Ssangyong legacy in the driving report
KGM Torres EVX – a new one for the urban jungle

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The Korean group KG has taken over the insolvent brand SsangYong, whose name is history – the car brand is now called KGM, KG Mobility. The first new model is the KGM Torres EVX. It has a tough off-road look, but only with front-wheel drive. But its electric drive has even more to offer.

The Torres del Paine region in southern Chile offers challenging off-road terrain. If you want to cross the glaciers, gorges and desert there, you should have at least four-wheel drive, preferably with locks and gear reduction. The Torres EVX, named after the national park, wouldn't get too far there. The electric SUV from the Korean brand KGM does not have a 4×4 drive, let alone other off-road aids, but only has front-wheel drive despite its off-road vehicle look.

The brand name Ssangyong is history - now comes KGM. The brand name Ssangyong is history - now comes KGM.

The brand name Ssangyong is history – now comes KGM.

(Photo: KGM)

But who is behind KGM? At the end of 2022, the Korean steel and chemicals group KG took over the insolvent SsangYong brand. A lot of money flowed and now development and production is taking place there again. The brand name fell victim to the restructuring, but the well-known logo can live on.

KGM recently presented the Torres with a turbo petrol engine and all-wheel drive as the first new model – the M stands for Mobility – for 39,490 euros. Its electric version will follow in mid-May, but KGM does not want to reveal the price yet. In Great Britain the importer is further and wants to charge the equivalent of around 41,000 euros.

From the outside like an adventurer

The KGM Torres EVX doesn't have all-wheel drive, but it looks like an adventure. The KGM Torres EVX doesn't have all-wheel drive, but it looks like an adventure.

The KGM Torres EVX doesn't have all-wheel drive, but it looks like an adventure.

(Photo: KGM)

Although it lacks all-wheel drive, the Torres EVX visually inspires a sense of adventure. He looks tough, almost like he was carved with an axe. If its massive front with its flat LED strip appears in the rearview mirror, you respectfully make room for the Torres. At the rear, a pseudo-spare wheel well and a robust handle on the right side hint at the off-roader, which it is not. The door folds up and if the tire is flat, the puncture kit has to be taken out of the trunk.

After the design escapades of previous years at SsangYong, the brand now seems to have found a new line. And if even Jeep, the Avenger, can afford an electric car with an off-road look but without 4×4 technology, that shouldn't be a sales obstacle for the Torres.

In any case, the Koreans have big plans. They want to bring three new electric models onto the market by 2026. Including a pickup truck based on the Torres platform. A new hybrid drive has also been announced. If things go well, KGM wants to build new plants in Saudi Arabia and Vietnam and increase production from the current 120,000 to 320,000 units in 2026.

Knocked on the door of BYD

After the design escapades at SsangYong, the KGM brand now seems to have found a new line. After the design escapades at SsangYong, the KGM brand now seems to have found a new line.

After the design escapades at SsangYong, the KGM brand now seems to have found a new line.

(Photo: KGM)

But entering e-mobility as a small manufacturer without a partner would be financial suicide. The Koreans prefer to knock on the door of BYD in China. Not a bad choice: The world's largest electric car manufacturer has the battery expertise and is currently shaking up the market with its blade technology. BYD is supplying the entire electric drive train for the Torres EVX, including the electric motor and battery.

It's got it all. Already in terms of weight. KPM is content with 73 kWh battery capacity. The car still achieves the target of a range of more than 450 kilometers. It also weighs just over 1.9 tons. For a 4.71 meter long and so massive electric car, the Torres can almost be considered a lightweight. It drives correspondingly light-footed, despite the engine power of 152 kW/207 hp, which is also not excessive.

Not dynamic, tires need improvement

However, you can tell that the Torres is not dynamic on winding roads, where it likes to push over the front wheels. In addition, Koreans should urgently reconsider their tire choice. The Nexus tires fitted for the first test drive offer so little grip in wet conditions that the technology has to constantly brake the wheels.

Inside, the Korean impresses with its great amount of space. Everything fits in the front, as well as in the back seat, where the legroom is also okay. The developers gave the space gained through the long wheelbase to the trunk. 703 liters are an announcement and if you cleverly stack your suitcases and bags in the high cargo space, you shouldn't have any space problems, even on long vacation trips with children and little ones.

Ten-year warranty for the battery, seven for the car

Materials and workmanship appear to be of high quality and feel good. In front of the driver and in the middle are two 12.5-inch screens, which visually merge into an instrument under a centrally bent pane. But while the combustion engine has an additional display for the climate functions, in the E model all functions have to be set on the right touchscreen. You even have to do without the practical volume control in the EVX. Practically is different.

But if you first click into the depths of the on-board menu into the E settings, you will find various practical setting options there. This allows you to set the charging time or charging intensity – a maximum of 145 kW is possible – or the target value (SoC) to which the battery is charged. You could also charge your electric bike using the car battery while on the move and specify how far the e-bike can drain the battery.

The only thing the Korean isn't up to date with is when it comes to connectivity: Smartphones charge inductively, but Apple Carplay or Android Auto only work via cable.

This can be overcome, especially since other virtues are more important. The ten-year or one-million-kilometer guarantee for the battery, for example. Or the seven years on the rest of the car. You would have to ask whether the equally long mobility guarantee would send a tow truck to Torres del Paine if the car got stuck in a sand hole.

KGM Torres EVX – technical data

  • Compact SUV with five seats; Length: 4.71 meters, width: 1.90 meters, height: 1.71 meters, wheelbase: 2.68 meters, turning circle: 10.8, trunk volume: 703-1,662 liters
  • Battery: Lithium-ion, usable battery capacity 73.4 kWh, charging power 11 kW (AC)/145 kW (DC). Heating via heat pump (most expensive equipment as standard, otherwise option)
  • Drive:
  • An electric motor at the front, 152 kW/207 hp, maximum torque: 339 Newton meters, 0-100 km/h: 8.1 s, Vmax: 175 km/h, front-wheel drive, trailer load: 500/1,500 kg. Standard consumption: 18.7 kWh/100 kilometers, range: 462 km
  • Price: k. A
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