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SsangYong Tivoli ELX

Having operated almost entirely in the 4x4 and MPV market SsangYong has made its first foray into small crossovers with the Tivoli. STUART KIDMAN was among the first to drive the UK model.

READ BACK through some of Camping & Caravanning’s Tow Car Awards coverage over the years and SsangYong's name has cropped up a few times.

As a brand it hasn't yet commanded rave reviews in our towing tests. In 2013s Awards, both the Rodius and Korando Sports scored three stars overall, while a year later the Rexton W and Turismo fared no better.

But with the Tivoli, SsangYong is looking for a somewhat different type of buyer. The cars smaller size and subsequent lower weight than its stablemates will mean it’s far from the obvious choice as a tow car when you look at the SsangYong line-up.

 

SSANGYONG TIVOLI ELX

However; what it may just do is turn the heads of those who might once have looked no further than the Nissan Juke or Citroen Cactus. That's because the Tivoli comes really well-equipped and is actually not half bad to drive. The range comes in three specifications, SE. EX and ELX, with a 1.6-litre petrol or diesel engine under the bonnet, plus the option of 4WD.

Most caravanners will probably opt for the 4WD diesel in ELX trim, which will be available in the UK around the time you read this. Pricing for this model starts at £18,500 and increases by £1,000 if you opt for the automatic.

I drove the 2WD diesel in ELX trim, which was fitted with a number of neat luxuries as standard. There was a seven-inch touch screen system with TornTom satellite navigation, Bluetooth audio compatibility and a reversing camera. The car also came with keyless start/stop, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, heated leather seats and folding door mirrors.

 

 

The driving position feels slightly lofty (welcome for a car in this sector) and the dash is well organised with very little clutter. The materials used here bely the car's price tag, with stitched leather on the steering wheel and a quality feel to most of the instrumentation.

Where the Tivoli impresses most is in its performance on the road. The diesel engines pull it along well, producing 115PS at 3,400 revs - enough to give the car a 0-62mph time of 12 seconds and a top speed of about 107mph. At no point does it feel underpowered.                                                                                                                                         

That translates to reasonable economy too. The ELX diesel auto I tested could run at 51.4mpg on the combined cycle, though the manual 2WD can do a fair bit better at 65.7mpg, according to the Official figures.

Handling is impressive, with only the vaguest hints of chassis wobble as the Tivoli dealt with the many potholes and country lanes on my test.

I didn't tow with the Tivoli as the 4WD models were not available, but the maximum towing limit of the diesels is a cool 1,500kg. Not bad for a car of this size. That means, using the usual 85 percent guidance, the Tivoli should be a comfortable match for caravans weighing up to 1,215kg making it an affordable and well' equipped option for those towing small to medium-sized units.

Verdict
Excellent value for money, making it a serious player in the small crossover sector.

For more information on the SsangYong Tivoli click here
 

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