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Booty call: SsangYong’s spacious Tivoli XLV

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by August 20, 2016 General

With enough space for four passengers and their luggage, SSangYong may have just created the ultimate Uber-mobile in their Tivoli XLV. — Handout via TODAYWith enough space for four passengers and their luggage, SSangYong may have just created the ultimate Uber-mobile in their Tivoli XLV. — Handout via TODAYSINGAPORE, Aug 20 — The compact crossover market shows no signs of slowing, with models such as the Nissan Qashqai claiming to sell a car every hour while other brands, like Honda (with the HR-V/Vezel) and Kia (with the Sportage), have their entries into the segment everywhere on local roads.

The lesser-known Korean car maker SsangYong has also been making inroads with its Tivoli, which has pleasantly surprised us with a much-welcomed improvement in build quality and driveability.

The XLV variant tested here builds on the Tivoli’s success by incorporating a much larger cargo bay. With a capacity of 720 litres, the XLV’s bay dwarfs the standard car’s by 297 litres. The result of the larger boot space, however, is that the XLV looks like a car that is at least half a class bigger than the standard model, which is now referred to as the Tivoli Compact.

Bring the kitchen sink

Although the wheelbase remains unchanged at 2,600mm, the XLV is longer by 198mm. This may not sound like much, but SsangYong’s designers have worked in an extra window panel behind the C-pillar and a redesigned set of rear lamps to give this model its own identity.

Without having to fold the rear seats, the XLV’s luggage bay will easily accommodate four full-sized suitcases, which is good news for those who make frequent runs to the airport. For lesser loads, the luggage bay incorporates thoughtful touches such as handy lobes to hang plastic grocery bags and elastic straps to keep them in place.

Although rear legroom is the same as in the Tivoli Compact, the XLV feels like an altogether bigger car at the back because of the extra headroom — which sees the XLV’s overall height increased by 45mm to 1,635mm.

Up front, the XLV’s cabin looks and feels like a quantum leap from SsangYongs of old in terms of quality and design. Its dashboard controls and steering wheel feel as good as any car that comes from a Japanese manufacturer and certainly an equal of Hyundai and Kia.

Even when compared with the Tivoli Compact, improvements can be found especially around the front doors, where shapelier interior panels cradle the occupants’ arms and a nasty weld seam is out of sight.

With enough space for four passengers and their luggage, SSangYong may have just created the ultimate Uber-mobile in their Tivoli XLV. — Handout via TODAYWith enough space for four passengers and their luggage, SSangYong may have just created the ultimate Uber-mobile in their Tivoli XLV. — Handout via TODAYFeeling fast

Perhaps the most surprising part of the XLV, however, is the way it drives, given that this car is fitted with a 128hp 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated engine. Handily, this places the car in the typically more affordable Category A COE segment.

Its performance, however, had us repeatedly checking with the dealer if we had been provided with the 1.6-litre turbodiesel version instead, as the car felt faster than its zero-to-100kmh sprint time of 12.7 seconds would suggest.

In everyday applications, the XLV’s petrol unit is refined and quiet so there is no diesel clatter and vibration to put up with, while the six-speed automatic gearbox shifts effortlessly between ratios. For good measure, there is even a decent list of standard equipment such as keyless ignition and cruise control.

These days, however, customers are more demanding even in this segment. In this regard, the XLV’s lack of USB inputs might come as a disappointment to some. The official importer, Motorway, has advised that improved infotainment systems will be fitted by the time you read this so that delivery units may better address connectivity concerns.

This minor foible aside, there is not much else to complain about as the petrol-powered Tivoli XLV is priced the same as the Tivoli Compact diesel. — TODAY

SsangYong Tivoli XLV

Engine: 1,597cc, in-line four, 128hp, 160Nm

Performance: 160kmh, 0-100kmh: 12.7s, 7.6L/100km, 176g/km

Pros: Costs the same as the smaller Tivoli diesel model

Cons: Needs better connnectivity options like USB inputs — TODAY

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