Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
If you compare the Tivoli against rivals like the Skoda Kamiq and Ford Puma, its list prices top out roughly where their ranges start. The MG ZS is better aligned with the Tivoli's prices, but the Dacia Duster undercuts both massively; it really is the king of the value brigade.
The Duster is also predicted to hold on to much more of its value after three years, so is better value at both ends of the ownership spectrum. The ZS's resale values aren't as good as the Duster's, but better the Tivoli's. Resale values tend to affect PCP finance rates, too, so if you're buying on finance don't assume that rivals with higher list prices will cost you more per month.
As the Tivoli’s official economy and CO2 figures show, its relatively large, naturally aspirated petrol engine will be relatively costly to run. It's combined 38.2mpg (WLTP) and 166g/km of CO2 are trounced by a Ford Puma 1.0 Ecoboost (mHEV) 125. Despite being quicker, the Puma officially returns 52.3mpg combined and emits 96g/km of CO2, making it cheaper to run whether you're a private buyer or company car user. That's another reason why we favour the Tivoli diesel – it's still not efficient, relative to other small SUV diesels, but it's better than the petrol.
Equipment, options and extras
The Tivoli’s list of equipment is a little brief on the base SE model. Cruise control, 16in steel wheels, air conditioning, electrically operated and heated door mirrors, and electric windows are about your lot. Upgrading to EX trim adds heated front seats and some cosmetic touches, such as 16in alloy wheels and leather-look seats.
We’d recommend you go for the better equipped mid-spec ELX trim. This adds 18in alloys, dual-zone climate control, power-folding door mirrors, an automatically dimming rear-view mirror, automatic lights and wipers, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and that 7.0in colour touchscreen infotainment system, the rear-view camera and the driving position upgrades we've mentioned previously.
Even the range-topping Ultimate looks relatively good value, when you factor in additions that include leather seats, privacy glass, and roof rails.
Ssangyong as a brand didn’t even feature in our 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey. The Tivoli does come with an impressive seven-year, 150,000-mile warranty, though – Kia is the only brand that can come close to that, also offering seven years, but even its cover stops at 100,000 miles.
Safety and security
The Tivoli comes with a generous amount of safety equipment as standard. It gets seven airbags, forward-collision warning and an automatic emergency braking system. However, you have to go for the top-spec Ultimate trim to get add-ons such as lane-departure warning and traffic-sign recognition. Theft protection is afforded by a standard alarm and engine immobiliser.
Euro NCAP rated the Tivoli four stars out of five for crash protection, but that was all the way back in 2016. It wouldn't get as high a mark in today's tougher tests, and even then it was criticised for having poor areas relating to adult, child and pedestrian protection. To be fair, the Duster and ZS aren't very good in this respect, either, and this is an area where the extra money goes when you buy cars that NCAP deems much safer, such as the T-Roc and Kamiq.