KGM Torres review

Category: Family SUV

The Torres is spacious and well equipped but rival family SUVs are comfier and more refined

KGM Torres front cornering
  • KGM Torres front cornering
  • KGM Torres test drive
  • KGM Torres boot open
  • KGM Torres interior infotainment
  • KGM Torres right driving
  • KGM Torres front cornering
  • KGM Torres rear cornering
  • KGM Torres front left static
  • KGM Torres rear left static
  • KGM Torres front detail
  • KGM Torres tow hitch cover
  • KGM Torres bonnet grab handle
  • KGM Torres badge detail
  • KGM Torres interior front seats
  • KGM Torres interior back seats
  • KGM Torres interior detail
  • KGM Torres front cornering
  • KGM Torres test drive
  • KGM Torres boot open
  • KGM Torres interior infotainment
  • KGM Torres right driving
  • KGM Torres front cornering
  • KGM Torres rear cornering
  • KGM Torres front left static
  • KGM Torres rear left static
  • KGM Torres front detail
  • KGM Torres tow hitch cover
  • KGM Torres bonnet grab handle
  • KGM Torres badge detail
  • KGM Torres interior front seats
  • KGM Torres interior back seats
  • KGM Torres interior detail
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Target Price from £35,080
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Introduction

What Car? says...

Marketing experts reckon changing the name of your company works best when you have new product to show off, so it makes sense that as Ssangyong becomes KGM, it's launching a new car. And that car is the KGM Torres.

The Torres is a petrol-engined family SUV that sits above the KGM Korando and below the KGM Rexton in the brand's line-up. You can also buy an electric version – to read about that, see our KGM Torres EVX review.

It's 4,715mm long, so size-wise it'll be up against the likes of the Ford Kuga, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-5, Peugeot 5008, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail. 

Unlike some of those rivals, the Torres is not available as a seven-seater and you'll have to wait until 2025 to buy a version with hybrid engine tech. That means it's also in competition with pure-petrol SUVs such as the Dacia Duster and MG HS.

So, is the petrol KGM Torres any good? Read on to find out how it ranks against the best family SUVs on the market...

KGM Torres rear cornering

Overview

The KGM Torres is a spacious and relatively well-equipped family SUV, but that simply isn’t enough to stand out in this well-developed sector of the market. Especially when you consider that you can have a Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-60 or Nissan X-Trail – cars that offer buyers a plusher ride, superior refinement and sharper handling – for a similar price.

  • Spacious interior
  • Huge boot
  • Great standard kit
  • Poor ride
  • Vague handling
  • Slow gearbox
New car deals
Target Price from £35,080
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £28,995

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The engine line-up for the KGM Torres couldn’t be more simple, with just one engine and one gearbox available.

The powerplant is a 161bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol that feels punchier than its official 0-60mph time of 10.8 seconds suggests. The only problem is that the engine itself is quite peaky, requiring plenty of revs before you really get going. 

That in itself wouldn’t be a deal breaker if the Torres allowed for rapid gear changes, but rather disappointingly, that’s not the case. The six-speed automatic gearbox is incredibly slow to kick down when you floor the accelerator, making overtakes tricky to judge, while a jerky stop-start system makes it a challenge to drive smoothly around town. 

As for the ride and handling, the Torres is somewhat behind the competition. Riding on 20in wheels, the range-topping K40 version thumps and jars over sharp-edged abrasions and fails to settle down at speed.

Even on a relatively smooth motorway, you'll feel every ripple, expansion joint and surface change, whereas an equivalent MG HS offers a more controlled, sophisticated ride. We suspect that the entry-level K30 model, which comes on smaller 18in wheels, will ride a touch better. 

The fractured ride might be excusable if the Torres handled well, but that’s not the case. When you turn in to a bend quickly, it leans noticeably, and it doesn’t take much speed before you’ve reached the limits of grip.

KGM TORRES image
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The steering is pretty vague too, so you have to make multiple steering inputs to get it round corners. Combined with suspension that gets unsettled over mid-corner bumps, what you have is a distinctly old-school feeling SUV.

We suspect that's down to the utilitarian body-on-frame construction. You see, while most new SUVs have the underpinnings and bodywork combined in a single piece, the new Torres adopts a more traditional approach with a separate chassis and body.

You’re much better off if you drive the Torres in a more relaxed manner. Well, we say relaxed. While the engine is surprisingly hushed at a cruise, wind and road noise tend to dominate proceedings. That's worth bearing in mind if you plan to use your new SUV for long road trips. 

Driving overview

Strengths Feels quicker than claimed when up and running

Weaknesses Slow gearbox; jerky stop-start system; unsettled ride; vague handling

KGM Torres test drive

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

You sit reasonably high up in the KGM Torres, with a more commanding view of the road than you find in the Dacia Duster and MG HS.

The seat is manually adjustable on K30 models (eight-way electric adjustments with lumbar support is standard on K40), as is a steering wheel that adjusts for reach and rake – although we’d like a bit more rake adjustment.

The Torres is easy to see out of at junctions, but the wide rear pillars hamper your over-the-shoulder view. Fortunately, front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera are standard across the range. If you step up to K40 trim you get a 360-degree camera. 

The dashboard features a 12.3in infotainment touchscreen, and there's another 12.3in driver display behind the steering wheel. 

Sadly, the infotainment system isn’t great to use, with ponderous responsive times, a tricky menu layout and resolution that falls behind other family SUVs. The shortcut icons on the screen are positioned for left-hand-drive cars, so on right-hand-drive examples, they're pretty much as far from the driver as they could be.

You get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, which is useful because it allows your to run your own music and sat-nav apps through the screen. Annoyingly though, the screen switches away from the smartphone mirroring display when you adjust the climate settings (which you do on the touchscreen, rather with user-friendly physical controls).

Design-wise, the interior isn’t as rugged as the exterior. Instead, KGM has opted for a minimalist a bit like you'll find in a Hyundai or Kia – which is good thing. Most of the materials are hard plastic, but the finish is decent, and build quality feels good. It can’t match the plushness of a Mazda CX-60 or Toyota RAV4 but is on a par with the Dacia Duster and MG HS.

Interior overview

Strengths Decent forwards visibility; electrically adjustable seats as standard 

Weaknesses Slow infotainment system; climate controls buried in home screen; most rivals use plusher materials 

KGM Torres boot open

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

In the front of the KGM Torres you get a generous storage area under the front armrest, big door pockets, a tray for odds and ends in front of the gearlever, two USB-C outputs below the air vents and – on K40 models – a wireless phone-charging pad on the centre console. Head and leg room is very good and there’s loads of width to avoid you clashing elbows with a front-seat passenger.

In the back, six-footers get lots of head and leg room and the interior is wide enough that three adults can sit side by side in relative comfort. There's no option of a panoramic roof, but the car's tall side windows give it a feeling airiness. Back-seat passengers can charge their devices using two USB-C outputs located on the back of the front centre console. 

The back seats split 60/40 so you can fold them down for extra storage. There are no levers in the boot, so you have to open the back doors to do that, but the seat backs at lie relatively flat when they're down. There's no ski-hatch option.

The boot itself is massive. At 703 litres it dwarfs that of the Dacia Duster (472 litres), Ford Kuga (482 litres), MG HS (463 litres) and Nissan X Trail (585 litres), and is a good square shape. It has a small storage area under the floor that’s just about big enough for boots and jackets.

There's no cargo netting and no lashing points, which seems a real oversight considering the size sheer size of the boot. The tailgate – which is powered on K40 models – opens upwards rather than to the side (as its styling might suggest).

Practicality overview

Strengths Plenty of USB-C ports; lots of storage space; big boot; lots of head and leg room in the rear

Weaknesses Rear seats don’t do anything clever; lack of lashing points in boot

KGM Torres interior infotainment

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The starting price for the KGM Torres is higher than that of budget-friendly rivals such as the Dacia Duster and MG HS, and more in line with base versions of the Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan X-Trail (all of which are expected to depreciate more slowly). 

However, standard equipment levels are high, and the entry-level K30 trim comes with 18in alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, cruise control, heated seats, a heated steering wheel and touchscreen infotainment.  

The other, higher-spec trim is K40, which comes with 20in alloys, leather upholstery rather than faux leather, an electric tailgate, a 360-degree parking camera and some extra safety kit. 

The Torres sits in a relatively high BIK tax band for company car drivers. It’s also not the most economical car we’ve tested. KGM says it will return 33.2mpg, but we found it was returning mid to high 20s at a cruise.

An all-wheel-drive version is due to join the line-up soon, but that's likely to be even more uneconomical. The hybrid Torres – due in 2025 – should offer better fuel economy and tax-efficiency.

The model has not yet been safety tested by Euro NCAP but comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB), a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control and a system that lets you know when the car in front of you has moved off. K40 trim adds blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and a system that will stop you from opening your door into the path of other cars. 

Costs overview

Strengths Well equipped as standard

Weaknesses Similar price to better family SUVs; faster predicted depreciation than rivals; not particularly economical

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FAQs

  • At 4,715mm long, it’s an equivalent size to the Ford Kuga, the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Mazda CX-5, the Peugeot 5008, the Toyota RAV4 and the Nissan X-Trail.

  • KGM gives an official economy of 33.2mpg, but we found it was returning mid to high 20s at a cruise. Most rivals would be far more economical.

  • It's already here, but it's called the KGM Torres. There's also an electric version called the KGM Torres EVX.

At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £35,080
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £28,995
RRP price range £35,080 - £47,495
Number of trims (see all)2
Number of engines (see all)2
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol, electric
MPG range across all versions 31.1 - 33.2
Available doors options 5
Warranty 5 years / 100000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £89 / £2,833
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £178 / £5,667
Available colours