When SsangYong says it’s hoping to ‘Escape from the Ordinary’ with its new Tivoli, you quickly realise how important this car is for the company. This car, the first developed by new owner Mahindra & Mahindra, represents a new dawn for the firm and aims to finally make the brand a success in Europe.
Designed to square up to the likes of the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur, Skoda Yeti and Vauxhall Mokka, among others, it’s entering a competitive but - crucially for the Korean manufacturer – growing segment.
It certainly looks the part, and while its lines won’t appeal to everyone, it is far less homogenous than the slightly older, and larger, Korando model. Sharp headlights, neat 16-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels and a floating roof ensures it stands out against its numerous competitors. Especially when fitted with one of the Black or White colour packs, which contrasts that roof, mirrors and rear spoiler with the bodywork.
The cabin style has taken a similar leap forward, with a bold centre console, neat instruments, robust switchgear and an overall hike in quality from the firm’s previous models. There’s plenty of storage space too, while the rear seats are amongst the most spacious in the segment and the boot can accommodate an impressive 423 litres of luggage with the seats in place.
Two engines, two gearboxes, four-wheel drive
There’s only two engines to choose from with the Tivoli; both 1.6-litres in capacity but fuelled by either petrol or diesel. Designed from the ground-up, they represent another leap forward for the company in terms of refinement, performance and efficiency.
The petrol only produces 126bhp but with manual transmission accelerates from 0-62mph in 12 seconds – the automatic managing the same one second quicker. If you need four-wheel drive though you’ll need to choose the 113bhp diesel, which is also available with an automatic gearbox.
SsangYong is something of an expert when it comes to four-wheel drive, with a long heritage of 4x4 vehicles in its home country, and the Tivoli uses an electronic on-demand system to distribute its power between front and rear wheels depending on which needs it most. It’s said to be highly competent off-road with 167mm ground clearance and ample approach, departure and ramp angles.
High standard kit levels
No matter which SsangYong Tivoli you choose, all come fitted with plenty of standard kit including alloy wheels (16-inch for SE and 18-inch for EX or ELX), cruise control, keyless entry, seven airbags, Smart steering and Bluetooth connectivity. The mid-spec EX comes with heated leather seats, Dual zone climate control and seven-inch colour touchscreen while the top-spec ELX adds sat-nav, keyless start, auto lights and wipers plus a rear spoiler.
There’s a series of option packs available to help you personalise your Tivoli, including the Red Leather Pack which brightens up the interior with colour leather and the Black or White Packs to colour contrast elements of the interior.
All come with the firm’s five-year limitless miles warranty and the brand is predicting it will have grown its 52-strong dealership sites to around 80 by the end of 2016.
More dealers, better quality, smoother engines, generous levels of standard kit and sharp looks – read the rest of the Parkers SsangYong Tivoli review to find out if it has the ability to upset the applecart in this sector.
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