[TEST DRIVE] Jumping on camping bandwagon? Jump into a Tivoli Air.
SsangYong Motor’s partially revamped Tivoli Air, a long-body version of its popular Tivoli compact SUV, might be a tempting option for young drivers who are up for camping and outings, one of the newest leisure trends in Korea amid the pandemic.
It is affordable, and most importantly it has the biggest trunk capacity out of all models in the B-segment.
SsangYong Motor relaunched the long-body type of the Tivoli SUV in Korea last month after having discontinued the model last year due to slow sales. With the demand for SUVs rising in Korea recently, SsangYong decided to relaunch the model with a few upgrades.
The Korea JoongAng Daily took the car out for a drive last month on a 140 kilometer (87 mile) route from Seoul to Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi.
The ride was not superb, as each bump and crack in the road was delivered directly to the driver's seat. Noise from the road and the wind was also highly noticeable inside the cabin. On unpaved roads, rocking of the car got worse.
But all of this is okay because the new Tivoli Air is not designed for a luxurious comfortable feeling.
Instead, it is an option for those looking for an affordable car which can handle big luggage — even a full-sized mattress — so the driver and the passengers can enjoy camping or other types of outdoor activities without having to worry how to fit their luggage in the trunk.
The trunk is 720 liters (190 gallons) in size, which is the biggest capacity out of all its rivals.
Hyundai Motor's Kona has 370 liters of luggage space while Kia Motors' Seltos has 498 liters. GM Korea's Trailblazer has trunk volume of 460 liters, while Renault Samsung Motors' XM3 has 513 liters.
At the destination, the driver got to fold down the second row of seats to secure more space in the trunk. Its capacity then totaled 1,440 liters.
Kia Motors' midsize Sorento SUV, which falls under D-segment, carries less than the Tivoli Air, with a trunk capacity of 705 liters.
"Our target customers for the Tivoli Air are those who are aged between 21 to 36, often identified as the millennial generation," said an official from SsangYong Motor. "They are active in doing outdoor activities including what's called 'chabak.'"
Chabak is a new type of camping in Korea amid the pandemic where travelers sleep inside their car.
The center console was replete with plastic buttons, instead of the now standard touchpads and other high tech input devices. But they had their own merits, as each button's function was intuitive and easy to operate. Sometimes when there are too many buttons or none at all in the center console, it’s easy take a few seconds to even turn on the emergency lights.
According to SsangYong, the hardware may not have changed much inside, but the technology has gotten some substantial upgrades.
When the driver is using LG U+ network at home, he or she can remotely control home appliances through the connected car service installed on the Tivoli Air. Using Naver's voice-recognition system, the car can also search for nearby restaurants or stream music on the driver's demand by voice.
The dashboard behind the steering wheel has gotten a digital makeover by having a 10.25 inch digital cluster replacing the previous version's analogue style.
It has a 1.5 liter turbo petrol engine, which generates 163 maximum horsepower and torque of 26.5 kilogram-meters. The price starts from 18.98 million won ($17,000).
BY JIN EUN-SOO [email@example.com]