Big-value, load-lugging SsangYong Tivoli XLV in it for long haul
PUBLISHED: 09:02 14 January 2017
SsangYong's stretched Tivoli boosts boot space so this XLV version really has loads going for it, says motoring editor Andy Russell.
SsangYong feels you can’t have too much of a good thing so is building on the Tivoli crossover’s appeal.
The XLV, in huge letters on the tailgate I’m surmising denotes ‘extra long vehicle’, is just that – a stretched version of the Tivoli which has boosted the Korean car-maker’s credentials in the UK. It means the Tivoli XLV is endowed with a huge boot and family-friendly load capacity at a price that will be seen as attractive value.
Looks and image
The Tivoli – it’s an Italian town but, as SsangYong points out, is also I love it spelled backwards – is quite a pretty, well-proportioned little crossover but the longer XLV version looks a bit slabby and dumpy by comparison but it’s a price many people will happily pay and being boxy certainly pays off when it comes to practicality and versatility.
Under the bonnet
Unlike the shorter Tivoli there’s no 1.6-litre petrol unit, only a 1.6-litre turbo diesel which makes sense given it is likely to lug larger loads but there is the choice of front and four-wheel drive, manual and automatic gearboxes.
The diesel packs more punch than you’d expect and comes alive with a few revs on the clock. Keep the engine spinning sweetly by using the smooth-shifting six-speed gearbox and it’s deceptively brisk.
Expect 40mpg running around and 45 to 50mpg overall in mixed, everyday driving
Ride and handling
The softish suspension is biased towards comfort so soaks up rough road surfaces effectively and efficiently with the minimum of fuss.
But it hasn’t been at the expense of driving performance – it’s never going to be exciting but it corners competently, although body roll builds with speed, and there’s some understeer as the front end runs wide, but it’s not a car you are going to drive exhuberantly although the four-wheel drive’s extra grip inspires confidence in slippery conditions and the steering has comfort, normal and sport settings to alter its weight.
The front wheels do most of the work in normal conditions to boost fuel economy, switching some power to the rear ones on demand to improve traction and stability. It can also be locked in four-wheel drive to split power equally between the front and back axles for maximum grip.
Space and comfort
Larger loads are the XLV’s remit six-foot passengers will be quite happy in the back of the roomy cabin with acceptable legroom, abundant headroom and reclining 60/40 split seat backs.
This more spacious load-lugger has a vast twin-level boot. Remove the sill-level luggage board and you’ve got a boxy 720-litre loadbay that will take four decent-sized suitcases but you have to heft them over the raised sill. With the board in place, there’s a not inconsiderable 574 litres – more than a match for most mid-size estate cars – and it’s flush with the 60/40 split rear seat backs folded down – ideal for sliding bulky and heavy cargo in and out. When not need the board is stored upright against the rear seat backs.
Be warned though, the optional £216 space saver spare wheel sits on the floor so you can’t make use of the boot’s full depth.
At the wheel
The driving seat is not an unpleasant place to be with a stylish, but unfussy, fascia with big dials you can change the colour of, and large buttons and a rotary knob for the heating and ventilation and a high-level touch screen which are finger friendly on the move.
It’s nicely finished, set off with gloss black inserts, and decent doorbins and a lidded locker between the front seats make up for the letterbox-like glovebox. Children will love elasticated straps on the fronts seat back for stowing books, tablets and games.
Equipment and value
The Tivoli XLV comes highly-specced with the standard kit including leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, keyless entry and ignition, automatic headlights and wipers, self-dimming driver’s mirror, cruise control, 18in diamond cut, gun metal alloy wheels, front and rear sensors and rear view camera, TomTom satellite navigation, roof rails and front fog lights.
The SsangYong badge may not be sexy but the Tivoli XLV is well loaded, both in terms of space and standard creature comforts and kit. It’s a lot of car for the price and not unpleasant to drive and live with and, for many people, that ticks the right boxes.
SPEC AND TECH
Price: SsangYong Tivoli XLV 1.6 diesel ELX 4x4 manual £19,500 (XLV range £18,250 to £20,500)
Engine: 1,597cc, 115PS, four-cylinder turbo diesel
Performance: 0-62mph 12 seconds; top speed 106mph
MPG: Urban 52.3; extra urban 61.4; combined 57.6
CO2 emissions: 127g/km
Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 25%
Insurance group: 18 (out of 50)
Warranty: Five years, unlimited mileage
Will it fit in the garage? L 4,440mm; W (including door mirrors) 1,798mm; H 1,635mm