Performance 3 out of 5 stars
The 1.6-litre petrol engine feels gutless below 3000rpm, so you’ll need to make full use of the six-speed manual gearbox and keep the revs above this figure to make brisk progress, especially on the motorway. The six-speed automatic version actually accelerates faster than the manual from 0-62mph. Although we’re yet to try the diesel model, its superior low-rev shove should help make it more relaxing to drive.
Ride & Handling 2 out of 5 stars
Despite being a relatively tall car, the Tivoli’s body doesn’t lean too much in bends. It doesn’t have much grip, though, so can feel a little wayward when pushed hard. That said, the steering is quite responsive and has a button to vary its weight, so it is light in town but can offer more weight and reassurance on faster roads. It’s a shame that the ride is harsh over scruffy surfaces and rather bouncy on undulating roads. All-wheel drive is an option on the diesel models.
Refinement 2 out of 5 stars
The 1.6-litre petrol engine is decently refined at low revs, but gets coarse and whiney above 4000rpm. The accelerator pedal is also overly responsive, which makes it too easy to over rev the engine away from a standstill and hard to drive the car smoothly in stop-start traffic. Excessively sensitive brakes exacerbate this problem by making it tricky to stop smoothly, too. There’s a lot of noise from the suspension, but the cabin is acceptably insulated from wind and road noise at speed.
For Roomy cabin and boot, and lots of safety kit. Mid-spec cars are particularly well equipped for the money.
Against The petrol engine is coarse and needs plenty of revs to perform well. The ride is harsh.
What Car? says
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