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First drive: SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.

First drive: SsangYong Tivoli
SsangYong's new Tivoli aims at the small crossover market, with a good-value package.

 



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SsangYong Tivoli

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Here's some mainstream credibility from SsangYong in the form of its new Tivoli crossover, a sensibly-priced, decent-driving Nissan Juke alternative.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: SsangYong Tivoli ELX
Price: 16,000 as tested; starts at 12,950
Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: front-wheel drive, six-speed manual
Body style: five-door, five-seat compact crossover
CO2 emissions: 149g/km (Band F, 145 per year)
Combined economy: 44.1mpg
Top speed: 106mph
0-62mph: 12 seconds
Power: 128hp at 6,000rpm
Torque 160Nm at 4,600rpm

What's this?

SsangYong's take on a supermini-sized crossover; the Tivoli is the firm's first really credible stab at taking on the mainstream. By that we're talking Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and plenty more, but the SsangYong is a value-laden proposition. That's previously meant some serious compromises, but the Tivoli changes that, with decent build, a credible drive and, depending on your opinion, sharp looks. Add loads of equipment and generous space at give-away pricing and the Tivoli is a car you might happily ignore the relatively unknown badge on its bonnet for.

Even entry-level SE trim, from 12,950, has alloy wheels, cruise control, seven airbags and Bluetooth telephone connection. EX adds 18-inch alloys, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and a rear-view camera - as part of a smart audio system - from just 14,600. Go wild with your spending and 16,000 will get you into an ELX version, which gets all of the above with navigation and a lot more besides. Four-wheel drive adds 1,250 where it's offered, and the automatic 1,000, so the most you can conceivably spend on a Tivoli is 20,750 for an ELX diesel 4x4 automatic with metallic paint, a styling pack and red leather interior.

How does it drive?

The Tivoli isn't going to set any class standards on the road, but it does drive with a level of competent roundedness that means it's a credible player in its sector. Engine choices are currently limited to 1.6-litre petrol and diesel units, though that range is expected to be extended with three-cylinder choices in time. Only the diesel is offered with four-wheel drive, though either can be had with a manual or automatic transmission - the latter the same automatic that's used on the current MINI.

The 1.6-litre petrol engine might not follow the down-sized turbocharged route of its rivals, but it's smooth enough if you don't ask too much from it. Without a turbo it's down on torque, but around town it's not too detrimental to performance, though fully loaded on a motorway you might miss it. Economy isn't outstanding at 44.1mpg, which is worse than the Nissan Juke 1.6, which, despite being significantly down on power compared to the Tivoli, matches its 0-62mph time.

That's unlikely to worry the majority of buyers, as the Tivoli makes up for it in other areas. It's spacious enough in the cabin to comfortably accommodate four adults, while head- and legroom are good front and back. Add a boot that's usefully shaped and sized and the Tivoli is among the most usefully proportioned cars in its class. There are some cheap looking plastics here and there, but overall it's nicely built and finished, the equipment count meaning a fair amount of buttons to press.

There's a superfluous one though, SsangYong specifying the Tivoli with a variable steering assistance set up, with three different modes - Normal Comfort and Sport. It's best left alone, as the Tivoli is not a car that'll be driven with dynamic prowess in mind, and the steering is fairly light on feel in any of its settings. It's never going to offer the chassis polish of a Juke or Peugeot 2008, but the suspension does a reasonable job of keeping control, riding decently enough over rough surfaces and gripping well - the Tivoli is not likely to disappoint its target audience.

Verdict

SsangYong's new Tivoli adds space, a lengthy list of equipment and acceptable driving dynamics to a highly competitive class. It's best sampled at its entry point, where it looks like great value for buyers less concerned about badge snobbery and brand perception and more focused on value. It's a car you'll not need to apologise for or explain then. The Tivoli may not set any benchmarks in its class - except perhaps on space - but it should certainly be considered. And seriously, at that.

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Exterior Design

3 3 3 3 3 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Comfort

2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 Driving Dynamics

2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 Powertrain


Kyle Fortune - 23 Jun 2015









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2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.

2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.



2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.
 

2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.
 

2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.
 

2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.
 

2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.
 

2015 SsangYong Tivoli. Image by SsangYong.
 






 

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