SsangYong Tivoli 1.6 Diesel

There are three trim levels - SE, EX, ELX

There are three trim levels – SE, EX, ELX

The new SsangYong Tivoli is a sleek and sporty looking crossover but does it drive as good as it looks asks Hannah Gordon

What is it? SsangYong have been making cars for a long time but this is their first venture into the highly competitive crossover market. The Tivoli is available in both 2 and 4 wheel drive and SsangYong are hoping that this budget crossover can capture a few hearts.

Who is it aimed at? SsangYong have always produced large rugged off roaders and so the Tivoli will be attracting a whole new audience. Suitable for families with generous space inside it is also very good on rough terrain if needed. The Tivoli would also suit young and old with its bargain package options.

What about the Styling?The Tivoli is one of the best styled SsangYong’s ever, if anyone can remember previous models from the Korean brand then you’ll shiver at the thought of some of the ‘ugly’ creations that they released. The Tivoli benefits from a sleeker and better proportioned body style, the LED daytime running lights and the inclusion of LED lights in the rear light cluster bring it up to date. The sleek body lines and curvy rear end make it certainly stand out in the crowd and with opinion divided it is a bit of a Marmite car. The ELX range does come with 18” alloys and a rear spoiler.

Offered with a choice of a 1.6 litre Euro 6 petrol & diesel engines 6 speed manual & 6 speed Aisin automatic transmission1.6 litre Euro 6 petrol & diesel engines 6 speed manual & 6 speed Aisin automatic transmission

Offered with a choice of a 1.6 litre Euro 6 petrol & diesel engines, 6 speed manual & 6 speed Aisin automatic transmission

Under the bonnet? SsangYong have kept it simple with just two engines to chose from, there is a 1.6 litre petrol and a 1.6 litre diesel. Both engines come with the option of a 6 speed manual or automatic gearbox. If you require the 4×4 option then it only comes with the diesel engine. The diesel is plenty quick enough in the Tivoli and gives you confidence in overtaking whilst also being fairly economical. The manual gearbox is ok but felt ‘notchy’ on a lot of gear changes and didn’t have a quality, smooth feel.

What about inside? The interior is well put together and easy on the eye, the buttons and plastic overload do hint at the budget cost of this vehicle but splashes of silver and gloss black do help you forget about the material quality. Seating position is higher than other models and does give you a good view of the road, but large A and C pillars do hamper the view when parking. The ELX and EX models come with leather trim, climate control and 7” touch screen infotainment system as standard. Space is plentiful and the Tivoli easily houses 5 adults with no problem, the boot also has 423 litres of space.

On the road? Driving the Tivoli around its apparent that this is the best car SsangYong have made for the road, the lack of clever and up to date suspension does make it a bit unsettled though. The diesel engine is extremely punchy unlike the petrol which does seem underpowered. The steering is nice and light when parking or driving around the city. The Tivoli does settle down a bit more on motorways but the unrefined and bumpy drive when going along normal B roads is a shame.

And Safety? The Tivoli is yet to be tested by Euro NCAP but does have 7 airbags, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), Hill Start Assist (HAS) and Active Rollover Protection (ARP) as standard. Some of the new technologies such as Blind Spot assist and city braking are not available for the Tivoli.

What are my Options? The EX and ELX are already very generous with the options available as standard and easily out-do some of their rivals by including these extras. The ELX, which is the range topper comes with keyless start, front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers and a TomTom Satellite Navigation system all as standard. Metallic paint is a £500 extra and a styling pack available with the ELX model will set you back £400.

Will it break the bank?The best economy output is from the diesel, manual with 2 wheel drive which has a combined mpg of 65.7 and CO2 output of 113g/km. Road tax for this model is £30 per year on Band C. The petrol option with manual gearbox is 44.1mpg and a CO2 output of 149 g/km. The diesel option is by far the most economical, but beware the automatic gearbox and 4×4 option seriously reduce that economy. The SsangYong Tivoli does come with a 5 year unlimited mileage warranty, not as good as Kia but better than a lot of the rivals.

So the Verdict? It is important to remember what SsangYong are trying to achieve here, the Tivoli is priced very competitively so don’t expect a lot of quality with materials. But what you will get is an extremely spacious, eager diesel engine and the capability to tow 1.5 tonnes (diesel engine) should you need to. Economy values are good for the manual gearbox option and the EX and ELX ranges are generously equipped. The 5 year warranty is excellent and offers piece of mind. The main hurdle for this car is the public’s lack of knowledge of the brand, if SsangYong can get a foot hold in this market then the Tivoli may just have a chance.


Why you will buy one? Good Styling, Well Equipped; Price & Warranty

Why you won’t? Petrol is a little unrefined; quality



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Tivoli range pricing:
SE petrol – manual: £12,950
SE diesel – manual: £14,200
EX petrol – manual: £14,600
EX petrol – automatic: £15,600
EX diesel – manual: £15,850
EX diesel – automatic: £16,850
EX diesel 4×4 – manual: £17,100
ELX petrol – manual: £16,000
ELX petrol – automatic: £17,000
ELX diesel – manual: £17,250
ELX diesel – automatic: £18,250
ELX diesel 4×4 – manual: £18,500
ELX diesel 4×4 – automatic: £19,500

SsangYong Tivoli 1.6 Diesel

Engine: 1597cc
Max speed:  109 mph
0-62 mph:  12 seconds
Emissions:  113 g/km
Model price range: from £12,950
No of Doors: 5
Fuel type:  Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 72.4 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 423 litres
Length: 4195mm
Width: 1795mm
Height: 1590mm
Wheelbase: 2600mm


For more information check out , their facebook page or follow SsangYong UK on twitter


Hannah Gordon

22nd March, 2016



Author: Hannah Gordon

A mechanic with over 8 years Hannah’s love of cars began at a young age. Holidays and weekends were spent helping out at a family friend’s garage passing tools and making tea. You can follow Hannah on Twitter at @femalemechanic1

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