SsangYong is back from the brink, with a brace of new models including an all new one called Tivoli.

We haven’t heard much from the South Korean manufacturer in the last couple of years as sales dwindled to a trickle and finally dried up.

That was after a dispute between the company and local distributor Ateco Automotive based in Sydney.

But it looks the agreement has expired and the company has decided to start over, with a clean slate and distribute the cars itself.

As well as the Tivoli, there’s a new Rexton with seven seats and a new Musso ute that shares its underpinnings with the Rexton.

SsangYong Australia Managing Director Tim Smith said Rexton is proof positive the company ready to make its mark in Australia.

“Previous customers are in for a very pleasant surprise, while new customers will be astonished by the quality evident in the new Rexton,” he said.

SsangYong Motor is 73 per cent owned by the Indian engineering conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra.

Established in 1954 it is Korea’s oldest vehicle manufacturer and only 4×4 and SUV specialist producer.

Tivoli is the first new model to be produced under the stewardship of Mahindra.

The small SUV will be offered with 94kW/160Nm 1.6-litre petrol and 84kW/300Nm 1.6-litre turbodiesel engines, in two and all-wheel drive, with a choice of 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

More expensive grades will feature autonomous emergeny braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Lane Keep Assist (LKA) and High Beam Assist (HBA).

There will also be an extended XLV version of Tivoli with the same wheelbase but 238mm longer that has a larger boot.

SsangYong reckons the new Rexton 4×4 will set a new benchmark for large SUVs in Australia.

Mr Smith is confident the new Rexton will be a hit with families wanting a combination of performance, safety and outstanding value for money.

“The new Rexton is tailor made for Australian customers, offering a prestige SUV loaded with the latest technology for minimum investment,” he said.

The seven seater, which sits on a traditional ladder chassis, will also be powered by a choice of petrol and diesel engines.

The 2.2-litre turbodiesel delivers 133kW of power and 420Nm of torque, via a 7-speed Mercedes-Benz automatic transmission, with power to the rear wheels.

A part-time four-wheel drive system that proper low range gearing for serious off road adventures.

The petrol model features a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 165kW and 350Nm via a 6-speed Japanese Aisin auto.

Based on the Rexton, or vice-versa, the Musso ute makes a long awaited return to these shores to put a dent in the rapidly growing sports utility market.

It will be offered exclusively with the 2.2-litre diesel and either 6-speed manual or 6-speed auto transmissions — but not the 7-speed Benz box.

Musso will be able to carry a full one tonne payload and tow a 3.0 tonne trailer, both at the same time.

Although all models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, there’s no mention of satellite navigation with any of them.

 

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.