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SsangYong Tivoli 1.6 XDi ELX 4×4 review:

What is it?

The SsangYong Tivoli has been causing a stir in the popular B-segment crossover market as it looks smart, drives well and above all, is affordable.

Despite the success, SsangYong hasn’t rested on its laurels and Business Car Manager headed to Germany to drive the latest four-wheel drive version, in range-topping ELX trim, to see if adding four-wheel drive makes the Tivoli even more attractive.

What’s hot?

  • Definitely not beautiful, but the Tivoli is the neatest looking model the Korean manufacturer has produced in recent years. We like the curves around the front and rear arches, with the front and rear light units following those curves. Then there’s the large cut-out at the bottom of the doors to make the side of the Tivoli seem more dynamic. Like before, there’s even the chance to personalise your Tivoli with different alloys and contrasting roof colours.
  • The interior continues the good news, with its stylish, spacious and conventional feel. The range-topping ELX has plenty of standard kit including climate control, touchscreen sat-nav, keyless go, stop/start, parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, and a rear-view camera – all for just £19,500. Plus, there’s a five-year warranty too.
  • A heated steering wheel that will surely be a bonus on cold winter days.
  • The angular shape means the Tivoli’s interior is spacious, with plenty of room for five passengers, although the four-wheel drive system and more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension nibble into rear bootspace slightly.
  • The Tivoli might not be very exciting to drive, but it’s tidy enough. With the part-time, four-wheel drive system adding extra security when the front wheels start slipping, by sending drive to the back. Body control is still good, with negligible body roll. The steering remains reasonably precise and the gearchange sharp, although not quick! In fact, the Tivoli four-wheel drive seemed to work better with the more relaxed auto box.
  • The 1.6-litre XDi diesel is smooth enough, although it gets noisy when worked. The 123g/km CO2 figure and 47.9mpg fuel figure mean a competitive 22% charge.

What’s not?

  • The Tivoli feels solidly built, but the plastics are hard, there’s too much shiny piano black trim that we reckon won’t look quite so sharp after a while and the switchgear sometimes feels brittle.
Subtle badging for the all-wheel drive Tivoli

Subtle badging for the all-wheel drive Tivoli

  • Is the four-wheel drive version too subtle? The only way you’ll spot a four-wheel drive version is a badge on the offside front door and a button for the diff lock on the dash!
  • The ride seems even more unsettled than on the two-wheel drive version. Although it deals with unmade surfaces and pot holes decently enough, the Tivoli never feels totally settled – although admittedly the standard fit 18-inch wheels don’t help here.

The Verdict

The SsangYong Tivoli is still a likeable, spacious, high-value and well-equipped alternative to a Nissan Juke or Peugeot 2008.

Four-wheel drive makes for one of the cheapest off-roaders, although it’s really for extra traction than real off-road ability. However, with four-wheel drive comes the more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension, which equals the best driving Tivoli.

There are still question marks over its 22% tax band however.

The Low Down for the SsangYong Tivoli 1.6 XDI ELX 4×4


Doors and bodystyle: Five-door crossover
Engine/Gearbox: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder 16-valve petrol/6-speed manual gearbox
CO2 Emissions: 156 g/km
Economy: 47.9mpg
Power/Torque: 113bhp/160Nm
0-62mph/top speed: 11 secs/107mph
Insurance Group: N/A

And what it costs…

P11D Value: £22,100
Monthly Business Car Lease ex VAT (10k miles pa, 3+35 payments, non-maintained): From £N/A
Road Tax: Band G
Company Car Tax bands 2015/2016 to 2016/17: 22%, 21%, 23%
Benefit in kind 2014/15 to 2016/17: £4,058, £3,973, £4,242
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%): £972/£81
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%): £1,945/£162
Annual/Monthly company car tax (20%): £812/£68
Annual/Monthly company car tax (40%): £1,623/£135
The all-wheel drive SsangYong Tivoli diesel

The all-wheel drive SsangYong Tivoli diesel

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