Ssangyong Berjaya Motor Philippines (SBMP) launched its 2018 models last August, and what stood out was the Tivoli models, namely the Ssangyong Tivoli Premium Sport.
Shorter compared to the Ssangyong Tivoli XLV, its the crossover that tasked to compete with other manufacturers in this segment, and frankly, it does a great job. Bigger in size, a swanky interior, big tires and a perky engine, does the trick.
So what makes the Ssangyong Tivoli Premium Sport different, or even better than its contemporaries?
Admittedly, the color combination of the interior will take getting used to. Black and Red combination will surely get everyone’s attention.It’s not too loud but loud enough to say ” I am different”. The seats and door sidings carry this dynamic color combo rather tastefully.
The backseat is spacious enough even for a six-footer. Head clearance is very noticeable. Two passengers can seat comfortably, but it can fit three persons without having to suffer cramps.
Even the gauges carry the Red, White and Blue display. Fortunately, there is an illumination dial that will parry the glare. The dash layout is simple enough, all switches and dials within reach.
The Ssangyong control layout is very different from the pack. For starters, the actuator for the Sport Mode manual shifting is a tiny lever at the left side of the shifter. The Trip mode and Set button are below the entertainment system, as well as the Power Steering Mode button (a nice option, by the way).
The headlight switch is a smaller switch at the Turn Signal lever, and buttons for Economy, Power and Winter mode is at the leftmost of the dash. Audio controls is conveniently located at the steering wheel. Left and Right seat heater controls are at the bottom of the console with a (Surprise!) cigarette lighter unit.
Powertrain is a 1.6-liter eXgi160 16-Valve gasoline engine. It yeilds a respectable 128 PS at 6000 rpm along with 160 Nm of torque at 2800 rpm. Transmission is a six-speed automatic transmission with manual select. The combination actually can propel the Tivoli to a rapid acceleration. Short bursts to 120kph is very doable. Higher speeds are a possibilty.
The Ssangyong has its trademark rectangular shape that seems dated but actually makes sense. Comfort and space is the priority here. Two-tone color combination add more pizzaz to an otherwise safe design. A new foglight design complements the projector beam headlights. Meaty 215/45/18 tires and chrome finish wheels finishes the look with style.
Because of the lower ride height, ingress and egress is a cinch, especially for women in skirts or elderly people.
One thing that stood out with the Tivoli Premium Sport, is the engine growl. Engine sounds like an old twin side-draft carburators. Whatever the source, valvetrain or mufflers, we love it!
Ssangyong took a chance with the Tivoli Premium Sport, competing head-on with more famous brands, but its holding its own. Boasting its own special characteristics, the Tivoli Premium Sport will surely make a name for itself. As for StreettalkPh, we won’t mind driving one again!
As for its purchase price, it definitely worth it.
Price as Tested: Php 1,160,000
For more information, visit http://www.ssangyong.ph
Text/Images by Earl Manalansan