Used test: Kia Soul vs Ssangyong Tivoli
Two small SUVs; two budget price tags; two long warranties. Both the Kia Soul and the Ssangyong Tivoli make tempting used buys – but which one should you choose?...
What are they like inside?
You’re unlikely to have much trouble finding a comfortable driving position in either of these cars. Both have steering wheels that adjust for height and reach, and they also have height-adjustable driver’s seats and decent all-round visibility – particularly in the Kia Soul, thanks to its slimmer rear pillars. The Kia also has more comfortable front seats, although a shortage of lower back support in both cars puts a dampener on long-distance comfort.
You won’t have many issues with the dashboard layout in either, although the Kia’s is that bit more user-friendly, thanks to its bigger, squarer and more clearly labelled buttons and dials. Everything you touch feels sturdier and more classily finished. Mind you, the Ssangyong Tivoli’s interior doesn’t feel too low-rent, despite the use of harder and less appealing plastics throughout.
Both of these SUVs are remarkably practical family cars. Their high-sided, boxy shapes give them huge amounts of head room, not only in the front but also in the back. Rear leg room is equally impressive in both cars, and the Kia’s broader cabin makes it better for those occasions when you need to carry three in the back.
Tall, square and wide-opening doors make both cars easy to get into and out of, even though the Ssangyong’s rear wheel arches jut into the door opening slightly more than we’d like. However, it ’s rather worrying that the Ssangyong’s rear head restraints don’t rise up high enough to be of any use for taller people.
Outright boot space is similar in both. The Kia’s load bay isn’t quite as wide as the Ssangyong’s, but it’s that bit longer and taller. Annoyingly, though, while top-of-the-range Kias have a height-adjustable boot floor that helps negate the big lip at the boot entrance – and the hefty step in the floor when the rear seats are folded down – this wasn’t available on Connect versions, even as an option, so unless you pay more, you’ll have to make do without.