The South Korean car brand SsangYong already had one foot in the grave and has now been officially declared dead. It now falls under KG Mobility. Also from South Korea and part of the large KG Group. The logo remains and the first new model is the KMG Torres. Another SUV. How does he stand out?
The KMG Torres is a D-segment SUV. He feels like a big boy and he is. The length is 4.70 meters. That's longer than one Toyota RAV4 (4.60 m) and almost as long as a Nissan X-Trail (4.68m). The electric Volvo XC40 is a lot smaller at 4.42 m. We don't call it that for nothing, because the Torres that will come to the Netherlands from February 2024 is also a fully electric SUV.
The Torres we drove – and which you see in the photos – is equipped with a 1.5-liter turbo petrol engine with 163 hp, without any electrical support. We do not get that version because of the sky-high bpm that awaits the South Korean SUV in our country. With this, the Torres prices itself out of the market, according to a spokesman, especially the automatic version with which we were on the road.
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The KGM Torres that is heading our way is an electric SUV with an expected 207 hp and a range of 420 to 450 kilometers (WLTP). The battery (gross 73 kWh) is of the LFP (iron phosphate) type and comes from the shelves of the Chinese battery giant BYD which also develops and builds electric cars.
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The KGM (not to be confused with the Russian secret service KGB) is a spacious SUV. Those who sit in the back seat also have more than enough room for their knees and head. The seating position is good, although the question is whether that also applies to the electric version that carries a battery pack. The rear seat sometimes wants to sit a bit crazy high.
The luggage space is also fine with 703-1662 liters. The driver and passenger also have ample storage space for all kinds of items such as a smartphone, bottle of water or notepad. The map compartments are remarkably large and therefore very handy.
On the way with the Torres, it is striking how quiet the SUV is. No wind noise at the nevertheless large exterior mirrors and the petrol engine is barely audible. For a moment we thought we were driving the electric version.
The body did not budge on the Belgian roads, which – as you undoubtedly know – are sometimes in a terrible state. The KMG Torres feels very solid and offers a lot of comfort. All in all a very nice travel car.
The KMG Torres is practical and comfortable. The handling is okay but not very sporty. As soon as you dive into a corner, you feel the movement in the body. That is not a problem, but if you are looking for more driving dynamics, it is better to shop a door further.
The interior is well put together, but not all materials are equally beautiful. Here and there we see hard plastic (including at the map compartments) and the shiny black panel around the automatic lever also looks a bit cheap. What we do like is the beige upholstery of the dashboard and the door panels, which is also available in olive green. The dashboard looks a bit restless due to the different materials and colors, the numerous buttons on the steering wheel and the three digital screens. But in any case it is not uniform.
And it's a bit of nitpicking, but we were disturbed by the crazy sound the turn signal makes. Our passenger had it too, so it wasn't just us. What we also find strange is the shape of the steering wheel. Everything gets used to, but why not round?
The version we drove – the Torres 1.5 T-GDi – can therefore be written on your stomach in the Netherlands. We drove it anyway to get a first impression of the space, quality and interior. In Germany, the Torres with petrol engine is available. There it costs 47,490 euros as a 2WD version.
For that money you get numerous driving assistance systems, a heated steering wheel, heated seats in the front and rear, an electrically operated tailgate, a 9-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (not wireless), a 12.5-inch digital instrument panel ( with a not very logical design), keyless entry and 20-inch alloy wheels.
The price of the Torres EVX is not yet known. This electric Torres also gets a different front design with a strip of LED lighting that runs across the full width of the nose. The dashboard consists of two large screens that overlap.
My expectations were not sky high. Another SUV. Not to mention a brand that is almost dead. But with the Torres everything should be different for the former SsangYong. That could just be possible, because it is not the car. The KGM Torres is spacious, practical, well put together and fully equipped. It drives remarkably quietly and offers a lot of comfort.
It's also a tough thing to see. In any case, no fuss. I like the handles on the bonnet, the spare wheel on the back - which is not really a spare wheel but a design gimmick -, the thick C-pillar in aluminum color and the chunky design.
How the Torres EVX drives remains to be seen. In any case, the petrol version drives well. It is a pity for KGM that it is not coming to the Netherlands because of the sky-high bpm amount (20K for the automatic version), because there are certainly commercial opportunities.
This post was last modified on September 2, 2023 5:20 am
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