Recommended. A big step forward for Ssangyong, although it still needs refinement.
This should be a landmark car for Ssangyong. After years of lagging woefully behind its Korean counterparts Kia and Hyundai, it has now moved into the crossover market in search of UK sales. And it’s done a good job.
It looks decent for a start, much nicer to look at than the manufacturer’s past efforts. The quality is there too, with everything feeling well-built and well-finished on the whole. Standard spec is good as well – it has to be, the value-added philosophy has paid dividends for marques like Kia. Base SE gets air con, alloys, cruise control, stop and start, Bluetooth and USB – decent for less than £13,000. The range is simple and EX spec builds on SE with dual-zone climate control, larger alloys, heated front seats and a seven-inch touch screen that includes a good quality reversing camera. But it’s top-end ELX trim that comes closest to giving rivals a run for their money, with an improved instrument cluster, keyless start, all-round parking sensors, auto light and wipers and sat nav all included. The drive, if a little firm, is much improved on anything Ssangyong has done before.
You can choose between two engines – a 1.6 petrol and a 1.6 diesel. The diesel is the hands-down winner. The petrol is a naturally-aspirated lump lacing pep and feeling outdated – figures of 44 to the gallon and CO2 of 149g/km attest to. The diesel, by contrast, is far more modern and lively and CO2 is a much more agreeable 113g/km on the manual two-wheel-drive. The drive is generally good, with a direct feel to the steering, and the manual six-speed is neat and light. And the automatic is good, it’s smooth and not rev-happy.
The Tivoli rids Ssangyong of its old-fashioned, outdated elements. It’s a modern, well-built, well-equipped and good value car. Now let’s see if it can make the breakthrough in terms of sales.
For more information on the SsangYong Tivoli please click here