Why have small SUVs been such a hit over the past few years? Is it because of the endless personalisation options we crave, or do their quasi-4x4 looks make their owners feel safe when they’re behind the wheel? Perhaps it’s that they seem to offer such great value for money?
Yes, for not much more than supermini money you can have your own baby SUV. The all-new SsangYong Tivoli is the latest model to enter the fray. It’s a class bristling with equally stylish metal, though, and it’s not difficult to fall head over heels in love with any number of them.
Let’s take a look at what’s out there for private buyers. If you’re looking to spend as little as possible on a new SUV you’ve probably already clapped eyes on the Dacia Duster, with its starting price of £9495. The trouble is, at this level you don’t even get a radio as standard. Pay £11,995 for Ambiance trim and you get your radio but there’s no air-con or curtain airbags, and even Laureate trim (£13,495) doesn’t get you an electronic stability programme as standard. All of these items are fitted to all Tivolis – even the entry-level SE trim, which starts at £12,950.
It’s a similar story with other rivals. The Citroën C4 Cactus starts at £12,990, but doesn’t get air-con, Bluetooth or alloys; the Nissan Juke is £13,930, but again there’s no Bluetooth and only a four-speaker stereo; while the cheapest Renault Captur costs £1345 more than the Tivoli and the Vauxhall Mokka is in another league at £16,474.
The Tivoli’s day-to-day running costs are also compelling. A 1.6-litre diesel engine is coming later in the year for those who prefer better economy and lower emissions (BIK tax is in the 20% bracket), but in the meantime the 1.6-litre petrol unit averages up to 44.1mpg and emits 149g/km, which means annual VED costs £145.
SsangYong also provides a five-year, limitless-mileage warranty with every new Tivoli. It covers common items such as wheel bearings, suspension and steering joints, bushes and shock absorbers. Brake pads and clutch friction plates are also covered for a year or 12,000 miles – Kia offers no guarantee for these items. SsangYong’s audio warranty is also five years and limitless miles, where Kia offers three years and 60,000 miles. The Tivoli’s battery warranty is also the best on offer here: three years against the others' two.
Don’t want to pay for your Tivoli in one go? With SsangYong’s pay-monthly PCP deals starting from less than £160 a month, this car really is everything a pragmatist would want a value-added small SUV to be. It’s roomy, rugged, robust and well-kitted – and all for a no-nonsense, genuine supermini-level price.