The 1.6-litre petrol engine is reasonably refined at low revs, but becomes boomy at 3000rpm, before getting decidedly coarse and whiny above 4000rpm. This is a bit of an issue, as most of its performance is delivered in the upper rev range. Although the diesel version is generally more clattery, the fact that you don’t need to rev it as hard to make good progress means that it is the one we recommend.
The petrol also has a very sensitive accelerator pedal that makes it easy to over rev the engine when moving away from a standstill. This, and the snatchy brakes, make the Tivoli tricky to drive smoothly in town.
Both gearboxes work well, though. The six-speed manual has a positive gate and slick action, hampered only by a slightly long throw. Meanwhile, apart from an overly keen kickdown that sends the engine racing from time to time, the auto is smooth and fairly effective.
Over hefty bumps and sharp ridges there’s plenty of suspension noise, and once you reach around 60mph, a fair amount of wind and road noise, too.
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