Ssangyong Tivoli review

Category: Small SUV

Section: Performance & drive

Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 right tracking
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 front right tracking
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 right tracking
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 interior dashboard
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 interior rear seats
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 interior infotainment
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 front static
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 rear static
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 interior detail
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 boot open
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 front right tracking
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 right tracking
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 interior dashboard
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 interior rear seats
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 interior infotainment
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 front static
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 rear static
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 interior detail
  • Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 boot open
What Car?’s Tivoli deals
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In this section:
  • Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
  • Suspension and ride comfort
  • Handling
  • Noise and vibration

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The Ssangyong Tivoli's entry-level 1.2-litre petrol engine pumps out around 126bhp and is turbocharged to help boost performance at low revs. Even so, it can't deliver a turn of speed to match the Tivoli's rivals – 0-62mph takes a leisurely 12.0sec with the six-speed manual gearbox. 

The Ford Puma with a 1.0-litre Ecoboost (mHEV) 125 petrol will do the job in under 10sec and pulls much more vigorously all the way through the rev range. The Tivoli feels underwhelming and draining to drive in comparison – to get closer to Puma performance, you'll need the 1.5-litre petrol, which is only available with Ultimate level trim and above.

As a result, even firmer cars such as the Ford Puma are much more settled and provide greater comfort overall.

Ssangyong Tivoli 2021 right tracking

Handling

The suspension issues that affect the Tivoli's ride hurt the handling too. Like the ZS and Duster, there's plenty of body lean and nowhere near as much grip as you'll find in the Puma or the Seat Arona.

If you adopt even a remotely enthusiastic driving style around corners, the front tyres wash wide very easily. The stability control is poorly implemented, cutting the power abruptly, which is rather disconcerting.

The Tivoli’s steering is quite slow, requiring more turns to get around any given corner than quicker steering cars, like the Puma or Skoda Kamiq. It's also quite remote, and you don't feel directly connected to what the front tyres are up to. The turning circle is tight, though, and the steering is lightly weighted around town, with a button on the dashboard that adds a bit more heft when you want it (on faster roads, for example).

New car deals
Save up to £317
Target Price from £15,125
Save up to £317
or from £207pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £19,995