In these tough economic times, no frills practicality and an eye-catching price tag is a formula not to be sniffed at. It’s an old-fashioned strategy that’s been deftly implemented by a number of ambitious budget brands in recent times, of which SsangYong is no exception. The Korean manufacturer’s new Tivoli represents its first foray into the small SUV field and has proved a popular choice amongst the growing cohort of buyers priced-out of the higher end of this ever-thriving corner of the market.
Building on the foundations laid down by SsangYong’s original XLV Air concept first glimpsed at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, comes the production-ready Tivoli XLV. It’s fundamentally a bulked-up version of the 2015 Tivoli compact SUV, already the Korean marque’s best-selling new car. We’ve already seen the finished product, although news of SsangYong’s newest family hauler admittedly passed somewhat under the radar at a star-studded Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. Now the time has come for the XLV to snatch back some of the limelight ahead of its impeding European launch this summer.
The nuts and bolts of the new Tivoli XLV remain largely unaltered from the standard model, with the same basic platform and wheelbase from the Tivoli SUV underpinning this new arrival. However, an extended body affords the already generously proportioned Tivoli with an extra 720 litres of boot space, giving the XLV an added dose of practicality that should help it shine on the budget SUV stage.
The additional 238mm are added behind the rear wheels of the Tivoli, meaning the new XLV’s front end doesn’t waver from the base model’s overall design. The Tivoli’s floating roofline is extended over the XLV’s longer rear overhang and is topped off by a pair of silver roof bars.
The original Tivoli formula under the bonnet remains untouched, with the XLV sharing its smaller sibling’s 1.6 litre turbo diesel engine. Matched with a 6-speed stick shift or automatic gearbox, the powertrain musters a maximum 113bhp plus 221lb/ft of low-down torque that should be more than enough to tug the weightier XLV, even with a full payload.
As with the standard Tivoli, the extended body version will be offered in two-wheel drive or 4×4 guises. The latter employs intelligent on-demand 4WD that automatically adjusts to on or off-road conditions as well as hill start assist technology.
Inside, expect the same basic but perfectly sufficient selection of toys, including automatic climate control, a 7” high-resolution touch screen, Tom-Tom navigation, cruise control, and front and rear parking sensors.
The Tivoli XLV hits SsangYong’s ever expanding portfolio of European showrooms this summer. Although yet to be officially confirmed, prices will naturally fall in the competitive end of the SUV spectrum. Expect the entry level XLV to check in somewhere above the original Tivoli’s £12,950 starting price.