The new Ssangyong XLV showcases what happens when you take a compact SUV and make it, well, not so compact.
The boot of the XLV is claimed to be able to swallow a massive 720 litres of luggage, a huge jump of 297L over the regular Tivoli on which it is based.
Pictured above: Ssangyong XLV (top); Ssangyong Tivoli (bottom)
The elongated model rides on the same wheelbase as the regular model (2600mm), but the body has been stretched rearward by 235mm (to 4430mm overall) and that means it appears a little tail-heavy. To give that size some context, it’s almost identical to the first-generation Volkswagen Tiguan.
The new model is essentially a production version of the XLV Air concept that debuted at the Frankfurt motor show last year. Ssangyong claims: “Following extremely favourable feedback the company has decided put the car into production”.
The XLV will be offered with a choice of a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol or 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine. It can be had with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox, and there’s the choice of front- or four-wheel-drive.
All that is well and good, but we won’t see the car in Australia in the long-body XLV specification, or the standard, more compact Tivoli model.
CarAdvice understands that strong competition from big name brands in the small SUV segment has virtually extinguished any chance of the Ssangyong Tivoli arriving here. It is available in New Zealand.
Daniel Cotterill, a spokesman for the company that imports Ssangyong cars to Australia, Ateco Automotive, admitted that the Tivoli would be a welcome addition to the range, but the equations don’t quite work.
“We’d love to do it, but unless or until we can get some movement in terms of price, we wouldn’t achieve any worthwhile sales,” he said.