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?...
Is the Ssangyong Tivoli the best used car you’ve never heard of? Er, no. Nevertheless, there’s an argument to say it doesn’t deserve its obscurity. This is a competent and likeable small SUV, with plenty of space, lots of equipment, impressive fuel economy, low tax costs and a reasonable price.
Trouble is, what with the cheaper interior finish, noisier engine, notchier gearchange and the rough and ready ride and handling, that price still doesn’t quite feel low enough, leaving you paying over the odds for a car that is inferior to the Kia in most ways.
Granted, the Kia isn’t perfect; there are undoubtedly better used small SUVs out there. But if you’re willing to accept its compromises, few SUVs can offer the value for money it offers. It's a much better car than the Ssangyong all round – and a cheaper one. It’s the one that does funky yet practical SUV motoring on a budget the best – and all without compromising on any of those requirements. See? We told you so.
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1st – Kia Soul
For Spacious interior; low price; plenty of kit; decent to drive
Against High tax costs; lifeless steering
Verdict A fine all-rounder and extremely good value for money
Rated 4 out of 5
2nd – Ssangyong Tivoli
For Loads of kit; spacious interior; low tax cost; fuel economy
Against So-so ride and handling; noisier engine; higher price
Verdict Worth a look if you fancy something a bit different
Rated 3 out of 5
Specifications: Kia Soul 1.6 CRDi 134 Connect
Engine size 1582cc, 4cyl, diesel
List price when new £16,600
Price today £8500
Torque 192lb ft@1500-3000rpm
Top speed 112mph
Fuel economy 58.8mpg (official average)
CO2 emissions 128g/km
Specifications: Ssangyong Tivoli 1.6 D EX
Engine size 1597cc, 4cyl, diesel
List price when new £15,850
Price today £9500
Torque 221lb ft@1500-2000rpm
Top speed 109mph
Fuel economy 65.7mpg (official average)
CO2 emissions 113g/km
Price today is based on a 2015 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing