SsangYong Tivoli XLV (2016) review

Published:16 June 2016

2016 SsangYong Tivoli XLV
  • At a glance
  • 3 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5

By Adam Binnie

Contributor and new cars editor on our sister website

By Adam Binnie

Contributor and new cars editor on our sister website

 SsangYong launches more practical Tivoli
 Offers up 300 litres of extra storage space
 £1k premium over regular model

The more astute among you may have noticed this new SsangYong Tivoli XLV looks an awful lot like a Tivoli crossover with a bigger boot. That’s because both cars share the same architecture and wheelbase.

However, the XLV has an extra 245mm of bodywork grafted on behind the C pillar, meaning more boot space. It offers up 720 litres in total, compared with the standard SUV’s not-diminutive 423 litres.

SsangYong described the XLV as a shooting brake, which felt like a bit of a stretch – it’s best to think of it as an estate version of the standard car.

Sounds like Tivoli XL would be a better name…

It’ll be sold as XLV Air in Korea and simply XLV elsewhere, with only UK cars being badged up Tivoli XLV.  

The Tivoli has been something of a ground breaker for the Korean manufacturer in this country and retaining that name will help boost recognition of this new car. It’s a good move that has worked wonders for Fiat and its 500 range.

The XLV bit stands for ‘eXciting Lifestyle Vehicle,’ and this is reflected in the marketing material – which is full of pictures of healthy-looking people with surfboards and bicycles in the dappled forest light of a Centre Parcs resort, or Cumbrian bolthole.

Slightly under-represented are people with both Caravan Club and Great Dane Owners’ Association membership cards, who will appreciate the 1500kg braked towing capacity and larger bootspace.

What engines can I have?

Just the one – the 1.6-litre diesel engine from the Tivoli, which produces 113bhp and 221lb ft of torque. You do get to choose between two- and all-wheel drive and six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes, though.

Acceleration from 0-62mph in all combinations takes 12 seconds. On the efficiency front, figures start at 109g/km of CO2 and 62.8mpg.

It’s not a fast car but driven conservatively it is at least reasonably refined – the diesel engine doesn’t make itself heard unless you really push it. Make sure you pre-empt big hills or overtaking manoeuvres with a timely downshift though, as there’s quite a bit of turbo lag at low revs – like a Ferrari F40, you could tell yourself.

I bet it comes with loads of kit

The XLV comes in one trim only and it’s based on the Tivoli’s top-spec ELX, so you get a comprehensive amount of kit. Highlights include a TomTom sat-nav, 18-inch wheels, heated leather seats, keyless start and a rear view camera.

Given that larger rear end, you might expect to see an extra pair of seats on the options list – but you’d be wrong. SsangYong toyed with the idea of a seven-seat XLV but said the resulting rear bench was too cramped.

There’s also a package of autonomous safety tech coming in Autumn 2016, including things like active city brake, which SsangYong hopes will get the Tivoli XLV a four-star Euro NCAP rating.


While other cars in this sector typically surprise you with a smaller boot than you were expecting (hello, Nissan Juke) here’s one that does the opposite. If you want a loadspace of this size, for this price and with a similar footprint, then you’ll be faced with a van-with-windows option like the Peugeot Partner Teepee.

It might sound like we’re damning the XLV with faint praise but, while it is not the last word in driver involvement or performance, it is much better than driving a van.

The Tivoli offered great value for money, a fuss-free drive and a well-built interior. Add the XLV’s improved practicality to that list and you’ve got a seriously compelling package.

Read more SsangYong reviews


Price when new: £20,000
On sale in the UK: Late 2016
Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel, 113bhp @ 3400rpm, 221lb ft @ 1500rpm
Transmission: Six-speed auto, all-wheel drive
Performance: 12 sec 0-62mph, 107mph, 44.8mpg, 164g/km of CO2
Weight / material: 1535kg/steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4440/1798/1635


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  • 2016 SsangYong Tivoli XLV
  • 2016 SsangYong Tivoli XLV
  • 2016 SsangYong Tivoli XLV

By Adam Binnie

Contributor and new cars editor on our sister website