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Ssangyong Tivoli: Needs some polish

Ssangyong Tivoli: Needs some polish

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clarencegi75

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I am sure that there are few greater pleasures in this world than KBBQ. Don't get me wrong, the Koreans produce plenty of high-quality stuff: The world of battery technology, electronics, cosmetics, and er, their K-pop groups (I guess) all speak to the dizzying ambitions of the great nation.

But I think many will agree that there is likewise something ephemeral in the pleasure of being able to cook and stuff your face for $24.99 an hour. Perhaps its that fact that you sit cossetted in the knowledge that you got a decent deal anyhow, and is thus immune from buyer's remorse once you're full, or maybe it's the fact that for the next hour, you are empowered over your own gluttony, free at will to toe that sublime division between excess and restrain.

Whatever it may be, if you, as I myself often do, find yourself in need of cheap transportation to hop from restaurant to restaurant, Ssangyong has the perfect solution for you.

Ssangyong needs the facelifted Tivoli to do well. On the international front, Dacia has already firmly established itself as the go-to frills-free brand, and Nissan's all new Juke is once again raring at the heels of the compact crossover segment. But more importantly, think of this facelift as the initial assault, a market acid test if you will, before Ssangyong's more expensive offerings such as the Korando makes it to our shores.

So, the headlines first: The new Tivoli comes into the competitive and crowded segment with a new, 161bhp turbocharged four-cylinder unit hot enough to fire up any BBQ joint. Combined with its 260Nm torque output, the Tivoli will be able to see off what will be local close-rivals the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR. Sweet.

But better still, the facelifted car also now sports refreshed head lights and integrated fog lamps which manage to lift the look of the entire car into something that is do I dare say, handsome? (Edit: Those that have seen how I dress on our parent site best cast doubts on my aesthetic judgement!)

Step inside and you will find space aplenty even for four with pork-bellied stomachs. Opt for the deluxe spec car and you also find a new central 8.0-inch infotainment display that comes with Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility. Abundant use of gloss black in the interior means you will struggle to keep contact points clean from your greasy fingers, but do will to lift the perceived quality of the entire cabin, which is, once again, pretty sweet, especially considering that you're still looking at a $109,888 car (price as of press time).

I cover all this in the full review here. But since there is less nannying when it comes to blog posts I shall take the opportunity to speak more freely here. The car needs polishing.

To drive at speed, the car makes its high kerb weight and centre of gravity felt, running wide far earlier than you would expect. Quick lane change manoeuvres are met with that sickening sensation that your bum is no longer travelling in the direction your arms have intended, and the suspension has no qualms about constantly making itself heard over bumps. That new engine may be a riot, but it sure as hell sounds like one when climbing into the rev range.

Which is all a damm shame. Like finding out your favorite haunt no longer serves fresh entrees. I wanted the Tivoli to do well, mostly because for a while there it seemed like they were starting the make the right noises here and here, and diversity is the spice of life right?

Still, its important to remember that this is only a facelifted model. Come 2020, we dig into the meat proper and see the firm's latest efforts. I'm already hungry for more.

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