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SsangYong’s all-new small Tivoli SUV arrives

Korean brand SsangYong is back after a lapse of several years since two previous distributors relinquished the brand. Now a full factory subsidiary SsangYong Australia arrives with three models – the all-new small Tivoli SUV in five and seven –seat configuration and in a re-vitalised fourth-generation large Rexton 4WD and all-new Musso ute. I drove all models this week around Marysville, the once fire ravaged township in Victoria over some demanding sealed and unsealed roads. Concentrating today the all-new Tivoli – the first SsangYong developed in conjunction with Mahindra and an impressive first effort – practical styling, a big step up from the somewhat ugly SsangYong’s of old. I drove the 1.6-litre diesel 2WD automatic EX Tivoli and the 1.6-litre auto 4WD Ultimate Diesel Tivoli – both with three steering modes – I didn’t expect the handling, steering and braking to be so good, Tivoli is generally well sorted with some fine tuning still to come on the electronic stability control, presently a little over reactive.
The SsangYong Tivoli styling is appealing and practical, the two-wheel-drive in particular has excellent rear seat legroom and load space, good storage and convenience features in the cabin including Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Tivoli sits very flat through corners, better in the all-wheel-drive variant with its heavier weight while nice diesel engine torque makes it a very pleasant driver around town. Features wise, the SsangYong Tivoli priced from 23,490 to 33,990 is the SUV burger with the lot and it needed to be if it’s to gain sales in a very competitive segment. I’m David Berthon

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