New tech boosts SsangYong

safety

MORE technology is coming on stream at SsangYong as the Korean car maker upgrades safety systems on its top selling Tivoli crossover.

Automatic emergency braking, lane keeping controls and traffic sign recognition are now standard fit on top range models.

So is a high beam assist system to give optimum illumination at night without causing dazzle.

As a result, the Tivoli - and the stretched Tivoli XLV - now get a four star rating in the Euro NCAP safety rankings putting it on par with the Fiat Tipo and the Kia Niro in the latest test results.

An evaluation of the new systems on the Tivoli at the Millbrook proving grounds in Bedfordshire showed them to be both effective and remarkably unobtrusive from a driver's perspective.

All the new safety devices use optical sensors to determine what is going on around the vehicle and the latest SsangYong Tivolis have a forward facing camera mounted behind the rear view mirror.

The autonomous braking system is smart enough to differentiate between potential hazards and can work out whether a pedestrian or a vehicle is ahead.

At the first sign of danger the driver gets a visual and audible warning and if no avoiding action is detected, emergency braking is applied bringing the car to a stop a good metre before any impact.

It works at speeds between five and 37mph and on our trial runs - at speeds of 20 and 30mph - it gave a good amount of warning, sufficient to react and not over sensitive as can be experienced on some other cars.

When the braking was triggered the stopping power was appropriate and well measured to both approach speeds.

In the emergency phase, rapid flashing of the brake lights and the hazard warning lamps is initiated to warn following traffic while the engine will require restarting once the car has stopped.

The high speed bowl at Millbrook gave the opportunity to experience the Tivoli's lane departure and lane keeping equipment.

In a centre lane and holding the speed to 60mph for the exercise the car warned the driver visually through a graphic on the instrument panel and by a slight vibration in the steering wheel if the vehicle strays to either the near or offside white line without indicating.

If no correction is made the car will automatically steer back on line and should the driver release the steering wheel for more than a few seconds another warning is set off.

None of the warnings are abrupt or overly loud but are sensibly delivered without causing distraction - a degree of refinement for which SsangYong should be congratulated.

As with the other systems, the sign recognition flashes up changing speed limits in the central instrument panel display while at night the high beam assist function automatically dips the headlamps if it detects oncoming traffic or the risk of causing dazzle from behind.

All the new equipment is now being fitted as standard on the Tivoli XLV and on the high specification ELX versions of the standard models. Prices run from £19,300 for the XLV and £16,800 for the ELX.

Mid grade Tivoli EX models, which are some £2,000 cheaper, are fitted only with the forward collision and emergency braking equipment.

Across the range all versions of the Tivoli now come with a fully adjustable steering wheel - previously it could be moved only for height - and other changes for the latest models include a two position boot floor creating a concealed zone below the main load area.

Entry level prices for the Tivoli range now start from £13,300.

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