It isn’t difficult to see from where Ssangyong has conjured the XLV’s extra space when you see the car in the metal. Rather than going to the expense of making a bespoke platform for its larger model, the firm stuck with the Tivoli’s wheelbase and instead stretched the body behind the C-pillars by 243mm. The effect – as intimated by Ssangyong’s SUV-estate claim – is a plus-sized compact crossover delivering gains in boot size rather than cabin roominess.

The quoted increase in load space is substantial. The Tivoli was already capable of accommodating 423 litres with the rear seats up; the XLV inflates that figure to 720 litres – more than Mercedes-Benz claims for an E-Class Estate.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Ssangyong insists there’s a dedicated heating and ventilation duct for the rear seats, but I couldn’t find it. And I’d much rather have my own air vent than a heated seat

Granted, that’s measured from floor to roof as opposed to parcel shelf, but even allowing for that, the added length makes it appear to be the class leader by some margin – and therefore, Ssangyong hopes, of interest to the dog walking/avid golfer crowd who value load capacity highly.

Forward of the expanded boot, potential buyers will find the XLV much like the Tivoli – which is to say a predictably conventional prospect.

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While its smaller sibling can be bought with a 126bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine, the XLV will be sold in the UK exclusively with a 113bhp e-XDi 160 diesel.

The Euro 6-compliant four-cylinder oil-burner is Ssangyong’s latest, featuring a fifth-generation variable-geometry turbocharger and producing 221lb ft from 1500rpm.

At best, in front-wheel drive form and with the standard six-speed manual gearbox, the manufacturer claims 62.8mpg combined with 117g/km of CO2 emissions, putting the XLV at the fairly respectable end of the running cost equation.

Because Ssangyong is historically tied to the broader functionality of older-school off-roaders, the Tivoli is also available with four-wheel drive.

An electronically governed on-demand system shuffles power to the rear axle when required, although, with the departure angle limited by that ample back end to just 20.8deg, the XLV’s off-piste capabilities shouldn’t be overestimated.

All-wheel-drive cars get multi-link rear suspension to accommodate the extra shafts, with MacPherson struts standard at the front.

A conventional Aisin six-speed automatic gearbox (fitted to our test car) is the slusher of choice for a £1000 premium.

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