We’re past the 2000-mile mark with the SsangYong Tivoli and already a few trends are becoming clear. First, it goes a long way on not a great deal of fuel. It’s refreshing to brim a car with 50 quid’s worth of diesel and then see a predicted range of nearly 500 miles appear on the trip computer.
Second, it is happier cruising along motorways at 60mph than it is being hustled at any more than that – or along a B road. The diesel rumble dies down to a respectable level when you’re in no great rush, but revving it unleashes a pretty harsh rasp. At least there’s plenty of low-down torque – more than enough for relaxed progress.
The baby SsangYong also attracts a surprising amount of attention. Perhaps the great British public is still getting used to small SUVs, and a new one is interesting by default. Or it could be that the Korean take on a rival for the Nissan Juke is that bit more distinctive.
Wednesday 30th December 2015
I’m not convinced that the Tivoli’s looks are going to age particularly well, but there’s no doubt that it crams in plenty of the current trends, including a floating roof and pretty aggressive LED daytime running lights.
I’ve already had to field questions from a few interested bystanders at fuel stations – although, to be fair, at least a couple of them were existing SsangYong customers who presumably knew what they were looking at.
Putting aside everyone else’s views, the Tivoli is definitely the first small SUV I’ve experienced that feels practical enough to cope with a small family’s needs. There’s sufficient room in the back for a decent-sized child seat, while the boot, despite its high floor, is wide and deep enough to store a buggy or a week’s shopping, and even if I end up with a couple of grown-ups in the back seats, they have enough head and leg room to sit through a long journey without moaning. It’s not perfect, the Tivoli, but it does stretch the small SUV category in a number of pleasing ways.