Car reviews - SsangYong - Tivoli
SsangYong Tivoli hits market with sharp price and refined on-road performance
6 Dec 2018
By NEIL DOWLING
THERE are 36 models in Australia’s crowded small SUV segment - and now there’s another one. The Korean made, Indian-owned SsangYong has introduced its Tivoli after a three-year learning curve in overseas markets.
It arrives in two body sizes – the standard plus a longer XLV that adds 230mm to the length – and two engines, two transmissions and three trim levels.
The Tivoli will be the first time SsangYong has dabbled in the smaller end of the market, previously known for its full-size Rexton and Musso models that earned a reputation for durability that was partially based on its links – through drivetrain licences – with Mercedes-Benz.
The latest small SUV does not, however, share that link. Instead the engines – 1.6-litre examples of a petrol and a diesel – are made by SsangYong majority owner Mahindra & Mahindra of India, along with the manual gearbox, while the automatic transmission is from Aisin.
The rest of the SUV is made in South Korea by its nameplate company that the Indians bought 70 per cent of in 2011.
Although new to Australia, the Tivoli has spread itself through Europe since 2015. The vehicle has been upgraded and refined since that launch date, with specific improvements made to the suspension and the infotainment features.
The package is impressive on Australian soil but the pricing isn’t particularly eye-popping until you factor in the seven-year unlimited distance warranty, seven years of roadside assistance and the seven-year service program.
SsangYong Australia boss Tim Smith told GoAutoNews that the service program was not a capped-price arrangement, but rather the transparent menu system usually adopted by prestige car-makers such as BMW and Audi.
He said prices for the servicing will be announced within two weeks but would not give any early indication of costings.
The elephant in the room is a new model poised to be dropped into Australia next year.
Though basically the same car in terms of body structure, the next car will have new engines – diesel and petrol with 1.5-litres – and the potential to lift the current crash rating to five stars from its current four stars.
Model release date: 1 December 2018
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