SsangYong Tivoli XLV review

When we published our SsangYong Tivoli review months ago, there were a few things that people looked for that were missing with the subcompact crossover. I specifically wished for a deeper trunk, while netizens were hungry for a 4x4 option or a diesel-fed one.

Well, the South Korean brand has an answer to all of us — the bigger, diesel-powered SsangYong Tivoli XLV. Its range-topper 1.6 ELX has an active 4x4 system. Plus, it has boat-loads of boot space…like a lot of it. We’ll get to that later.

The non-XLV model did pretty well on our review. Will its bigger brother get the same? SsangYong Philippines hands us over the keys to its top-of-the-line variant to find out.

As mentioned, the Tivoli XLV is bigger than the non-XLV Tivoli in all dimensions — 45mm longer, 3mm wider, and 15mm taller. The increment in size gives this crossover the interior space advantage, but a bit of a letdown when it comes to looks.

Don’t get us wrong; it’s not bad, really. It’s just that with the added length mainly on the C-pillar towards the rear, the XLV has a longer profile and less sporty appeal. Nevertheless, its European-inspired fascia remains with it, along with its good-looking LED daytime running lights. We just wish they didn’t remove the contrasting roof color that can be found with the smaller Tivoli.

At the rear, the C-shaped LED taillights are a pleasure to look at especially at night. There’s also a huge XLV badge on the tailgate to give it a distinction. The bulging fender flares and huge 18-inch rims is the icing of the cake, making this crossover look tough and beefy even when viewed from behind.

Overall, the Tivoli XLV’s looks has a more serious appeal than the smaller Tivoli. It’s like the older brother, who matured and gained a bit of weight. Shots fired.

The maturity is felt inside the XLV’s cabin as well. It still shares most of the convenience features with the non-XLV Tivoli, such as speed-sensing door locks, keyless entry system, and push-start engine, but the red leather dashboard accents and seats are axed. Good job for SsangYong from keeping the cabin from hard plastics.

All the buttons and knobs are tactile and have great feedback, while the clear gauge clusters display essential driving info like fuel consumption and range. The 7-inch touchscreen is easy to pair with smartphones and doubles as the rear-camera display. The MirrorLink with iPhone is just a bit problematic and can’t really reflect videos on the screen. Sorry, no ‘Netflix and chill’ inside the XLV.

Although clothed in fabric, the semi-bucket seats in front and bench seats at the back are comfortable. With the same 2,600mm wheelbase from the smaller Tivoli, the head-, leg-, and elbow-room are still abundant for the 5 passengers 5’9” and below. Air conditioning and noise isolation are also superb for all occupants.

As for the ride, the XLV has a noteworthy, almost non-existent body roll even on the zigzags of Kennon Road. This is because of its relatively low 167mm ground clearance, along with the not-too-soft McPherson Struts (front) and multi-link (rear) suspensions. As a trade-off, you may need to ease up on road imperfections and going off-road.

Like I mentioned, the added length is mainly at the rear, which spells a massive 574L trunk space. This can be doubled up to 1,294L when the rear seats are folded flat. To give you an idea, my acoustic guitar case is able to fit inside the trunk with a lot of room for more.

Under the XLV’s hood was a 1.6L e-xDI turbodiesel engine with an output of 115 hp. This was 13 hp less than the smaller Tivoli, but it wasn’t short in power when on the road. The turbo also kicked in at the right time (between the 60-70 km/h mark), which was a huge plus to its frugality. The 6-speed automatic transmission, on the other hand, shifted smoothly and can be manaully toggled using the switch on the gear knob.

With the XLV’s size, the immense 300 Nm of torque of its engine was heaven-sent. Steep inclines were no sweat for the car; there wasn’t really a need for a hill-start assist. The active 4x4 worked like the other SsangYong, the Korando — the crossover was mostly in front-wheel drive mode, with the 4x4 kicking in only when needed and an option to lock it in full 4x4 mode.

Handling the XLV was also easy, as its steering feel has 3 modes: Comfort, Normal, and Sport. I switched between the Normal and Sport modes during long drives, but I prefer the latter as it wasn’t that stiff for zigzags nor too soft for the highway.

The one thing I can complain, though, was the XLV’s A-pillar. It’s really wide and created a frontal blind spot on the left, something that SsangYong needs to fix in its successor. Also, the car could have been better with Cruise Control for more convenience on long highways like SCTEX and TPLEX.

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the XLV wasn’t hungry on diesel. Morning rush hour drive on the infamous EDSA clocked in 6.4 km/l, while faster pace at 60 km/h read 13.7 km/l. Highway drive at 90 km/h average read a fuel consumption of 22.6 km/l. These numbers were generally better than that of the smaller Tivoli’s.

SsangYong’s answer to people’s heed for a 4x4 diesel-fed Tivoli is a solid hit. With the XLV 1.6 ELX 4x4’s competitive P1,245,000 price tag, it’s a great choice if you’re in the market of crossovers. We look at it as a superb family car — perfect for those who wants a good-looking ride but needs space for monthly groceries, child stroller, and other kids’ stuff. Plus, with its fuel-efficient nature, your wallet is still safe from the increasing fuel prices. Great deal, right?

Although, it still left us with one question — what does XLV really mean? Xtra Large Vehicle? Xtra Large Version?


Specifications

Engine

1.6 L

Fuel Type

Diesel

Performance

115 hp @ 4,000 rpm

Transmission

Automatic

Summary
Name SsangYong Tivoli XLV 1.6 ELX 4x4 AT
Body Type Crossover
Price ₱ 1,245,000
Transmission Type Automatic
Engine
Performance
Economy & Environment
Dimensions
Safety & Security
Features
Technology

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