Don’t be put off by the relatively new name.
SsangYong has been around a while, but these times there is a more determined drive to get into the mainstream of motoring here.
Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that now hugely respected names like Kia and Hyundai were new on the scene, and look at the strides they made.
So approach things with an open mind. SsangYong are offering a five year warranty, by the way.
The Korean company are on the move.
Their latest pitch into the market is the Tivoli XLV, a bigger brother offering more space than its junior crossover, the Tivoli.
The XLV is going into the ring with big hitters like the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008, offering generous levels of space, in both the cabin and boot, a lengthy list of features plus a good driving diesel engine in a bid to lure buyers from the more established market leaders.
XLV stands for eXciting Lifestyle Vehicle. If you are the outdoor type who needs space to shift things for those weekends away then the boot capacity of 720 litres (1,440 litres with the rear seat backs down) would tick an important box for you.
The versatility and space offered in the interior is a big plus point for the XLV.
There is a convenient storage area under the floor cover, with the ‘get you home’ spare wheel built into the floor under that section again.
All nice and neat and tidy.
The additional space in the boot is worked by extending the body beyond the car’s C-pillar, adding around 240mm to the overall length of the car.
This doesn’t make the XLV an unwieldy vehicle, and it still slots comfortably into those tight supermarket parking space, for example.
The XLV is a fine modern looking car, and offers a bright, functional, well equipped box shaped cabin.
The interior door panels are slightly arched in shape, which give the interior that bit more width.
There is ample headroom, front and back, even with a sunroof that in some cars can restrict top end space.
The height adjustable driver’s seat makes it easy to find a good, made to measure driving position, with controls and visual aids all within easy reach and line of vision.
The XLV is powered by the company’s latest 1.6 litre turbocharged engine.
My drive was in the 6-speed manual version - there is also a 6-speed automatic and 4WD - and put simply, there were no complaints.
With 115hp and 300Nm of torque, the XLV has the power under the bonnet to run with rivals in terms of performance. There is real flexibility to the drive, and even at low revs the performance is there.
Of course there is a bit of a diesel din on start up, but the flexible unit eases into its stride quickly and that dies.
The car is a comfortable performer, and on open roads it just sweeps along.
The XLV is offered with two levels of trim, the ES and high end EL.
The standard spec sheet is good, so in terms of looks, drive and equipment the XLV is by no means lagging behind the opposition.
Approach with an open mind, remember!
SsangYong Tivoli XLV 1.6 litre diesel, 6-speed manual transmission 2WD €28,995 (EL), 115hp at 3,400 to 4,000rmp, 300Nm at 1,500 to 2,500rpm, max speed 175kph, fuel consumption 4.3l/100km (combined), 5.1l/100km (urban), 3.9l/100km (extra urban), annual road tax €200.
Features - electronic cruise control, idle stop and go system, roof rails, LED daytime running lamps, reinforced monocoque body structure, front and side airbags for driver and passenger, curtain airbags front and rear, knee airbag for driver, front and rear parking sensors, 4-channel ABS, electronic stability programme with hydraulic brake assist, hill start assist and active roll over protection, immobiliser, automatic speed sensing door locks, Iso Fix and tether anchorage for child seat, tyre pressure monitoring system, LED repeaters on fender, cruise control, 2-DIN audio system with MP3 player and iPod/iPhone connector, TomTom navigation system with 7” display rearview camera, Bluetooth, remote keyless entry system, steering wheel mounted audio controls, 12v DC power outlet, tilting steering wheel, 60/40 split folding rear seats, air conditioning, get you home spare wheel.
5-year-unlimited mileage warranty.