After an absence of two years from the Australian market, Korean brand SsanYong is back with two SUVs and a Ute, long warranties and plenty of features for Australian consumers.
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SsangYong is also introducing a seven-seat large SUV called the Rexton, and a dual-cab ute called the Musso to take on some of the biggest players in the game, including Toyota’s HiLux and Kluger, the Mitsubishi Triton and Pajero Sport pairing, as well as the Ford Ranger and Everest.
SsangYong will enter the mid-size SUV space in 2019 with the all new Karando, which will challenge Korean arch rivals like the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, as well as Japanese rivals like the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4, Nissan X-Trail and Subaru Forester.
SsangYong Australia is under no illusions that it has a huge job ahead of them, but managing director Tim Smith says it’s ready to go.
“It is a tough market no doubt, but every market has its own ups and downs,” said Smith. “We’ve had two years away, and that’s a long time. But we’ve had time to change the product, and they’ve definitely improved.”
SsangYong becomes only the second brand in Australia behind Kia to offer a bumper-to-bumper seven-year warranty on all its cars, along with seven years of roadside assistance and seven years of fixed-price servicing.
“I don’t care if you’re a tradie, a mum-and-dad, a florist, or even my mum who drives to the shopping centre a back again,” Mr Smith said. “We’ve left no stone unturned. We’ve tried to make it absolutely super simple for the customer. We want to take away every bone of contention that they have in consideration of our brand.”
SsangYong exited Australia stage-left a couple of years ago, and many may remember that vehicle styling wasn’t… shall we say… a strong point for the brand.
“It’s fair to say that the previous iterations of these cars were polarising,” admits marketing manager Mitch Wiley. “I think for us to move into a model range that looks contemporary, that’s going to be really important for us.”
SsangYong has also moved to a national drive-away pricing structure, with the Tivoli starting at $23,490 all-in for a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol-powered front-wheel-driver with a six-speed manual. A six-speed auto adds $2000. This undercuts virtually every car in the competitive small SUV field right off the bat.
The Tivoli will be offered in three grades – base EX, ELX and top-spec Ultimate – and with both petrol and diesel engines. The ELX can be ordered with petrol or diesel in FWD auto, while the Ultimate is only available in auto diesel AWD guise.
The petrol engine makes 94kW and 160Nm – which puts it a bit behind the competition on paper – while the diesel is good for 84kW and 300Nm. Fuel economy numbers are a claimed 6.6 and 7.2L/100km for FWD and AWD petrol, and 5.5-5.9L/100km for FWD and AWD diesel.
A longer version of the Tivoli, known as the Tivoli XLV, adds 238mm of length to the car behind the rear axle, upping the luggage space to a claimed class-leading 720 litres. The XLV comes in diesel form only, and only in the mid-grade ELX (FWD) and the Ultimate (AWD).
Tivoli EX Petrol M/T
Tivoli EX Petrol A/T
Tivoli ELX Petrol A/T
Tivoli ELX Diesel A/T
Tivoli Ultimate Diesel A/T
Tivoli Ultimate 2-Tone Diesel A/T
Tivoli XLV ELX A/T
Tivoli XLV Ultimate A/T
Tivoli XLV Ultimate 2-Tone
What do you think of SsangYong’s value offering? Would you put the returning Korean brand on your shopping list? Tell us in the comments below.