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It’s a glorious afternoon and here we are in Howth for the launch of the new SsangYong Tivoli XLV. Earlier this year we got to spend a week in the new Tivoli so with that memory still fresh in my mind I got the keys of the XLV and began to absorb the differences between both models. The first thing that strikes you is the larger size and rugged appearance making it look very appealing in this already crowded market of mid sized SUV’s. The Tivoli XLV comes with a choice of six exterior colours, which include Grand White, Silent Silver, Dandy Blue, Tonic Grey, Flaming Red and Space Black, which you can chop and change with the additional roof colour combinations. Yes, we have seen these options before from other manufacturers but they are always welcome allowing you to be individual and steer away from some of the more mundane choices on the market.

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Inside the first thing that strikes you is the cabin size and it will comfortably swallow up five tall adults with ease. SsangYong have lengthened the body from behind the C pillar by 238mm over the existing Tivoli. This extends the load space up to 720 litres and offers real world legroom in the back. The trim finish oozes quality with buyers getting a choice of either natural beige or black, and either colour can be paired with Geonic-printed upholstery or durable leather. Even a luxurious red leather interior is also available albeit on special order only. Safety was also a priority for SsangYong with the XLV and no fewer than 7 airbags are dotted around the cabin including front, side and curtain airbags plus a driver’s knee airbag.

Beige interior

After admiring the interior I fired up the e-XDi160 Euro 6 diesel engine, which produces 115hp. This horsepower figure sounded a little low to me at first but as it produces 300Nm of torque, it felt more than adequate on the road! SsangYong are now using their fifth generation E-VGT turbocharger, which delivers a smooth and progressive power band right through the rev range. There are two transmissions available, a 6-speed manual and the 6-speed automatic, which was fitted to my test vehicle. The XLV is also available with an intelligent 4WD system that allows the driver to electronically control power to the front and rear drive shafts, and automatically adjusts to the road surface and driving conditions depending on the grip levels. It’s all situated in a clever dial that is simply turned depending on conditions.

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I enjoyed my short spin around Howth in the XLV and behind the wheel it really is a nice place to be. Aside from the instrument cluster that features mood lighting you get a newly designed MP3 infotainment system with a 7-inch high-resolution screen providing Sat Nav, USB/AUX port, Bluetooth hands-free, iPod and iPhone connection all as standard. The rear camera view comes as standard on the EL model which is also fantastic for reversing. We will take a weeklong test drive of the Tivoli XLV in the not to distant future and put it through its paces off road. For now the XLV is now available in Ireland from your local dealer. Prices will start from €24,750 for the entry-level diesel rising up to €32,750 for the EL version which we drove. Go take a test drive because you might be as pleasantly surprised as we were!

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SsangYong Tivoli XLV Specification

Engine Size – 1.6L

Fuel Type – Diesel

Power – 115hp

Torque – 300Nm

Acceleration (0-100km/h) – 9.5 seconds

Top Speed – 180km/h

Consumption (Combined) – 5.9L/100km

CO2 Emissions – 154g/km

Road Tax – Band C €390

Base Price – €24,750

Price as Tested – €32,750