Publication date: 12 May 2024
KGM Torres
Review

KGM Torres

Korean bluff

Review - This is the KGM Torres EVX, which probably leads to two questions: the what, and the what? KGM is the reincarnation of SsangYong. The ailing carmaker has been acquired by another company (KG) and was therefore renamed "KGM". The "Torres EVX" is a large SUV that promises to be the most adventurous in its segment. Can the newcomer deliver on that claim?

KGM stands for "Korean Genuine Mobility" or "thinK Great Mobility", depending on whom one asks. Within the new brand, however, everyone agrees on its intended image. KGM wants to portray itself as an adventurous Korean brand. Therefore, a distinct character with chunky shapes and straight lines was chosen for the Torres. The large wheels and prominent bumpers reinforce the adventurous feel. The curve on the tailgate suggests a spare wheel on the back, but in fact it is just a decoration. The Korean element is in details, as those in the know can find the four characters from the Korean flag (air, water, fire, earth) in the shape of the bumpers next to the front number plate and the shape of the pattern of the rear lights. KGM calls the Torres' style "digital toughness" and Autozine can agree with that, as the car is simultaneously rugged and modern.

KGM Torres

On the inside, the atmosphere is different. It starts adventurous with a high seat and a view of a huge bonnet with handles on either side. However, the interior is much more refined than the exterior with two contiguous screens displaying fine, intricate graphics. The centre console appears to float. The subtle decorations and slender light bars exude an elegance alien to the rest of the car. Space in the front and rear is good.  Luggage space is also substantial. However, the Torres has no storage space under the bonnet.

Equipment

As SsangYong has hardly been active in recent years, KGM needs to recapture the market. One way it does this is with price, because regardless of the trim chosen, the Torres offers not only a lot of car but also a lot of equipment for its money. The test car is the "K40" version with an electrically operated tailgate, cameras all around, an electric sunroof / tilt roof (above the front seats only), seat heating, steering wheel heating, wireless chargers for smartphones, keyless entry and LED lighting. Note that a heat pump (+/- 10% more fuel-efficient in cold weather at low distances) is standard only from the higher equipment levels.

KGM Torres
KGM Torres

During the test, all the features functioned properly. Except for one thing: the driver assistants. The European Union requires a camera to watch along with the driver and warn if necessary. KGM, however, interpreted these rules too strictly. Other brands offer some leeway, opting for less intrusive sounds or making sure the systems are easy to disable. KGM does none of that, making the Torres' safety features the most irritating yet.

In addition, KGM does more than it should: upon detecting a road sign with a new speed limit, a triumphant sound invariably sounds as if the player of a computer game has reached a new level. After only half an hour of driving, the system suggested it was time for a break. When the driver ignored this, the message was repeated in a compelling tone every few minutes. If another car is too close behind the Torres at a traffic light, a warning sounds. If the driver walks away from the car with the engine running, not a single alarm sounds, as with all other makes, but the Torres continues to beep incessantly. KGM has since been made aware of these concerns and promises improvement with the next software update.

Engines

Depending on the market, KGM offers the Torres with internal combustion engines and as an electric car. For the latter KGM collaborates with Chinese carmaker BYD, which provides battery technology. BYD batteries store a lot of energy in a small casing and are fireproof. The Torres EVX has a range of 462 km (measured with 20-inch rims). During low-speed testing on a simple track, the car had a range of 420 km.

KGM Torres

Performance and comfort are average for an electric car. The Torres EVX is smooth and decisive, but don't expect vicious sprints from the 207 hp / 339 Nm electric motor. Thanks to levers behind the steering wheel, the driver can choose in steps how strongly the Torres decellerates when releasing the throttle and thus how much energy is recovered. And so it should be: the driver determines the behaviour of the car, not the manufacturer.

Handling

Only the internal combustion engine Torres is available with all-wheel drive. The "proof" of this can be seen in all versions, as every Torres has a bump in the floor in front of the rear seat through which the drive shaft can pass. The Torres EVX only has front-wheel drive. Despite this, it is always noticeable that the Torres was designed as an off-road vehicle. The steering is indirect and the suspension travel is long, so the car reacts with a certain inertia and then tilts when cornering. Consequently, the Torres feels significantly larger than it actually is. Even in the base version, this is true Korean bluff!

KGM Torres

Conclusion

What is the "KGM Torres EVX"? A Korean bluff SUV! The Torres EVX looks tough, but is in fact a well-behaved family car. Yet that bluff is the reason for choosing the Torres. Many electric cars look futuristic with flowing, smooth lines. Those not attracted to that will be delighted by the Torres. The Torres is undoubtedly the most extravagant and toughest-looking car of its kind. Judging by its size, the Torres is a big (d-segment) car, but its price is that of a lower segment.

plus
  • Spacious
  • Adventurous nature
minus
  • Awkwardly large in the city
  • Most irritating safety features so far