There’s a new pick-up on the market for those buying to a budget and it ain’t half bad.

Based as it is on its Rexton SUV, Ssang Yong’s Musso pick-up is quite a smart-looking affair and is quite an imposing creature, albeit with a fairly high load bed that you wouldn’t want to be humping too many bales on to.

It is imposing to the tune of being more than five metres in length and almost two metres wide, with a wheelbase of 3.1m. While this is a welcome help to the rear passenger space – which can be a problem on some pick-ups – it also allows a 1.3m long load space, which is rated for an Euro-pallet-sized one-tonne payload. Actually, that payload is 1085kg with the auto and 1095kg with the manual gearbox version.

On towing capacity, the auto has a 3.5-tonne rating with a braked trailer, with the manual gearing 300kg less.

The South-Korean-built Musso is powered by a 2.2-litre diesel which is engineered to hit the Euro 6 emission standards. This is rated at 178bhp and on the test car was matched up to a six-speed automatic gearbox, though a manual with six cogs is also available.

It’s a part-time four-wheel-drive system, which should help with economy figures, though the Musso is not great in that department and its combined figure for the auto is about 33mpg, while the manual should give you 3mpg more than that.

Changing from two to four-wheel-drive and also into a useful low-box, is as easy as pie via a turnbuckle dial situated behind the gear lever. Off-road, it’s quite a confident mover and there’s a useful 215mm ground clearance, but the fairly large overhang, especially on the rear, may cause a bit of a scrape should the going get really tough. In that case, the tow-bar – an optional extra at £430 – is a must to protect the rear undercarriage!

I wouldn’t be worried about opting for the pretty nifty auto box on the Musso and even off-roading with this is made a bit more acceptable given the fact that it has a ‘manual’ override mode. This makes it much safer on tricky downhill slopes, for instance and as it’s never going to be tested on the Nürburgring, the slightly slower off the pace race to 62mph is neither here nor there.

On the road it’s not a match for the industry-leading Ford Ranger, as its ride and handling does not come near that. But for that soft and wallowy ride, especially in the front end, it could compete with most of the competition, though like most, it does handle best with a couple of hundredweight in the load bay.

However, the big plus points for those who have to pay for it are in the cost of buying one and the warranty that backs it up. The former comes off the starting blocks at about £17,000, plus VAT, while the latter is a seven-year package at up to 150,000 miles – both are very attractive selling points when set against the rest of the market.

That said, the Saracen-designated Musso which was on test, given its auto box and loads of standard features came in at fully £10,000 more than the base model. However, that does give you the likes of Nappa leather seats, power adjustable and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel (bliss on a cold morning) and, for those in the back, a rear seat armrest with cup/beer holder – depending on who you’re transporting!

For the money, the infotainment screen is uprated from the standard eight inches to 9.2-inches, with a rear-view camera and steering wheel controls fitted. The Saracen designation also adds fripperies such as bright-finish mirrors and door handles, 18-inch black alloys. A full sized spare – one of my bugbears – is standard across the range, though.

One nice touch is the fact that the doors fully protect the door sills from mud ingress, which can be important when alighting from the Musso in full evening garb!

Rear passengers will also really appreciate that their needs are well catered for and there’s room for three large adults, with no dancing around the transmission tunnel thanks to a flat floor configuration.

Also, there’s a feeling of quality in the cabin thanks to its close association with the Rexton and the fit and finish is one area this brand has been working hard to fix. In the Musso, it was fine and shows that they’ve been listening to their customers.

Even at the bottom of the range, the EX models get a DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity, 17-inch alloys, air conditioning, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights.

All in all, for the money it’s a solid and useful machine, with that seven-year warranty acting as a really special come-and-get-me bonus.