Why the Ssangyong Tivoli XLV is different
With two Korean car manufacturers, Hyundai and Kia, having successfully entered the Philippine market, another Korean challenger arrived a few years ago.
SsangYong Motor Co., founded in 1954 in South Korea, is now sold in 115 countries. The SsangYong brand is currently owned 74 percent by Mahindra & Mahindra of India.
In the Philippines, Ssang-Yong offers three SUV/ crossover models: the Korando, Rodius and Tivoli.
Among the three, the Tivoli is the newest SsangYong model as it was launched in the global market in 2015.
For the 2017 model year, SsangYong introduced a new Tivoli variant, the Tivoli XLV, which makes a difference in three ways: engine, drivetrain, and cargo space.
The XLV shares the same architecture and wheelbase as the standard Tivoli but is powered by a 1.6-liter, in-line 4-cylinder, turbocharged direct injection diesel engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. No manual transmission XLV is available.
Peak power is estimated at 115 ps and max torque at 300 Newton meters.
The standard Tivoli comes with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine mated to either a 6-speed A/T or 6-speed manual transmission.
The petrol engine produces 126 ps and 160 Nm max torque.
The XLV has an extra 245 mm behind the “C” pillar, thus increasing cargo space from the standard Tivoli’s 423 liters to 574 liters with the rear seat up, and up to 1,294 liters with the rear seat folded.
Under the cargo floor are 146 liters more of space when you fold the luggage board.
Another aspect that makes the XLV different from the standard Tivoli is that it is offered with either all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive, while the standard Tivoli comes with front-wheel drive only.
You pay more for the three-way difference. The top-of-the-line all-wheel-drive ELX XLV is retailed at P1.245 million, while the top-end Sport R Tivoli costs P1.08 million, or a P165,000 difference.
The front-wheel-drive EXD XLV is sold at P1.095 million, only P15,000 more than the Sport R Tivoli if you prefer a torquey diesel over petrol and want the extra cargo space.
The XLV’s braked towing capacity is 1,500 kg, thanks to diesel power.
However, the XLV has only five seats, same as the standard Tivoli. The rear seat in both variants splits 60/40, and folds down to increase almost flat cargo space.
That said, the supportive front seats can comfortably accommodate two tall adults, while rear seat space is generous with ample knee room and headroom.
Wide, deep trunk
Squeezing in a third passenger on the rear seat, however, would tighten shoulder room.
Meanwhile, although the trunk (or “boot,” as the Brits call it) is wider and deeper than that of most competitors, a big lip at the entrance may hinder easy loading of cargo.
SsangYong claims that the boot of the XLV can swallow surf boards or a pair of folding bicycles or several golf bags, not to mention many pieces of luggage.
The XLV is not fast or exciting to drive, but it is adequate and reasonably refined when driven conservatively.
The diesel engine does not make itself heard unless you really push it, and it is strong enough for both city driving and highway cruising.
The XLV enters bends, surprisingly keeping its body upright with little lean. But the ride of the ELX XLV may be a bit harsh because of its 18-inch aluminum wheels.
The XLV, like the other SsangYong cars, is built solidly because SsangYong started as a builder of off-road vehicles and trucks.
Viewing the exterior, the only difference between the ELX and ELD XLV are the headlamps: the ELX has HID with Xenon bulb type, while the ELD has projection headlamps.
Both XLVs have daytime running lights, front fog lamps, side mirrors with integrated side turn lamps, and LED rear combination lamps.
Inside, the only differences are that the ELX is equipped with automatic dual-zone climate control, while that of the ELD is manual; only the ELX has smart keyless entry system with push start/stop button.
Both have black fabric seat and trim upholstery, while the leather-wrapped, tilt-adjustable D-cut steering wheel has integrated audio and Bluetooth hands-free phone controls and steering modes (Normal, Comfort and Sport.)
Also standard are the 7-inch LCD touchscreen HD with MP3, aux-in BT, USB, Mirror Link, six speakers and three 12-volt power outlets.
In terms of safety features, only the ELX XLV has a reverse rearview camera. Both have driver and passenger airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, disc brakes front and rear, rear parking sensors and burglar alarm.
The SsangYong Tivoli XLV, whether front wheel drive or AWD, with its solid build, strong and frugal CRDi engine and class-leading boot space, offers value for money despite its relatively unknown brand.