The small crossover market is getting increasingly crowded. Having only really been invented in 2010 when the Nissan Juke was launched, it won’t be long before there are 20 to choose from.
The Ssangyong Tivoli is the latest addition to the sector. Korean maker Ssangyong has long of selling big 4x4s f0r not much money. But that’s because the products were sub-standard.
The recent Korando was a dramatic improvement, though it’s still some way behind the Ford Kuga et al. Ssangyong will have to raise its game another level if the Tivoli is to compete among some extremely good opposition.
It gets off to a good start with attractive, if generic, styling. The muscular haunches, thick C-pillar and floating roof are cribbed from the Juke, but Ssangyong’s designers have but their own twist to the themes.
Likewise, the interior looks like a perfectly pleasant, classy place to be, but it’s completely generic. You have to wonder, too, if the material quality lives up to the “deluxe” claims.
Class-leading interior space is promised, along with a 423 litre boot, bigger than you’ll find in a Focus estate.
At launch, the only engine will be a 1.6-litre petrol engine, producing 124bhp and 116lb/ft of torque – most of its rivals have small, three-cylinder turbo units. A diesel with similar power will follow shortly after; both will be available with manual or automatic gearboxes and, eventually, four-wheel-drive.
Prices and specs for UK models have yet to be confirmed, but a starting price of around £13,000 is likely. That’s territory currently only occupied by the Dacia Duster. On value alone, the Tivoli should meet Ssangyong’s target of selling 1,000 units this year.