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SSANGYONG TIVOLI XLV: THE GAME CHANGER

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The SsangYong Tivoli, when it first entered the Nepali market, seemed like an exciting product. The compact crossover segment was peaking in popularity and we, for one, were certain the Tivoli would be a worthy addition to the already existing market choices. However, we never got to find out for ourselves. Despite our best attempts, we were not able to get our hands on the Tivoli. But that was then and this is now.

SsangYong now operates under the Captainship of IMS Motors and things are different. Therefore, we had the brand new Tivoli XLV in our hands days after it came to Nepal. IMS Motors is turning over a new leaf for SsangYong Motors in Npal, and it might just propel the Korean brand to its full potential in the coming time.

As a brand, the South Korean automobile manufacturer has slowly but surely ensured a position as a reputed and affordable badge in the global auto industry. The company has gone through a number of reforms through the years and the Korean manufacturer has continuously reinvented itself along the way. The acquisition of the brand by Mahindra & Mahindra Limited in 2011 has set SsangYong in the right path.

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The majority of the Nepali market recognizes SsangYong as predominantly distributing durable and well built SUVs with the likes of the Korando, Actyon and Rexton gaining considerable popularity. However, there were people who believed it was still slightly rough around the edges. The Tivoli though put the skepticism to rest and broke new grounds for the Korean manufacturers.Back to the subject at hand; the SsangYong Tivoli XLV is here. The XLV bit stands of ‘eXciting Lifestyle Vehicle’, As always, we take the viability of these abbreviations very seriously, so we put this baby to the test

EXTERIOR

To the majority of the general public, design styling and aesthetic appeal are given similar, if not more, priority than the performance figures. That makes how the Tivoli XLV looks a detrimental factor. As mentioned earlier, the Tivoli was a ground breaker for the Korean manufacturers, and the Tivoli XLV is also built on the same architecture.

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Thus, it remains a well polished piece
 of machinery in terms of aesthetics and design. The Tivoli had pretty much hit
the nail on the head with the Tivoli,
with exceptionally good design cues and aesthetic elements. As an extended version of the Tivoli, the Tivoli XLV retains the striking good looks.

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Compared to the Tivoli, the Tivoli XLV gets 24cms (245mm) extra length behind its rear seat.
Up front, a modern, mature design is apparent. Daylight running lights sit
over the HID (High intensity discharge) lights flank the slim grille of the Tivoli XLV. Character lines run from the grille through the bonnet onto the chrome-strip belt line which wraps around the base of the windscreen and extends along the sides beneath the windows. Front fog lamps sit lower on either side of the single piece barbell typed front bumper.

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From the side, the extra length is evident, but does not make the vehicle look out of place. The A and C pillars slope well into the design and get a glossy black garnish. The wheel arches are well filled which are always great.

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LED rear auxiliary brake lights are integrated into the rear spoiler and LED panel-lit tail lamp and stop lamp round off the rear. Rear fog lamps are put into the rear lower bumper. It is an impressive package and it makes the Tivoli XLV a certified head turner.

(Scroll down for exterior highlights)

INTERIOR AND FEATURES

The interiors live up to expectations. It is a spacious cabin with plenty of headroom and leg room. Fit and finish is of high quality.
A 3.5” LCD sits between the odometer and speedometer gauge in the instrument console.

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As a result of the added length the boot
has increased in size from the Tivoli to
an impressive 720 liters of total space. However, it is important to note that the extra space hangs out from the rear wheels so all the extra space advantage goes to the boot. Nevertheless, the Tivoli was already a spacious vehicle in its class. The rear seats have an option of 60:40 split or can be completely to increase luggage volume to 1,440 litres.

PERFORMANCE

The Tivoli XLV doesn’t seem to have been fazed by the added size. The 1.6L petrol engine can hold its own in the city pretty well. It is easy to maneuver and steering is decent with adequate feedback. Speed might not be its foray, but it isn’t a slouch by any sense of the word. Switch into sport mode and it bursts into life with more steering feel and responsiveness.

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On more open tarmacs, the Tivoli XLV delivers a comfortable riding experience. Power delivery is prompt and the 6 speed manual transmission is buttery smooth. It performs best at the mid range power band and churns out a healthy max power of 126 bhp@6000 rpm.

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The Tivoli feels never anything less than pleasingly sure-footed. Really sharp bumps and obstacles will be felt through the suspension, but actually the ride quality is quite well-judged.

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Body roll was expected and is present in the Tivoli XLV. Still, the Tivoli XLV carves corners as well as any other in the class.

VERDICT

Ssangyong vehicles might have
been lagging behind amongst their counterparts in the past, but they
have definitely switched up the gears. The new distributors, IMS Motors,
are sanguine about its future in the Nepalese automobile market. Judging
by the step up the Korean manufacturer has demonstrated with the Tivoli and the Tivoli XLV, we reckon they aren’t too far off with the judgment.

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The Tivoli XLV is a great family vehicle. You wouldn’t be wrong to assume it to be a seven seater, but it has stuck to the
5 seat placement. What has been given priority is the boot space; that means you probably won’t have to leave anything behind on your family outings anymore. You also get a choice of comfort, normal, and sport modes. Because it was so much fun, we found it very difficult to switch to any other mode than sport mode.

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It is at home in the city and fares well on the highways too. Ssangyong has offered a very good package with the Tivoli XLV and with that made a massive step towards changing the reputation of the brand.

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For full specifications and pricing, click here

EXTERIOR HIGHLIGHTS:

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