Ssangyong has ambitions to increase its share of the fleet sector in the UK, largely through dealer relationships with SMEs, as well as some heavy duty national business with the likes of the Rexton large 4×4 and Musso pick-up truck.

The latest Korando, launched in 2019, shows the brand is prepared to invest in improvements to its models to make them more competitive with mainstream rivals. Ssangyong will also launch an electric version this summer, which will most likely give the brand fresh appeal among company car drivers.

But the most recent model to undergo improvements is the Tivoli, Ssangyong’s smallest car.

Think of it as a rival for lower-price compact SUVs such as the Ford Ecosport, Vauxhall Crossland, Skoda Kamiq and others for value conscious buyers.

The Tivoli was freshened up in 2020, with updates in styling and a new 1.2-litre turbocharged engine to replace the previous 1.6-litre petrol.

The range structure has EX positioned as the entry grade, with Ventura and Ultimate sitting above it, although the base model, priced from a P11D of £13,750, seems exceptional value. We tried the new 1.2-litre engine in the medium Ventura equipment grade, which developed the value theme from the EX model.

It adds 16in alloys, black faux leather and cloth seats with front seat heaters, 7in integral touchscreen with rear camera, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, heated leather steering wheel, leather gear knob, knee airbag, floor mats, space-saver spare wheel, luggage cover, LED front fog lights, roof rails, keyless start, automatic headlights and wipers, and front and rear parking sensors.

The addition of the space-saver spare wheel takes a little luggage space away, so the 423-litre minimum quoted isn’t achievable. But the cabin has decent storage space in the door bins and front armrest, while the centre console can accommodate smaller items.

The three-cylinder engine pulls strongly for a tiddler, but can’t quite match rivals’ motors for smoothness and noise intrusion. The car tends to ride smoothly, but can get caught out on some of the rapidly undulating surfaces in the fens where I live.

According to the trip computer, it showed fuel consumption somewhere in the mid-30mpg area, which is a little disappointing considering it wasn’t subjected to too much hard work in the 100 miles or so we ran it.

We also tried the 1.5 fitted with the six-speed automatic, which, while more powerful, didn’t feel particularly more eager than the 1.2 around town.

The extra kit on our Ultimate spec 1.5 T-GDI included 18in alloy wheels, leather seats and a 10.25in digital instrument display, which almost makes it look as modern as the new Vauxhall Mokka inside.

Overall, the Tivoli is a worthy alternative for a small business with a local Ssangyong dealer, and can benefit from the fleet expertise plus sourcing a decent amount of volume. From a value perspective, pricing is already very keen and costs are low.

Ssangyong Tivoli 1.2 T-GDI Ventura 

P11D: £16,750

Residual value: 34.1%

Depreciation: £11,035

Fuel: £7,973

Service, maintenance and repair: £1,946

Cost per mile: 34.9p

Fuel consumption: 40.4mpg

CO2 (BIK %): 158g/km (35%) 

BIK 20/40% a month: £98/£195

Luggage capacity: 423 litres

Engine size/power: 1,197cc/128hp