Could this be the first “normal” looking SsangYong ever? Meet the new Tivoli, their shot at seizing a piece of that lucrative compact SUV market. It’s the first model to emerge from the Korean automaker’s relationship with Mahindra – and it carries lofty ambitions on its shoulders.
According to SsangYong CEO, Lee Yoo-il, they’re looking at an annual production run of 100,000 units. “It will be a cornerstone in the company’s quest to become a global SUV maker,” he said. It took $325m and four years to develop the new SUV. It will make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March and will arrive on local shores in the middle of 2015.
On the outside, it’s certainly more palatable than SsangYong models in recent memory. You could even describe it as attractive. With chunky proportions and an urban warrior persona, it’s got all the hallmarks of a proper compact SUV. We’ll have to see what it’s like in the flesh before giving a verdict, but the interior looks promising in the pictures.
You can have three interior colours: black, beige or red. And according to SsangYong, the designers were aiming for a “sports car like look and feel” here. You can expect soft-touch materials and quality stitching. They’re even promising to throw niceties like a heated steering wheel into the mix. Luggage space is ample, with accommodation for up to three full-size golf club bags and a second row of seats that can be folded flat.
Newly-developed engines will feature under the hood. Both are 1.6-litres in capacity, available in petrol or diesel guises. A six-speed automatic transmission from AISIN will be offered – and SsangYong is adamant that it’s as good as some of the dual-clutch systems out there. It’s been tested to the German DIN standard for quality and reliability, which is the same testing procedure employed by virtually all European premium carmakers.
It’s big on gadgetry too. You’ll be able to connect your smart phone, via an HDMI cable, to the vehicle’s seven-inch display screen. The interface also boasts a rear view camera. Dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and a parking assist system can also be expected. On a final note, we should also clarify that the car takes its name from the Italian town near Rome – not from the line of tap fittings from CTM.