On the road: The new SsangYong Tivoli
On the road: The new SsangYong Tivoli

Ian Lamming gets to drive the latest SsangYong Tivoli

IF ever there was a car with a spring in its step it’s this one.

The new SsangYong Tivoli is definitely on a charge and if you aren’t careful it runs away with you.

There’s a feeling that it has the wind up its brush and that it needs reining in. The surprising things is that this little SUV is only powered by a 1.2 litre three cylinder petrol motor. Bolting on a turbo-charger means that is churns out a healthy 128PS – that’s the same as our heavier 1.8 litre hybrid.

Weighing in at just a bit more than dust the Tivoli boasts and excellent power to weightratio that makes it lively in the extreme. It will fly up steep gradients without the need to stir it six-speed manual gearbox and has bags of power for overtaking. Being a three-cylinder it also boasts a pleasing growl giving the SUV real personality, which is more than can be said for many of the competition.

Take it back a notch and coast on a light throttle and you can expect miles power gallon figures in the 40s, which is just the ticket given the extortionate price of fuel nowadays.

Steering and handling are good too making the Tivoli a decent car to drive down a bendy road and ride and grip are fine and dandy.

It’s hard to imagine that it was first launched in Korea in January 2015. Tivoli’s new look sees changed exterior front styling including more rounded headlights. It’s a clean enough look and the rear lights are well funky.

Advanced safety and infotainment technologies are enhanced further and it is all still dressed up in a comprehensive seven-year/150,000-mile warranty.

Ventura is mid-spec and gets newly designed 16” alloys, black faux leather and cloth seats with front seat heaters, seven inch integral touchscreen with rear camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated leather steering wheel, leather gear knob, a seventh airbag, floor mats, mini spare, luggage cover, LED front fogs, roof rails, keyless start, auto lights, wipers, front and rear parking sensors. So the spec is impressive.

It's not actually a very big SUV yet somehow manages to swallow a lanky boy in the back seats without any complaints from said 12-year-old and I even managed to fit my bike in the back with the seats down, though I did have to take out the front wheel. The boot has real depth too and there are useful cubbyholes for your bits and pieces and drinks.

For those of you who think SsangYong is a new kid on the block then consider this, it was established in 1954 and is Korea’s oldest vehicle manufacturer. It is actually 75 per cent owned by Indian engineering conglomerate Mahindra so has both experience and solid foundations behind its operations.

Tivoli represents incredible value for money as well. It is great to drive, highly specified and comes with an excellent warranty. All this for 17K, now that’s got to leave you with a spring in your step.


SsangYong Tivoli 1.2 Ventura

Engine: 1.2 litre three cylinder turbo petrol

Power: 128PS

Max Speed: 112mph

MPG: 40.4

Transmission: six speed manual

CO2 g/km: 158

Price: £16,995.00