How do you stand out in a crowd? For small SUVs, it’s becoming increasingly difficult, as this lucrative market is being populated by more and more manufacturers launching new models and vying for sales.
For Ssangyong, as a relatively unknown brand in the UK, it’s even more difficult. However, the Korean manufacturer has made its Tivoli small SUV cheaper than all of its key rivals, with the exception of the bargain basement Dacia Duster. That means that even in such a crowded segment the Tivoli’s low cost is enough to warrant it a second glance.
It competes with rivals such as the Nissan Juke and Kia Soul. These cars offer the look and feel of an off-roader, but with performance and running costs more akin to a family hatchback. Do bear in mind, however, they’re better suited to on-road driving than traversing muddy lanes.
That’s certainly the case with the Tivoli, although unlike its aforementioned rivals, you can order it with four-wheel drive on higher trims.
There’s the choice of a 1.6-litre petrol or a 1.6-litre diesel, combined with a six-speed manual gearbox. A six-speed automatic is available for both engines on all but the entry-level SE, while there is also mid-spec EX and top-spec ELX trims to choose from.
Read on over the next few pages to get our in depth impressions of the Tivoli, along with our recommendations for which of the trim levels and engines to choose.