It was Geneva last March when we first stumbled upon SsangYong’s latest creation and what a quirky little vehicle it is. Launched early 2015 in Korea, this compact SUV came together using SsangYong’s 60 years of knowledge and experience as a specialised SUV maker. It was received extremely well and immediately became the most popular B-segment SUV in its home market. When it arrived in Ireland journalists nationwide were suitably impressed and so far the 1.6 litre e-XDi160 diesel we have on test, has left us wanting for little else. Buyers can choose between petrol or diesel 1.6 litre variants and all come with cruise control, air conditioning, keyless entry, central locking, fogs lamps and alloy wheels as standard. There are two specifications to choose from named ES or EL.
The EL is the specification we have and purchasers of this model can expect luxuries such as heated leather seats, front and rear parking sensors with a colour camera for reversing, 18-inch alloys, dual climate control, and super vision clocks that change colour with speed warnings etc. This is just to name a few extras but to say its pretty loaded is probably an understatement. From a safety perspective you wont be left wanting either. With a multi-function ESP (Electronic Stability Program), active rollover protection, brake assist, hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring system and ESS (Emergency Stop Signal) you really are in safety cocoon.
Where SsangYong have been let down in the past is with their engines but this is no longer the case. It was never reliability issues but more with size and efficiency. For the Tivoli you get a modern 115 hp diesel with 300NM of torque and low Co2 emissions of just 109g/km. All manual transmission models will come with ISG (Integrated Stop Start) and you can expect to use just 4.2 litres for every 100 kilometres traveled. We are currently four days into our week-long test-drive and it has been pleasurable to say the least. The torque is very evident when you pull away from the lights and you will quickly find yourself shifting gears as the Tivoli climbs to the speed limit with ease. The only thing I did notice is that 6th gear is very tall and difficult to use below 120km/h. For example if the speed limit changes from 120 to 100km/h 6th gear becomes to tall and the engine labours a little until you drop to fifth.
This wont affect most on a long journey at 120km/h but these cars often make their best efficiency in top gear so city slickers are likely not to get near 6th at all. With that said it a cracking little engine and the chassis handles impeccably regardless of the route you choose. For piece of mind the Tivoli comes with a class-leading five year unlimited mileage warranty and five year roadside assistance, all for the starting price of just €21,495. Our EL model comes in at €24,995 and you will have the option to spec All Wheel Drive or Automatic for an additional cost. SsangYong are making big waves now with some 700 dealers in 32 countries around the world. Here at home we predict the Tivoli will put the brand on the map because it can easily compete with rivals in this sector and in many cases offers considerably more for your money. Take a test drive and tell us what you think?
SsangYong Tivoli 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) – 4.2L/100km
CO2 Emissions – 109g/km
Road Tax – Band A €190
Base Price – €21,495
Price as Tested – €24,995