Ssangyong Tivoli

If we covered the badge on the boot you would have no idea this is a £20,000 bargain SUV.

The 1.6-litre diesel Tivoli is a five-seater with bags of room and go-anywhere ability. Our top spec ELX is £20,000 – and that includes leather seats heated front and rear, reclining rear seats, privacy glass, keyless entry, rain sensing wipers, sat nav, seven airbags, the list goes on and on.

The 1.6 diesel chruns out 115ps and can manage a modest 44.8mpg (combined). There are cheaper models too. Worth your cash? Read on…

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Ssangyong Tivoli – a bargain in the basement of SUVs

It’s called Style – so it must qualify for Car Couture then? No, well, I beg to differ. Ssangyong competes at the bargain basement end of the family SUV market, alongside the likes of the Nissan Juke and Dacia Duster.

Where I live in the Cotswolds, you might think it’s all Range Rovers and Porsche Cayennes. Not so – cars like the Tivoli are actually doing a roaring trade. And that’s because they offer fantastic value for money for people who don’t give a stuff about the badge on the boot.

The Tivoli is also a very capable crossover, with a classy interior and a decent diesel engine that’s a bit rattly but otherwise does the job. Avoid the petrol models, which are underpowered.

There are two-wheel drive models and 4x4s like our ELX. Unless you really need four-wheel drive, I’d stick to 2 and save your cash.

Competition in the supermini SUV market is mighty fierce but this is the best Ssangyong I’ve ever driven. You can even opt for a XLV model which has a larger boot.

I’ve enjoyed my day buzzing around the Shire in the Tivoli. It even has funky red leather insert trims and a sat nav. Safety features include lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and high beam assist.

So do you really want a bug-eyed Nissan Juke or would you rather turn up at Countrywide in something a little different?