A cawing cabal of cacophonous crows shatters the slumbers of this summer Sunday scene, slicing the soft shafts of 6am sunlight like a scimitar of sound. Yet there is no time to breathe in this bucolic beauty for a man-made monument invites the eye towards its reflective repose. Yet this is no sullen statue for the edifice in question is unquestionably car sshaped. Note that the double S impressed upon the end of that last sentence was no tip slip on the key platter for the hewn beauty that stands within this landscape is none other than the box fresh baby from those sibilant stewards of South Korea’s third most sizeable, Ssangyong. It’s time to talk Tivoli.
First impressions of this Korea-defining moment are bang into the B-segment with all the crossover cues cool-conscious consumers crave and a stocky stance that smells of stability. Felt betwixt fingers, the craven key calls you with silken siren song towards the righteous rocks of wheelmanship and it would be rude to refuse that particular pleasure cruise. Let’s do this.
Tease the Tivoli at two-tenths to begin and the over-riding vibe is of an easy-going engine locked in mechanical marriage to a swift and slick shifter, as smooth as Roger Moore’s pool table. Road ruts and devious divots are dispatched with disdain as the suspension sucks up shattered surfaces like steel silica gel. Question is, can the chass’ keep its class when you apply more gas?
Stepping up the pedaling to helm factor 9 soon reveals that the ‘Yong likes to play along. When the question comes knocking, the meaty motor opens its cupboard to reveal several extra packets of power while the bounteous brakes bring more bite than a bucket of bears as turn-in as tight as Tom Daly’s trunks allows you to sear seamlessly into every switchback, maximising each meeting with the main man Mr Apex.
Coming in code red to an especially testing series of esses I rolled off the hot pedal to see what was what and all at once the Tivoli’s taut tail came into play. I simply caught it with a dab of oppo and I was away.
The Ssangyong Tivoli 1.6 EX is a bitch. And I spanked it.
Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine