New baby SUV rival for the Nissan Juke shown in Geneva ahead of UK sales starting in May
The SsangYong Tivoli, a rival for the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, has received its international debut at the Geneva motor show.
The Tivoli is 4.2 metres long, around five centimetres longer than a Nissan Juke. It sits on an all-new platform - the first developed since SsangYong was taken over by Indian industrial giant Mahindra.
The front suspension is McPherson struts, while the rear gets a torsion beam configuration, and the car can be specified with either 16-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels. The Tivoli is a five-seater with a boot capacity of 423 litres - or around 30 litres less than that of a Renault Captur.
The Tivoli will be launched at the start of May with a 1.6-litre normally aspirated petrol engine, and a 1.6 diesel will follow a couple of months later, in July. The petrol motor produces 126bhp and 118lb ft at 4600rpm, and can emit 149g/km of CO2 in two-wheel drive form. It will come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but a six-speed automatic - the same Aisin unit used by Mini - will also be available with both engines.
The diesel motor, meanwhile, offers 113bhp and 221lb ft, and emits 109g/km of CO2 in two-wheel drive form.
Four-wheel drive will be offered on all editions, too, though only from July. On those models, the suspension is replaced with a multi-link setup.
As with many of the new breed of small SUVs, the Tivoli will be offered with a wide range of customisation options, including a seven-inch colour touchscreen on high-end editions, a contrasting roof colour and, potentially, some bold interior trim finishes - although SsangYong's UK importer has yet to commit to offering them all.
The connectivity options will include a USB socket and, unusually, an HDMI socket that will allow users to play their smartphone video content on the central screen.
Other features available include rain-sensing wipers, a heated steering wheel, heated seats, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, a "Smart Steer" system with three settings, cruise control and automatic headlights. All Tivolis get seven airbags, including a driver's kneebag.
Speaking at the Korean launch of the car, Mahindra & Mahindra's automotive division boss Pawan Kumar Goenka said: "Nothing can change fortunes of an automotive company faster than the launch of a successful product, and I believe Tivoli has that potential. We believe it will set several new benchmarks in the B-segment SUV category."
UK specifications and pricing are still being finalised, but well placed sources suggest that the Tivoli will start at less than £13,000 for an entry-level two-wheel-drive petrol manual edition, rising to just under £20,000 for a top-spec automatic four-wheel-drive diesel.
SsangYong says the Tivoli will add an extra 100,000 units to its annual production output. The company previewed the look of the new Tivoli with the XIV-Adventure and XIV-Air concept cars at the 2014 Paris motor show.
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