Enter the Dragon!
SsangYong Tivoli ELX 1.6 auto petrol
Price as driven: £17,000
If you dare to be a bit different and want a practical family car that doesn’t follow the crowd, you could do worse than consider this bold new small crossover from Korean car firm SsangYong.
It has a distinctive look – even for a crossover – with a high-sided chunky bold design, and a swept-back floating roof-line.
SsangYong, which is Korean for ‘two dragons’, has given its new sporty five-door family run-around a very European name – Tivoli – to complement its very European style.
Pitched to take on the pumped-up Nissan Juke, the new Tivoli has a lot of kit as standard.
Mine had comfortable full-leather seats, remote keyless entry and a folding key complete with ‘panic alarm’, a push-button keyless start to fire up the engine, electronic cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, LED daytime running lights, and an electronic tailgate release.
There’s a rear spoiler, automatic headlamps and rain sensing wipers.
Plenty of tech, too, with a 7in touch screen with radio, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, TomTom navigation and a handy reversing camera – plus front and rear parking sensors, and 18in alloy wheels.
It’s a smooth drive from the 1.6-litre petrol engine linked to a six-speed automatic gearbox with three shift settings – eco, power and winter – to suit your driving style or needs. It glides along pretty effortlessly.
Decent fuel economy averaging 39.2mpg, rising to a fraction under 50mpg when cruising and 28.8mpg around town.
Mine had the two-wheel drive but a 4x4 version is available, as are a 1.6-litre diesel and a manual.
Plenty of room inside and very flexible seating plus storage in a practical five-door five-seater.
The Tivoli range is priced from £12,950 to £19,500 and promises value-for-money motoring.
There are three trim levels – SE, EX, ELX – with a choice of front-wheel drive or ‘intelligent’ 4x4 and seven airbags for added safety. There’s a five-year unlimited mileage warranty.
The entry level Tivoli SE priced from £12,950 is finished in grey cloth trim and includes 16in alloy wheels, cruise control, a petrol stop/go system, seven airbags and ‘smart’ steering with normal, comfort and sport modes.
The electronic tail-gate release is a faff to find. Some ergonomical adjustment is required here.
Top speed is a sedate 99mph with acceleration from 0-60 in a leisurely 11 seconds – thought its more than enough for driving around town and motorway cruising. CO2 emissions are relatively high – at 167g/km.
For more information on the SsangYong Tivoli click here