South Korean company Ssangyong will bolster its SUV presence in New Zealand this year with the Tivoli, a town-and-around compact that shows off the brand’s new design language. It will feature bold new exterior styling (there’s a hint of the Kia Soul here and there) and an interior that is smarter and carries more kit than anything Ssangyong has offered up before. Expect Bluetooth audio, a rear-view camera, dual-zone climate control, and safety kit that includes seven airbags.The Tivoli will be launched in South Korea next week and in Europe and the UK in February/March. It is expected to land in New Zealand around June. It has been described as an “urban dynamic SUV with the best interior quality in its class.” The pictures here have been leaked online by European agencies, who say they are those of the production-ready model and not reworked images of the XIV-Air and XIV-Adventure concepts first seen at the Paris motor show last October. Until now Ssangyong had only released teaser images of the newcomer that in New Zealand will go up against established models like the Nissan Juke and the upcoming Jeep Renegade. Ssangyong is handled in NZ by Taupo-based Great Lake Motor Distributors (GLMD), which took over from the previous franchise holder in November 2010. GLMD’s chief executive is former Taupo mayor Rick Cooper. Other Ssangyong badges are the SUVs Rexton and Korando, the Stavic people-mover, and the commercial ute Actyon Sports. The ute is endorsed by All Black great Colin Meads. Nothing from GLMD yet but the Tivolis will come with the choice of petrol and diesel engines, both of 1.6-litre capacity and mated to either six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. Buyers will also have a choice of two- or four-wheel drive. The Tivoli will almost certainly carry the Ssangyong nameplate, despite the company parent – India’s Mahindra group – confirming a year ago that it is planning a name change to boost its global image. However, that change is believed to hinge on whether the carmaker goes into the US market. The new SUV is reported to have been named after the city in Italy, once a resort for ancient Romans. But it has also been suggested that Tivoli comes from the name of an amusement park in Denmark, one that has been “ever evolving” since it opened in 1843 and many years later inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyland. Meanwhile, Chinese-owned British brand MG has unveiled its first SUV, a mid-range model called the GTS and roughly the same size as the Toyota RAV4 or Kia Sportage. It is based largely on the MG CS concept seen at the Shanghai motor show in 2013 and will go on sale in China this year before going into Europe in 2016. MG is owned by the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.