TEST DRIVE: 2019 SsangYong Tivoli Premium Sport - Prime Time
The premium in cars is not just about getting a fancy interior. It's a contributing factor, yes but, it is not the tell-all when it comes to getting your money's worth. Korean car brand SsangYong fielded the SsangYong Tivoli Premium Sport to take on the challenge of providing class and take on the big dogs of the crossover market. In short, it is a real performer, rather than just being another pretty face in the crowd. After learning that it is powered by a gasoline engine, it is but natural to take it for a long drive. Prior to setting foot and enjoying to the chilly Baguio weather that day, the elegant brown Nappa leather highly-accented the overall look of the Korean offering. Powered by a 1.6-liter engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the SsangYong Tivoli Premium Sport provides speed at every push of the pedal. The maximum 126 hp and 160 Nm of torque easily achieved more than 100 kph easily, even with a full complement of passengers on board. Such numbers have a trade-off: fuel consumption. This sips a little more petrol just like the usual crossovers in the market. Making the weekend climb to Baguio via Asin Road, the twists and turns were easier to take as this not-so minute crossover has a very light and responsive steering. The peripheral and rear view makes it easier for you to see everything on the road. The MacPherson Struts front/Torsion Beam rear suspension systems give the ride enough stability to take on twisties. The long drive would make some of the passengers on board, well, bored--the especially little ones--so the updated infotainment system that blasts sound through the six speakers should keep them busy watching their favorite videos during the trip. I believe that the driver needs to have the best seat among all occupants, more so on long drives, so additional help such as lumbar support would do wonders if ever there is a fitment for such. Since the drive is quite long and we started before dawn, some of the vehicle occupants needed to doze off. With its NVH level at par with its competitors, the adults as well as children took that sweet time to get some energy before setting foot for our destination. Compartments are sufficient in numbers but a little short on space for front and rear passengers. Six cup holders can be found within the Tivoli, making one's favorite drink within reach while on a road trip. Luggage space is more than enough, making one's weekend ride more enjoyable. While comfort levels are high in terms of space and ride, the lack of telecospic function on the steering wheel makes it somehow difficult to adjust the comfort levels of the driver. Getting used to the brakes is somewhat hard to adjust to--as you slowly slide deeper with the pedal, it goes something like, "nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing… Hard brake!" Overall, the SsangYong Tivoli Premium Sport has what it takes to be a star, than taking supporting roles in the local crossover market.