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SsangYong Tivoli Diesel

David Motton

SsangYong’s new Tivoli crossover is expected to be the Korean brand’s best-seller, and we can see why.

We had a drive in the new SsangYong Tivoli crossover a couple of months ago, but that was the petrol version. We’ve now been behind the wheel of the diesel model, which has far more going for it as a small tow car.

For starters, it’s heavier: kerbweights start from 1430kg rather than the petrol’s 1270kg, giving an 85% match figure of 1216kg. The towing limit leaps from 1000kg to 1500kg.


While the petrol engine must be worked hard to bowl long at a decent pace, the 1.6-litre diesel has plenty of pulling power from low revs. There’s 221lb ft of torque from 1500-2500rpm – more than enough to tow a sensibly matched van. The Tivoli certainly accelerated briskly on our solo test drive.

Fuel economy is good, if shy of the most frugal small crossovers’. The two-wheel-drive manual achieves 65.7mpg on the combined cycle, the auto (which costs £1000 more) achieves 51.4mpg. Four-wheel-drive versions will be available from November.


Of its obvious rivals, only the Dacia Duster is significantly cheaper, but it’s nothing like as well equipped or as roomy as the Tivoli. In fact, the cabin space is one of its strongest features. There’s enough space for a 6ft 3in passenger to sit behind an equally tall driver. However, we’d prefer reach, as well as rake, adjustment for the steering wheel.

The boot has a capacity of 423 litres. The rear seats split and fold, but this creates a step to the load floor. An optional storage box levels the boot floor with the lowered seats and provides hidden space below.

Equipment levels are generous across the board. The entry-level SE has cruise control, air conditioning, a six-speaker stereo and as much safety kit as pricier models. However, early orders suggest most buyers will spend more on the EX or ELX versions.

For our money, the mid-spec EX is the best value. For another £1400, upgrades include dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and a rear-view camera.

The only real disappointment is the over-firm ride. Otherwise the SsangYong Tivoli is very practical and great value.

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