First Drive

First Drive: SsangYong Tivoli

The story:
Ssangyong has added a highly-specced version of its Tivoli small crossover designed to tempt user-chooser looking for a well-kitted and spacious car on a budget.
Category:Small Crossover
Key rival:Nissan Juke
Ssangyong Tivoli
Emissions: 167g/km
On sale:Now

SsangYong is a brand still looking for its company car breakthrough, and its latest attempt to appeal is the Ultimate trim level, a throw-everything-at-it sort of spec that still costs £17,495 with the manual version of the 128hp 1.6 petrol engine, or an additional £1250 for the six-speed auto driven here.

First drives 2018 - Ssangyong Tivoli - image 3

The Tivoli is pretty easy to split into what’s good and what isn’t. The good things start with the spec, which includes electric heated and vented front seats and LED fog lamps, as well as interior tweaks. It adds all this to the already-impressive kit list for the previous ranger-topping ELX model, which has keyless entry, reversing camera, satnav, dual-zone climate control and leather upholstery. Also on the good list are better interior space than pretty much every small crossover rival, a decent 423-litre boot and the nice styling. The Tivoli also enjoys a very impressive residual value prediction of 37.4%.

However, it’s not all great, with the main issues being the emissions figures and the driving experience. It’s way off the pace from behind the wheel, with an over-sensitive throttle pedal combining unpleasantly with an unpredictable automatic gearbox that seems to shift on a random pattern unrelated to what the driver is inputting. And unfortunately, the ride quality is also below par, as is engine refinement, while emissions figures of 149g/km for the manual and 167g/km for the automatic aren’t great, even more so when you realise they’re the old NEDC figures, and are likely to go up with the new WLTP test.



Paul Barker



The verdict

Equipment levels and space make it more appealing than the driving experience or emissions, although a surprisingly good residual value and competitive price help with running costs.