangYong decide on bringing any (or all) Musso into the Philippines, it should give the market quite a stir.