A SMALL SUV for under £20,000 is not a common occurrence, but Korean manufacturer SsangYong took the bull by the horns and released Tivoli onto the UK roads.
Obviously with one eye fixed on the amazing success of the Renault-backed bargain basement Dacia range SsangYong rightly perceived that the cheaper end of the market is very roomy with plenty of space for newcomers.
And add the fact that the Tivoli is batting in the highly competitive world of SUVs and it all becomes very interesting.
SsangYong has become much more active in Britain in recent times with high-value offerings like the Rexton and Korando 4x4s.
But the Tivoli ups the ante in terms of market penetration for this manufacturer.
It entered the market in 2015 in petrol form but in more recent times a useful 1.6-litre diesel option entered the fray.
I would rate the Tivoli more of a crossover than a full-blown SUV but it is extremely well equipped, and the range comprises three main model options - SE, EX and ELX, while for those who want further individualisation, the My Tivoli programme offers a wide number of further choices.
The diesel ELX as driven is available with the full choice of petrol, diesel, manual and automatic transmission, front wheel drive or 4x4, and features diamond cut alloy wheels, a smart instrument cluster, smart keyless starting, front and rear parking sensors, privacy glass, rear spoiler, automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, full TomTom navigation system with seven-inch touch screen, rear view camera, and the option of the Styling pack and Red leather pack via the ‘My Tivoli' personalisation programme.
The newly developed e-XDi160 diesel engine produces 115ps/3,400 - 4,000rpm max power with 300Nm/1,500 - 2,500rpm, and delivers a smooth, progressive and powerful driving experience, while the e-XGi160 petrol engine delivers up to 128ps/6,000rpm max power with 160Nm/4,600 rpm max torque, and offers optimised performance for both urban and motorway driving with excellent NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) characteristics.
Both the diesel and petrol engines comply with the Euro 6 emission standard.
On the road 109mph is on the cards with a 0-62mph sprint of 11.9 second in the manual version.
The 1.6 litre diesel engine achieves a CO emission level of just 113g/km (2-wheel drive, manual transmission), and the 1.6 litre petrol engine with two wheel drive, manual transmission and Stop/go a level of 149g/km.
The fifth generation E-VGT turbocharger on the e-XDi160 diesel engine maximises performance especially in the mid-low speed range so it is fun and responsive to drive.
In terms of economy, Tivoli diesel achieves up to 65.7mpg on the Combined Cycle with manual transmission, and 51.4mpg for the automatic.
As with all models in the SsangYong range, the new Tivoli is covered by a best-in-class 5 year limitless mileage warranty.
Established in 1954, SsangYong is Korea's oldest vehicle manufacturer and only 4x4 and SUV specialist producer.
A major plus point of the Tivoli is space. Its cabin is genuinely open and roomy with 423 litres of boot space.
113bhp, 1,597cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox