The Read the Autocar first drive review of the SsangYong Tivoli will undercut small SUV rivals such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur when it arrives in UK dealers in June, the firm has announced.
The Korean brand's new offering will start at £12,950, or around £700 less than the entry-level Juke, and top out at £19,500 for a four-wheel-drive diesel auto in range-topping trim. That's around £5000 cheaper than the most expensive version of Mazda's recently launched CX-3, another of the Tivoli's small SUV rivals.
The Tivoli is a five-seater with a boot capacity of 423 litres - or around 30 litres less than that of a Renault Captur. It is 4.2 metres long, around 5cm longer than a Nissan Juke. It sits on an all-new platform - the first developed since SsangYong was taken over by Indian industrial giant Mahindra.
The Tivoli will be offered with a choice of 1.6-litre engines - a petrol with 126bhp with 118lb ft, or a diesel with 113bhp and 221lb ft. The standard gearbox will be a six-speed manual, but an Aisin six-speed automatic unit will be available at a premium of £1000. The diesel motor and the auto 'box will also be available with four-wheel drive on the two higher trim levels, EX and ELX. Four-wheel drive will be offered from July and on those models the suspension is replaced with a multi-link setup. The front suspension is McPherson struts, while the rear gets a torsion beam configuration, and the car can be specified with either 16-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels.
All editions of the Tivoli get a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty as standard, and even the entry-level SE trim brings 16in alloy wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and air conditioning. Stepping up to EX - a £1650 rise - will add leather seats, 18in alloys, dual-zone climate control, a 7in touchscreen infotainment system with rear-view camera and heated front seats.
Full-spec ELX editions - which carry an additional £1400 premium over EX - will get diamond-cut alloys, privacy glass, TomTom sat-nav, rain-sensing wipers, keyless go, front and rear parking sensors, a smart instrument cluster and the option to add styling packs, including a contrast roof or red leather seats. The connectivity options include a USB socket and, unusually, an HDMI socket that will allow users to play their smartphone video content on the central screen.
Other features available include a heated steering wheel, a Smart Steer system with three settings and automatic headlights. All Tivolis get seven airbags, including a driver's kneebag.
As with many of the new breed of small SUVs, the Tivoli will be offered with a wide range of customisation options, including a 7.0in colour touchscreen on high-end editions, a contrasting roof colour and, potentially, some bold interior trim finishes - although SsangYong's UK importer has yet to commit to offering them all.