SsangYong Tivoli XLV

1.6 ELX 4x4

SsangYong Tivoli XLV, front action
SsangYong Tivoli XLV, static front
SsangYong Tivoli XLV, side action
SsangYong Tivoli XLV, rear action
SsangYong Tivoli XLV, dashboard
SsangYong Tivoli XLV, front seats
SsangYong Tivoli XLV, golf clubs
SsangYong Tivoli XLV, boot
SsangYong Tivoli XLV, boot empty

SSANGYONG'S revival seems to be gathering pace and the Korean car maker is starting to make its mark in the ever-growing crossover and SUV segments.

It seems to be developing a knack for providing stylish and practical vehicles for what is ultimately a very reasonable outlay.

Its Tivoli model is already a worthy contender as a budget, family friendly crossover and the XLV version offers just a little bit more - quite literally.

Sometimes simple solutions are the best and this car is a case in point.

SsangYong has simply taken the Tivoli and added a bit more space at the back.

As I said it's not exactly rocket science, just a case of adding something extra to the back of the car, that manifests itself purely in extra boot space.

So, an additional nine inches (23.8cm) has been added to the length and the boot is expanded from 423 litres to 720 litres.

That's a lot of space for what is essentially a compact crossover and means it should be more than able to cope with the needs of most families.

The added length does give the Tivoli XLV a slightly elongated kind of appearance - literally like a stretch crossover - but to my mind it works well.

My initial reaction was it offered a scary throwback to the SsangYong Rodius but in truth comparisons would be unfair.

In case you don't remember it, the Rodius was declared one of the ugliest cars ever - in not just one but a plethora of surveys across the globe.

Amazingly it was actually designed by the former head of design at London's Royal College of Art - he really should have known better.

Anyway, enough of past mistakes and back to the present.

As said the XLV looks the part and offers practicality in abundance.

On the inside it is nicely done out. It might be a budget car in many respects but there isn't too much evidence of corner-cutting.

Instrumentation, switchgear and fit and finish are all decent and the cabin is spacious.

It drives nicely enough too. There's a little bit of pitch and roll, though that's probably to be expected with this type of vehicle.

The ride quality is on the firm side but more than acceptable and there are no real gripes to speak of.

There's just one engine choice for the XLV, unlike the standard Tivoli, a 1.6-litre 113bhp diesel unit that powers it along smoothly and with an impressive degree of refinement.

Given governmental pressures to try and persuade motorists to move away from diesel it would perhaps be nice to see the 1.6-litre 126bhp petrol unit that's on offer for the standard Tivoli made available too.

But undoubtedly the biggest selling point for the XLV is its price.

There are four models in the range and prices start at just £18,250, which will get you a manual front-wheel drive model.

All are generously equipped and an entry-level purchase includes cruise control, a sat nav, dual zone climate control, RDS radio, rear view camera, front and rear parking sensors and iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.

If you want something a little more luxurious you can opt for a range-topping model which comes with an automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.

Amazingly that will only set you back a little over £20,000.

SsangYong seems prepared to put its money where its mouth is too, offering a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, which speaks volumes for their confidence in it.

FAST FACTS

SsangYong Tivoli XLV 1.6 ELX 4x4

Price: £19,500

Mechanical: 113bhp 1,597cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 109mph

0-62mph: 12 seconds

Combined MPG: 57.6

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 127g/km

Bik rating: 25%

Warranty: 5yrs/Unlimited miles

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