1997 SsangYong Musso 3.2L M104 from Australia and New Zealand


Fantastic baby's first Merc


- Timing case seal leak.

- Minor interior damage.

- Rear hatch rattle.

- Indicator stalk failure.

- Ignition wiring failure.

- Park sensor failure.

General Comments:

The parts of this car made by Benz are spectacular, other than their standard automatic transmission bugs (of which, this has had remarkably few). By far the fastest stock 4x4 I have yet come across (including V8 cruisers, being far lighter and lower geared from the factory). The parts made by Ssangyong (interior, some wiring) have failed, but were not difficult to repair or replace.

I picked this up for very little; they regularly surface for a couple grand; if you are a little handy with cars, you cannot go past this thing for an easy to live with road 4x4 that can handle some moderate bush once in a while.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2015

1997 SsangYong Musso Version 3 3.2 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


One of the best 4x4s I have owned


Nothing to date.

General Comments:

Well what can I say, except it is a top 4x4 vehicle.

Putting it up, side by side with the 2000 Pajero I had before, this is a much better vehicle in all ways. When 4WDing, the Pajero was alright, but a bit dangerous due to its high centre of gravity, but with the Musso and its low CG, it is just so much more stable off road, and it rides far better.

Around town it is a bit thirsty on the fuel, but what do you expect, running an engine that has a very high BHP and torque, and that has slightly low gearing, but saying that, it will suck the door handles off 90% of cars from a standing start, and as a tow vehicle - AWESOME.

The ride is top notch, both on road and off. Mine has the full leather interior and all the bells and whistles, except for the sunroof.

Top car, and very under rated as a 4x4. Most people that bag them really do not know what they are talking about, or have never owned a Musso. I have owned Patrols, Land Cruisers, Pajeros and a Range Rover, and I must say the Musso is top of my list as a 4x4, along with the Range Rover. The others in comparison are just over priced rubbish.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th November, 2011

28th Dec 2011, 04:53

I couldn't agree with you more, Ssangyong is so underrated as a brand, it is almost criminal.

I had the pleasure of owning a version 3 Musso for 3 years, and like yourself, I found it to be super reliable, ridiculously powerful (who would have thunk a 2 1/2 tonne 4wd could do 0-100 in 9.8s), and super entertaining offroad.

In the end I traded it in only because of the fuel economy for another... wait for it... Ssangyong, a Kyron diesel this time. It is also a fantastic and woefully underrated vehicle, although not as fast as the Musso LOL.

1997 SsangYong Musso Verse 5 3.2L Mercedes-Benz petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Unique to the eyes, luxurious and powerful performance, excellent value


Automatic transmission overhaul at 120000Kms, - clutch for reverse gear broke. Transmission overhaul cost $3500Aud.

1 of 3 Ignition coil packs required replacement at 135000Kms. Individual Coil pack cost $250Aud (x3)

General Comments:

The SsangYong Musso is a great all round wagon.

An unusual looking car that was ridiculed for its design in the mid 90s, but fits in better with todays 4WDs and SUVs modern styling.

Originally styled by a Bentley Designer, it used Mercedes-Benz components, and was assembled in Korea by SsangYong (and later sold to Daewoo) Simple!

Although the automatic transmission clutch failed at 120000kms, this is NOT a common problem with the Mercedes designed 4speeds.

The Musso may lack that finished build quality you may expect from a similar model Hilux-Surf or Landcruiser, however it makes up for it with a high level of technology, luxury and performance not found in its competitors.

The Mercedes-Benz 3.2L In-Line 6 cylinder gives great smooth power, and the fuel consumption is fair for a 2 tonne car with this engine style. (450Kms / 65 Litres)

Off-road the Musso is a worthy contender, constant AWD with High/Low range and auto steep decent.

Comfortable and fair ground clearance.

The Musso is a purpose built SUV, luxurious and suited for everyday city driving and capable of serious 4WD work.

However most Musso's age may affect their reliability and I wouldn't be driving anywhere isolated where a life may depend on the vehicle.

But I guess that could be said for any 10 year older car.

Overall the Musso is a great value AWD SUV to buy (New or Used), and parts are fairly priced considering the vehicle uses a lot of genuine Mercedes parts.

But beware the scarce lack of dealerships and parts outlets in Australia.

You can find parts through some Mercedes-Benz dealers, but they are often reluctant to help you as they see the Mussos as a "naughty stepchild" to the Benz family.

Do a little bit of research and this car will score a 10/10.

Features including:


Traction Control.

Cruise Control (!Auto only)

Constant AWD - electronic High/Low range.

Mercedes-Benz designed Motors and Transmission.

Central locking.

Power Windows.

Leather Seats.

Wood-grain look dash and trims.

Auto speed sensing wipers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th January, 2009

3rd Jun 2010, 19:31

I have had a 1998 Musso for 2 years now and it has been a brilliant buy. It only cost me $9k, which was ridiculously cheap compared to any other 4wd at the time I purchased it. I have taken it many remote places, and it has not let me down yet. The only thing to go wrong with it so far has been a leaky brake master cylinder (An AUSTRALIAN made part F.Y.I. LOL) and the engine developed a misfire due to me being a little over enthusiastic with a water blaster one day, wetting bits I shouldn't, causing the spark plugs to rust.

7th Apr 2012, 15:57

The 4 speed Mercedes auto is absolutely known for failed reverse. I mean it's not a matter of if, but when it will happen. I've owned several Mercedes vehicles with the m104 (your 3.2L I6) and the 722.xxx 4 speed auto, and they have all had issues with reverse at some point. Delayed engagement or no engagement at all eventually. Extremely common issue.

25th Jun 2013, 02:02

I need help from the experts. Please help me regarding my 1997 SsanYong Musso automatic transmission. My reverse gear (R) is not working properly. I mean it's really weak when I switch it to reverse gear; there are times when I accelerate too much and it's not even moving backwards. Sometimes it engages reverse gear, especially when the engine is cold, however, the drive (D) is working properly.

Please help me or send some possible problems to sqjlaw@yahoo.com. Thanks, and I'll appreciate any comments.

Jeff (Philippines).