The SsangYong Musso Saracen is leading the way in pickups - and others need to take note.

That's Chris Johnson's verdict, after having driven it for a few days.

With its curved lines, impressive ladder front grill, gracious approach and luxurious look the Saracen arrived presented in a glorious marble gray, he writes.

Sat on a set of lovely gloss black 18 inch alloys the pickup certainly commands glances from those that pass by.

Equally the inside is very highly specified - which is probably part of the reason why it has been crowned Pickup of the Year 2022.

The 2.2 diesel (181ps giving 420Nm of torque) is smooth, it accelerates at pace and the six speed auto gearbox makes for a very easy cruise over long distances.

The part-time 4x4 is easy to switch between modes and, whilst slightly lower than some on the market, confidence is there when needed for all but the most adventurous.

South West Farmer:

A towing capacity of 3.5t is no marvel these days but the carrying capacity of 1095kg is a crowd pleaser for sure and if you go all out for the long wheelbase range topping 'Rhino' this increases to 1140kg.

The Saracen comes with a high quality interior, the nappa leather, the chrome edging and so on all make this pickup feel like a luxury SUV.

Add in three stage front heated and cooled seats, dual climate, heated rear seats and the icing on the cake, in the form of a heated steering wheel, and there really isn’t much else you would wish for.

The build feels solid, the ride reassuringly comfortable and most certainly less agricultural.

The seven year warranty (150,000miles) will probably not be needed but to have it there is simply yet another plus point in desirability.

Costs for the Musso start from just under £24,000 plus VAT rising up to £32,000 plus VAT for the long wheelbase Rhino edition.

This may seem expensive compared to the previous version, but it is justifiable - and to be honest, if you pay cheap, you often pay twice.

In summary, the Musso is brilliant.

It's probably the pickup that other manufacturers should have been building years ago.

They really should take notice going forward if they aren’t to lose valuable market share in an ever more difficult market.

Pros: Highly equipped, comfortable for five adults, seven year/150,000mile warranty

Cons: Ground clearance, stigma (through naivety)