SsangYong goes large with the new Tivoli XLV

Staines Informer - - MOTORS -

SOUTH Korean car maker SsangYong is best known for pro­duc­ing af­ford­able SUVs and rugged off-road mo­tors with go-any­where at­tributes, many of them 4x4s, writes Ste­wart Smith.

But last year the brand broke into the com­pact SUV mar­ket with the Tivoli – a value for money all-rounder that has proved some­thing of a hit. Al­ready the Tivoli has be­come the com­pany’s most suc­cess­ful prod­uct, with sales top­ping 64,000 around the world.

Now SsangYong has gone a step fur­ther by launch­ing a stretched model, the Tivoli XLV, to pro­vide even more car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity and prac­ti­cal­ity and it will be on sale in the UK this month.

Ac­cord­ing to SsangYong, XLV stands for Ex­cit­ing Lifestyle Ve­hi­cle and the ex­tra di­men­sions, up­dated styling and above-av­er­age list of use­ful and prac­ti­cal stan­dard equip­ment should ap­peal to those look­ing for value for money.

The XLV shares the same plat­form and wheel­base as the reg­u­lar Tivoli but is al­most 10 inches longer, which re­sults in the load ca­pac­ity be­ing in­creased to 720 litres – up from 423 litres.

To cre­ate even more room the UK ver­sion comes with­out a spare tyre but with a tyre in­fla­tion kit as stan­dard.

In the UK, the XLV will be a five-seater and the ad­di­tional in­te­rior space means six-foot­ers in the back will have plenty of head and legroom.

With the rear seats fold­ing flat, it is an ideal ve­hi­cle for lug­ging baby bug­gies and cots for small chil­dren, bikes and golf clubs for the sports-minded.

It has also been pro­duced with safety in mind and it in­cludes front, side and cur­tain airbags plus a driver’s knee airbag, a multi-func­tion Elec­tronic Sta­bil­ity Pro­gram, Ac­tive Rollover Protection, Brake As­sist, Hill Start As­sist and ESS (Emer­gency Stop Signal) and a tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem.

Un­der the bon­net, the Tivoli XLV has 1.6-litre diesel en­gine with the op­tion of a six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion or six-speed au­to­matic with the choice of two or four-wheel-drive.

SsangYong claims the 115bhp tur­bocharged power unit pro­duces just 117g/km of CO2 on the two-wheeldrive ver­sion with man­ual gear­ing and stop-start, and will return around 63mpg on a com­bined run.

Top speed for the XLV is 109mph and 0 to 62mph comes up in 12 sec­onds.

On the test drive I found the power ac­cept­able, if not ex­cit­ing, and it coped with the mo­tor­way stretches ad­e­quately with over­tak­ing made easy but with a fair bit of noise from the trans­mis­sion and en­gine note.

On coun­try roads, de­spite this be­ing a fair-sized mo­tor, it cor­nered pretty well at speed with just a bit of body roll.

De­spite hav­ing three set­tings for the steer­ing weight I didn’t find much dif­fer­ence in feel. The cabin is a pleas­ant enough with very sup­port­ive seats up front, a good front and rear­ward view, and most of the con­trols are easy to reach and un­der­stand.

The qual­ity of ma­te­ri­als used on the lat­est SsangYong is a step up for the brand and ev­ery­thing has a much more sub­stan­tial feel to it.

And where the XLV scores heav­ily against the com­pe­ti­tion in this sec­tor is the huge amount of stan­dard equip­ment. This in­cludes du­al­zone air con­di­tion­ing, and in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with RDS ra­dio, seven-inch touch screen, USB/AUX port, iPad and Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity, TomTom sat nav, rear-view cam­era, cruise con­trol, park­ing sen­sors front and rear, rain sens­ing wipers, au­to­matic head­lights, key­less en­try and tinted glass to name but a few. An­other plus point, which will ap­peal to those opt­ing for the XLV, is its fiveyear lim­it­less mileage war­ranty.

All ma­jor me­chan­i­cal com­po­nents are cov­ered in­clud­ing wheel bearings, sus­pen­sion joints and bushes, steer­ing joints, shock ab­sorbers, even the au­dio sys­tem.

Wear­able com­po­nents such as clutch discs and brake fric­tion ma­te­ri­als are cov­ered for one year or 12,500 miles and the bat­tery and paint­work for three years. In my opin­ion, the new SsangYong mo­tor is well worth con­sid­er­ing.

The amount of stan­dard kit on it is prob­a­bly sec­ond to none in its sec­tor, the built qual­ity is much im­proved on pre­vi­ous SsangYong prod­ucts and, although the price has yet to be con­firmed, it will prob­a­bly be around £17,500, which is a lot of mo­tor for that price.

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