By on 2021-04-17 -
SsangYong Tivoli 1.5
SSANGYONG is a name that is still not instantly familiar, although it might have been if some of its earlier eye-popping designs had caught on.
The Korean manufacturer has been around for a while, with some quirky and frankly strange looking creations like the early Rexton, Rodius and Kyron.
The Tivoli is much more mainstream and according to the firm's MD, is cool, quirky and stylish. Quirky in this case might be pushing it a bit, but the Korean firm's upgraded SUV has plenty going for it, not least the price, and industry leading seven-year or 150,000 mile warranty.
The Tivoli was launched in Korea in January 2015, and immediately achieved a good response in its home market, selling over 3,000 vehicles a month. But this latest model is very much targeting the European market.
Five years on it has evolved with a refreshed look and now offers two new turbo petrol engines, a three cylinder 1.2 GDi and a four cylinder 1.5 GDi, together with an uprated version of the 1.6 diesel engine.
This latest version offers smart styling both inside and out, advanced technology and upgraded safety features to offer quite a package for an asking price starting at a smidge under £14k.
There are three trim levels including the entry-spec EX, mid-spec Ventura and the flagship Ultimate driven here.
Even for the entry level, standard kit is impressive with cruise control, electric windows, remote central locking, smart steering, DAB Radio with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, manual air conditioning, six airbags and other electronic safety features.
Move up the range and the features are added with the range topper driver here offering a host of creature comforts more often found on much more expensive vehicles, including 18-inch diamond cut alloys with road tyres, heated front leather seats, dual zone air conditioning, 10.25-inch smart LED cluster and heated, multi-function steering wheel
A five-seater it looks good, is practical as well as comfortable and has plenty of cargo space.
The latest model styling while smart, is no show-stopper in the way previous SsangYongs may have been. Very European-orientated, with smart alloys and roof bars, together with body coloured wraparound bumpers, colour coded electric door mirrors, LED daytime running lights and fog lamps and neat LED light clusters to the rear.
This model features the high resolution LCD instrument cluster which controls major functions and comes with a choice of bright red graphics or analogue format showing data which allows adjustment to safety comfort and technology features, including a choice of welcome chime when the ignition is switched on.
It alsocontrols functions like navigation, infotainment and smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The interior itself is spacious and feels well put together, if not quite as sophisticated as some, admittedly more expensive, competitors with some ordinary plastic finish and fiddly switchgear. Others, like the equally affordable MG ZS and Dacia Duster score just as well if not better here.
The leather seats on this model are comfortable and supportive and head and legroom is very good to the front and more than acceptable in the rear. The rear seats feature a drop-down armrest/cupholder for extra comfort.
Boot space is decent, with 423 litres but the folding split rear seats gives extra space, up to 1,123 litres, with added practicality from the roof bars.
On the road, the 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine is a willing unit, mated with a six-speed auto box, it delivers around 160bhp for good pace, accelerating to 60mph in around 11 seconds.
Fuel economy is fairly decent at around 37mpg, but high-ish CO2 emissions of 175g/km place in the top benefit in kind bracket of 37 per cent.
The firm says it has paid special attention to refinement, with uprated Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) improvements to minimise road noise, while engineers have tuned suspension and steering for European roads for a quieter, more comfortable driving experience.
In addition, there are three driving modes: Normal: in a normal environment where efficiency and quietness are required; Sports: as it says, for a more engaging and sporty driver and Winter for a safer driving on treacherous winter roads.So handling is good and the car feels highly manoeuvrable, especially around town and when parking, while more than capable on the motorway.
The car attracts a four-star Euro safety rating and all models have six airbags and electronic safety features including stability control, collision and lane departure warning, pedstrian alert, emergency braking and distance alert, while this model adds a seventh airbag, plus front and rear parking sensors.
SsangYong Tivoli 1.5 Ultimate Auto
Mechanical:163ps, 1497cc, 4-cylinder, turbocharged petrol-driven engine with six-speed automatic transmission
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