Lots of affordable new cars look exciting from the outside, but very few back that up with an interior, engine and equipment list to match. The new SsangYong Tivoli crossover achieves this in style.
The Tivoli is an undeniably handsome car and features a unique ‘floating’ roof, thanks to blacked-out pillars and an insert between the rear passenger windows and tailgate. An optional dual-tone styling pack gives the Tivoli a contrasting roof, door mirrors, spoiler and updated wheels.
The big, chunky wheel arches hint at its off-road inspiration and every Tivoli comes with stylish alloy wheels. The SE trim includes 16-inch rims, while the mid-range EX trim includes 18-inch alloys with a dynamic swirl design, so the vehicle looks as if it’s moving even when it’s parked. The ELX trim comes with rear privacy glass and bespoke alloy wheels to set it apart from the EX.
The first thing you notice about the Tivoli's cabin is the impression of space. There's room for five adults and their luggage, thanks to the large square-shaped 423-litre boot that can swallow a baby buggy or set of golf clubs with ease.
From the driver's seat you'll enjoy a chunky D-cut steering wheel fitted with buttons to control the stereo and standard-fit cruise control. Two 12V sockets will ensure you and your passengers' phones never run out of charge, while leather upholstery and upgraded dual-zone air conditioning (both standard on the EX and ELX trims) create a luxurious ambience.
The Tivoli is affordable to run as well as to buy – awarded Cheapest SUV to Run by Auto Express magazine. That’s partly because SsangYong knows that many Tivoli owners will never take the car off-road, so extra-efficient front-wheel drive comes as standard. There are two 1.6-litre engines to choose from: petrol or diesel. The naturally-aspirated petrol engine delivers 126bhp and, when equipped with the standard six-speed manual gearbox, will reach 60mpg in around 12 seconds while returning more than 44mpg.
The diesel has 113bhp and boasts an impressive 300Nm of torque from just 1,500rpm. This provides lots of low-rev pulling power, making the diesel an especially accomplished towing car, and it gets almost 66mpg while emitting just 113g/km of CO2. Four-wheel drive is an option when you pick the diesel. This ensures extra traction in muddy or snowy conditions – perfect if you regularly drive on country roads.
The soundtrack is another important aspect of any journey. Even the entry-level SE trim includes a premium six-speaker stereo system that is Bluetooth and iPod-compatible. When you upgrade to the EX the centre console is dominated by a large, seven-inch touchscreen that incorporates a rear-view camera; or opt for the top-of-the-range ELX, which adds full European TomTom satellite navigation too.
Every Tivoli comes fitted with seven airbags as standard, an Electronic Stability Programme for surefooted handling in any weather, tyre pressure monitors and hill start assist.