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SsangYong Tivoli 2019 review

Back in town: SsangYong is launching back into the Australian market in big and small ways, including its new Tivoli.
EXPERT RATING
6.9
SsangYong's Tivoli is the latest compact SUV to enter the fray. Will its neat looks, competitive pricing and seven-year warranty be enough to rattle its rivals?

SsangYong is looking to crash-tackle Australia’s small SUV market segment with its competitively priced, feature-packed Tivoli as part of its brand relaunch here. A seven-year warranty is also set to make the Tivoli even more appealing.

SsangYong Australia is SsangYong’s first fully owned factory subsidiary outside of Korea and the Tivoli is part of its four-model push to re-establish itself as a brand worth your car-buying bucks.

So can the Tivoli get a foothold in an already-busy small SUV segment, loaded with the likes of Mazda CX-3 and Mitsubishi ASX? Read on.

Ssangyong TIVOLI 2019: EX
Safety rating
Engine Type1.6L
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency6.6L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$23,490

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   7/10

There are six variants in the 2019 Tivoli range: base-spec 2WD EX with a 1.6-litre petrol engine (94kW and 160Nm) and six-speed manual gearbox ($23,490);  2WD EX with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and six-speed automatic ($25,490); mid-spec 2WD ELX with a 1.6-litre petrol and six-speed auto ($27,490); 2WD ELX with a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine (85kW and 300Nm) and six-speed auto ($29,990); AWD Ultimate with a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel and six-speed auto ($33,990); and top-spec two-tone paint AWD Ultimate 1.6-litre turbo-diesel and six-speed auto ($34,490).

We drove the two-tone Ultimate at the launch of the new range.

The Ultimate 2-Tone, as indicated, gets the two-tone colour package. The Ultimate 2-Tone, as indicated, gets the two-tone colour package.

As standard, every Tivoli has a 7.0-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, auto emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning (FCW), reversing camera, and seven airbags.

The EX gets leather-covered steering wheel, telescopic steering, fabric seats, front/rear park assist, lane-departure warning (LDW), lane keep assist (LKA), high-beam assist (HBA), and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The ELX also gets the optional 1.6-litre diesel, roof rails, luggage screen, dual-zone air-conditioning, tinted glass, and HID headlamps.

The EX and ELX are fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, while the Ultimate comes with 18-inch alloys. The EX and ELX are fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, while the Ultimate comes with 18-inch alloys.

The Ultimate gets AWD, leather seats, powered/heated/vented front seats, sun roof, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a full-size spare tyre. The Ultimate 2-Tone, as indicated, gets the two-tone colour package.

Every SsangYong has a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, seven years’ roadside assistance and a seven-year service-price plan.

Note: There were no petrol versions of the Tivoli to drive at the launch. The Tivoli XLV, an extended body version of the Tivoli, was not available for testing at the launch, either. An updated, facelifted Tivoli is due here in Q2 2019.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   6/10

The diesel donk and six-speed auto generally work okay together. The diesel donk and six-speed auto generally work okay together.

The 1.6-litre petrol engine produces 94kW at 6000rpm and 160Nm at 4600rpm.

The 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine punches out 85kW from 3400-4000rpm and 300Nm from 1500-2500rpm.

The diesel donk and six-speed auto generally work okay together, although on a few fast-blast, bendy back roads, the Tivoli was heading up a gear when it should have grabbed a lower one.

Is there anything interesting about its design?   7/10

The Tivoli, named after the Italian town near Rome, is a neat-looking little buzzbox, with a touch of the Mini Countryman about it, as well as a healthy dash of chunky retro styling.

The Tivoli sits low and squat and certainly has a nice presence to it. The Tivoli sits low and squat and certainly has a nice presence to it.

While it may not be the most exciting thing around to look at, it sits low and squat and certainly has a nice presence to it. Take a look at the accompanying photos and make up your own mind. 

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

For a small SUV, it feels like there’s a fair bit of functional space inside the Tivoli. 

Interior width is 1795mm and it feels like designers have pushed that room right out to the fringes – up and out – because there’s plenty of head and shoulder room for driver and passengers, including those in the back seat. The ergonomic D-shaped leather steering wheel, crisp instrument cluster, quilt-stitch trim and semi-bucket-style leather seats also add up to a real premium feel for the cabin, and the multi-media unit is easy enough to use.

The Tivoli’s storage spaces include an iPad-sized spot in the centre console, glove box and inner tray, an open tray, twin cupholders, door bulges for bottles, and a luggage tray.

For a small SUV, it feels like there’s a fair bit of functional space inside the Tivoli. For a small SUV, it feels like there’s a fair bit of functional space inside the Tivoli.

Rear luggage space in the Ultimate is a claimed 327 cubic litres because of its full-size spare tyre under the floor; it’s 423 litres in lower specs with space-saver spares.

The second-row seats (a 60/40 split) are rather supportive for a back pew.

What's it like to drive?   7/10

The Tivoli isn’t going to set any hearts a-thumping as it feels a bit underpowered and it’s not an electrifying drive, but it’s good enough.

Steering offers three modes - Normal, Comfort and Sport – but none of them are particularly precise and we experienced noticeable under-steering on the twisting routes, bitumen and gravel, that we took.

The suspension set-up – coil springs and MacPherson struts at the front, and a multi-link coil rear – over a 2600mm wheelbase, yields a mostly settled ride, keeping the 1480kg Ultimate steady and composed when not pushed too hard. The 16-inch tyres offer up adequate traction on bitumen and gravel.

Steering offers three modes - Normal, Comfort and Sport. Steering offers three modes - Normal, Comfort and Sport.

It is rather quiet inside the Tivoli though, testament to SsangYong’s hard work in keeping NVH levels civilised.

The Tivoli Ultimate is technically an AWD and, yep, it has a centre diff lock but, get this straight, it is not an off-roader. Sure, it can, at a stretch, traverse gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles (in dry weather only), and it might be able to get through very shallow water crossings without damage or stress, but with its 167mm ground clearance, approach angle of 20.8 degrees, 28.0-degree departure angle, and 18.7-degree ramp angle, I’d be reluctant to test its off-road limits in any way.

It is rather quiet inside the Tivoli, testament to SsangYong’s hard work in keeping NVH levels civilised. It is rather quiet inside the Tivoli, testament to SsangYong’s hard work in keeping NVH levels civilised.

And all of that’s perfectly fine because the Tivoli is not intended as a serious off-roader, no matter what any salesperson might tell you. Be happy driving it in the city and around town – and perhaps on the occasional short stretch along someone’s gravel drive-away – but avoid anything more challenging than that.

The Tivoli AWD’s towing capacity is 500kg (unbraked) and 1500kg (braked). It’s 1000kg (braked) in the 2WD.

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

With the petrol engine, fuel consumption is claimed as 6.6L/100km (combined) for the manual and 7.2L/100km for the auto. 

With the turbo-diesel engine, it’s claimed as 5.5L/100km (in the 2WD auto) and 5.9L/100km in the AWD auto. After a short, fast blast in the top-spec Ultimate, we were seeing 7.6L/100km on the dash.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

7 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   6/10

The Tivoli does not have an ANCAP rating because it has not been tested here yet.

Every Tivoli has seven airbags including front, side and curtain airbags plus a driver's knee airbag, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning (FCW), lane-departure warning (LDW), lane-keep assist (LKA) and high-beam assist (HBA).

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   8/10

Every model in the SsangYong Australia range comes with a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, seven years’ roadside assistance and a seven-year, service-price plan.

Servicing intervals are 12 months/20,000km, but pricing was not available at time of writing.

Every model in the SsangYong Australia range comes with a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Every model in the SsangYong Australia range comes with a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Verdict

The Tivoli is an all-round, reasonable small SUV – comfortable inside, and okay to look at and drive – but SsangYong is hoping that its drive-away pricing and seven-year warranty is enough to set the Tivoli apart from some of its more modern-looking rivals.

As is, the Ultimate AWD is the pick of the bunch.

The Tivoli is a pretty good value-for-money prospect, but the updated, facelifted Tivoli, due here in Q2 2019, might be an even more appealing proposition.

What do you think of the Tivoli? Tell us what you reckon in the comments section below.

Pricing Guides

$28,990
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$23,490
Highest Price
$34,490

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
ELX 1.6L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $27,490 2019 Ssangyong TIVOLI 2019 ELX Pricing and Specs
EX 1.6L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $23,490 2019 Ssangyong TIVOLI 2019 EX Pricing and Specs
ULTIMATE (AWD) 1.6L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $33,990 2019 Ssangyong TIVOLI 2019 ULTIMATE (AWD) Pricing and Specs
ULTIMATE (AWD) TWO TONE 1.6L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $34,490 2019 Ssangyong TIVOLI 2019 ULTIMATE (AWD) TWO TONE Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6.9
Price and features7
Engine & trans6
Design7
Practicality7
Driving7
Fuel consumption7
Safety6
Ownership8
Marcus Craft
Editor - Adventure

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Pricing Guide

$23,490

Lowest price, based on new car retail price

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