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KGM Tivoli

YONG AT HEART (some text hidden) --NONE--

By Jonathan Crouch

KGM's small SUV, the Tivoli, offers a lot of crossover for the cash. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 49

This KGM Tivoli, which you might better know with SsangYong badging, takes the fight to small SUVs like the Nissan Juke and the Renault Captur with budget pricing, a gutsy engine and build quality the like of which you wouldn't credit at this price point. It's an under-rated model.

Backgroundword count: 122

The Tivoli was the car that launched the brand that was then known as SsangYong into the mainstream. Introduced in 2015, this small SUV sold over 50,000 units globally over the next five years and did a fine job in putting its Korean maker on the map. But the compact crossover market has changed dramatically in recent times and going forward, the Tivoli needs to be able to offer more than just high equipment and a low price. So its Korean maker has gradually improved it, upped equipment levels and focused the UK range down to a single 1.5-litre petrol engine driven through the front wheels. In early 2024, SsangYong was re-named KGM Motors. Let's take a closer look at this car.

Driving Experienceword count: 262

The original version of this car was a likeable package in its own way, but it was somewhat let down by its rather unremarkable 1.6-litre petrol engine. So it's good news that this unit has in recent years been superceded by a couple of far more up-to-date powerplants. The range used to kick off with a three cylinder 1.2 GDi-T turbo unit with 128PS, but now the Korean maker restricts UK sales to a four cylinder 1.5 GDi-T powerplant offering 163PS. The 1.5 petrol unit can be had with the option of auto transmission if you don't want the standard 6-speed manual. But the UK importers continue to ignore the 4WD version of this model that's available in other markets and would, if priced correctly, give the car a rather unique selling point here. This still isn't one of the more dynamically adept cars in its segment but through the corners, body control is decent and the steering consistent, if a little light. You can weight it up by playing with the 'Smart steering' system that KGM has decided all models should have, a set-up delivering three self-explanatory modes - 'Normal', 'Comfort' and 'Sport'. The six-speed automatic gearbox is the same Aisin unit used by MINI, albeit with a bit less sportiness built into the shift logic. This auto gearbox is obviously well suited for the city - and smoother than the rather jerky belt-driven CVT auto set-up you'd find in, say, an automatic Nissan Juke. Move through its cogs though and you'll find long ratios chosen for economy rather than speed.

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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

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This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

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