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SsangYong Tivoli XLV review

Date: 17 May 2017   |   Author: Rachel Boagey

Standard equipment: 7-inch touchscreen RDS radio, iPod & Bluetooth connectivity, sat-nav, reversing camera
Engines: Petrol: 126hp 1.6, Diesel: 113hp 1.6
Trims: Tivoli 1.6P ELX, Tivoli XLV 1.6D ELX Auto 4x4 Plus, Tivoli 1.6 ELX 4x4 Plus, Tivoli 1.6 ELX Auto Style 4x4, Tivoli 1.6 ELX
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed auto

Another week, another compact crossover. This time, I know exactly what you're thinking, but don't be put off by the badge.

If you're unfamiliar with SsangYong, you won't be for much longer. According to its UK CEO, it's working its way towards being a household name.

As the marketing team is keen to point out, Tivoli is an anagram of I lov it - clever, hey? And the nifty SUV, recently updated for 2017, certainly has a lot to love for a small price tag.

We tested the Tivoli ELX 1.6D Auto Style 4x4, which sits at the top of the range at a retail price of £16,787, compared to similar offerings from other manufacturers such as the Nissan Qashqai, which has a retail price of over £5,000 more.

Powertrain woes

The 1.6 diesel is a punchy one. However, there are downsides, such as the strange whining noise it gives off on the move. Another option, of course, is the 1.6-litre automatic petrol, but compared to the diesel it feels somewhat underpowered.

But back to the diesel, where emissions is a big problem. It emits 150g/km, more than all of its main competitors - the Qashqai stands at 99g/km and the Peugeot 2008 offers 96g/km. The Skoda Yeti is slightly higher at 137g/km but still doesn't top our Tivoli. The petrol equivalent, meanwhile, offers 167g/km.

1. Ssang Yong Tivoli ELX (2)

Design-wise, it's a big step onwards from SsangYongs of old, but while the exterior looks great, the interior lacks a few things you would come to expect from the top-of-the-range offering.

While the interior isn't very trendy, the seats are very comfortable and there is plenty of space in the front and back. When the front seat is adjusted for a 6ft driver there is still plenty of room for long legs in the rear.

Deluxe offering, small price tag

The Tivoli offers one of the biggest and most practical boots in its class at 423 litres - more than the Peugeot 2008 and Nissan Juke, although the Nissan Qashqai just beats it at 430 litres.

Add to this the technology offered inside the car and you begin to have yourself a deluxe crossover. The in-car infotainment is provided by a seven-inch LCD multimedia display with touchscreen displaying both Tom-Tom sat-nav and rear-view camera.

13-Ssang Yong _Tivoli _interior _(black)

Despite the model offering SsangYong's Smart steer system as standard, the steering doesn't feel very responsive, and a small bump in the road will send a vibration through the whole cabin, meaning it's quite a jiggly ride. Just like the previous Tivoli, there isn't a noticeable difference between normal, comfort and sport steering modes, so it is somewhat odd that they are offered in the first place.

A 4x4 crossover?

This four-wheel drive can also be taken off-road, which is rather unusual in the crossover market. To do this, SsangYong replaced the rear suspension with an advanced multi-link system. However, we'd advise you to save yourself almost a grand and get the two-wheel drive if this isn't something you're likely to make the most of.

So, do we love it? A better question would be would we buy one for business use? The whole-life costs are yet to be released so we'll have to wait and see how the Tivoli stacks up, but its low P11D value certainly makes a strong business case for the SUV, even if the running costs are off the mark.  

On sale May 2017
Fuel consumption: 65.7mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 156g/km
BIK 20/40% per month £108/£216
Boot space (min/max) 423 litres
Engine size/power 1,597cc/115hp


  • Value for money
  • Roomy interior
  • Steering
  • Bumpy ride