With the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Mazda CX-5 and Skoda Yeti reaping in the sales, compact SUVs are huge business right now. SsangYong, a market outsider until now, is hoping to break into this mainstream market with its new Tivoli.
What is it?
Named after the Roman town with a legendary reputation for style, the Tivoli is the most dramatic-looking car the company has ever produced. Angular bodywork is inspired by contemporary cities while the front bumper is styled after a bird’s wings in flight. The company also claims the car will have class-leading interior space.
Inside, the Tivoli is being touted as the brand’s most luxurious car yet – clearly aiming to make an impact in the quality-conscious European market. A choice of black, beige and red elements adds a touch of colour while leather trim on the steering wheel helps lift perceived quality. The 423-litre boot can, say SsangYong, fit three bags of golf clubs.
What powers it?
A choice of newly developed 1.6-litre petrol or diesel engines are offered with the Tivoli. Both have been extensively tested to ensure maximum reliability and are available with a six-speed automatic gearbox. SsangYong is keen to promote the Tivoli having passed the German DIN quality and reliability test, aiming ever more at picky European buyers.
Variable-weight steering can be set to comfort, normal or sport modes to suit the driver’s mood. Comfort at speed is covered by the suspension setup, which has been tuned to deliver optimum stability and absorption. A double-skin bulkhead between the engine and the cabin further insulates occupants from the noise and vibrations.
Anything else I need to know?
In addition to the seven airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners, the Tivoli features 40 per cent high strength steel construction, ESP, LED daytime running lights and tyre pressure monitoring to maximise safety before and after an accident.
We think so, and we’re happy to see SsangYong show off such a convincing looking product. The company had one of its best years to date in 2014 so here’s to its ongoing success. Check out the rivals it has to beat – the Nissan Qashqai, Citroen C4 Cactus, Skoda Yeti and Mazda CX-5.