KGM Motors Torres EVX: Off-roader wannabe

Discover EV expert verdict...


3 / 5

  • Very spacious and practical
  • Generous equipment levels
  • Stand-out rugged looks
  • Not enough traction from FWD chassis
  • Rival models cost less and are more established
  • Poor interior materials and infotainment system


KGM has had an interesting past. Initially established as Ha Dong-Hwan Motor Workshop in 1954, in the aftermath of the brutal Korean War, it started producing buses, trucks and special purpose vehicles, many for export. Despite the fact materials and resources were scarce, with the company initially having to use scrap metal from old oil drums and engines from abandoned US military vehicles, it grew significantly over the next three decades. Delving into the passenger vehicle market they co-founded Shinjin Jeep in 1974 and developed both hard and soft top Jeeps. In 1977 it changed its name to Dong-A-Motor.

Still with me? Great. Sadly, the company over-invested in its model line-up and running out of funds was acquired by cement manufacturer SsangYong Group in 1986. All models thereafter were given the SsangYong name.  The Korean brand had global ambitions and agreed to a technical partnership with Daimler-Benz in 1991, gaining access to their powertrains and global distribution network. However, even this failed to improve finances and over the next 12 years it had two different partnerships (Daewoo in 1997, and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation in 2004) and another acquisition (Mahindra Motor Co in 2011).  A failed deal with Edison Motors meant the company then remained in court receivership and it was rumoured the South Korean government were going to step in and nationalise the company through the injection of public funds.

Products were still being launched though, and in 2022, SsangYong Motor Company changed its name to KG Mobility as part of a rebrand of the business, following its takeover by KG Group. And this is where it gets interesting - with a focus on new mobility technologies including EV-dedicated platforms. Fast forward to this year and it’s been rebranded (again) to KGM Motors UK – coinciding with the launch of an SUV to the UK market – said to be “a quality built, highly specified vehicle to turn heads”. We don’t normally get that excited over SUVs but we were intrigued about the all-new Torres, designed from the ground up, and wanted to know what it was like to live with for a week, and whether it was any good for exploring off the black stuff.


Rather than turning to the three-pointed star for its technical expertise, KGM partnered with BYD – with its73.4kWh battery powering a front-mounted 204bhp electric motor. Not a bad idea – after all, the Shenzhen-based firm became the world’s leading manufacturer of EVs, surpassing even Tesla in global sales in the last quarter of 2023. So how does their platform translate in the KGM Torres, and how well does it showcase the brand’s SUV and 4x4 heritage? 

Well it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Let’s tackle performance first. Despite weighing almost two tonnes, zero to 62mph is dispatched in 8.11 seconds, which isn’t bad but it’s how that power is dispatched I have a problem with. Firstly putting it into drive, is irritating in itself – with the shift-by-wire toggle switch requiring one tap to go into Neutral and then another for Drive or Reverse. You get used to it, but stab the throttle pedal and you’re met with a split second delay, and when the power does come in, the front wheels scrabble for traction as you simultaneously fight with the steering wheel to deal with the torque steer. Maybe it’s a combination of the suspension design and geometry, throttle calibration, or just shit tyres, who knows, it’s a shame though.

Once you’re up to speed it’s actually very easy and surprisingly pleasant to drive – it’s comfortable and soaks up the potholes with aplomb. The steering is light but fairly communicative making it – unsually for an SUV – a joy to drive around towns, and while it is slightly overdamped it doesn’t pitch and roll like you’d expect in the corners. There are three levels of regenerative braking – which is changed via steering wheel mounted peddles – it doesn’t quite allow for one pedal braking but the transition between regenerative and friction brakes is well judged. All round visibility is excellent and there’s minimal electric-motor whine, wind and road noise. If you don’t turn all of the driver assistance systems off however, it does like to beep at you and loves to make itself known with typical Korean welcome and goodbye chimes.

So, on the tarmac it’s surprisingly okay, but what about off-road? We took it to The Wright Event in West Malling, Kent, for our video review, to see if we could recreate some of these scenarios from the aforementioned publicity images. With four driving modes – Comfort, Sport, Eco and Winter – we selected the latter and engaged Hill Descent Control where required, and although most of the issues occurred when ascending, if we kept momentum we were just about able to tackle big wet grassy hills and steepish muddy, rocky tracks. KGM says it has competitive” approach and departure angles (18.3 and 20.8 degrees respectively) aided by a tough chassis made from 81% high tensile steel, as well as a fording depth of up to 300mm, but Land Rover’s old Freelander can better that and as a result we would strongly advise against greenlaning in the Torres EVX – even shod in all-terrain tyres. There’s no doubt that the braked towing capacity of 1500kg will have a major draw though.

KGM Motors Torres EVX electric motor,KGM Motors Torres EVX shift-by-wire toggle switch
KGM Motors Torres EVX electric motor,KGM Motors Torres EVX shift-by-wire toggle switch

Range and running costs

On paper the Torres EVX achieves a driving range of 287 miles, we averaged 3.2miles/kWh which on a 73.4kW battery would equate to around 235 miles, which is pretty average by today’s standards and more than sufficient for daily commuting, as well as long distance trips before you inevitably need to stop to stretch your legs or have a wee. On the upside it can charge from 10 to 80 per cent in 28 minutes at a 350kW charger. Youre more likely however to come across a 100kW charger and that will take around 37 minutes.

What is impressive is the battery comes with a one million kilometre warranty while the vehicle is covered for 7 years or 90,000 miles – whichever comes first. You can also deliver power off-grid thanks to the vehicle-to-load (V2L) connector – perfect for putting on a warm brew when somewhere remote, or more realistically when there is a power cut at home and you cant bear to be without your appliances.

Interestingly it is priced to rival big-battery versions of its European and Japanese rivals, which is a bold strategy when you consider they’re more likely depreciate slower. That’s said, there’s just two trim levels so it’s well equipped as standard: The K30 costs £44,495 and its highlights include 18" wheels, 12.3" full digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen and LED daytime running lights; while the the K40 is three grand more and adds 20” wheels, leather seats, 3D around view camera monitoring system, smart powered tailgate and EV Range Enhancing Heating System. I can’t help thinking if they priced it around £40,000 to undercut the bigger battery, more refined, Skoda Enyaq, VW ID.4 or Kia EV6, they may get more interest. 


Despite the fact SsangYong is now officially KGM Motors – there are a clear few reminders of its past. We spotted the logo on the steering wheel, centre wheel caps, etched onto the windows and on a sticker in the windscreen. Let’s be honest though Joe Public probably wouldn’t spot these. What they’ll be thinking is, who the hell made this? For it is eye catching but is it for the right reasons?

Personally, I think it is the love child of Jeep (slotted grille), Ford Explorer (C pillar), Hyundai Kona (wheel arches) and Range Rover Vogue L405 (rear lights) – there is a lot going on. The phrase ‘trying too hard’ comes to mind, especially with all of the faux 4x4 details, such as the bonnet mounted grab handles, roof rails, rear tyre carrier and boot handle placed in such a way to make you think it opens sideways. It doesn't. 

But the brand’s new design philosophy ‘powered by toughness’ while maintaining KGM’s distinctive and authentic SUV characteristics is certainly a head-turner – that LED light bar at the front – a substitution for conventional headlights, all the sharp creases and edges and black plastic cladding certainly get people talking. In fact, in all of my five years of driving EVs, I’ve never been asked so many questions as I have driving this. It’s just such a shame there is no dual motor AWD set-up to go with those looks.

Inside, the Torres EVX mirrors the layout of the ICE version, providing a modern, minimalist and spacious environment, but there are a lot of scratchy plastics when you consider the price. Oddly it almost gets away with it, as it works well alongside the aforementioned fake 4x4 detailing, and is diluted somewhat by the soft touch bronze textured trim and blue lighting, together with the leather and brown double stitching.

At first glance the wraparound digital panel on top of the dashboard housing a configurable dual cluster and infotainment looks impressive but its definitely a few software updates away from that! It’s incredibly laggy and unintuitive, the graphics aren’t that clear, and some of the most commonly used features seem to be buried deep in the menus. There are lots of tiny buttons on the huge steering wheel for cruise control, audio and the like but the feature you actually want to hand – driving modes – didn’t want to work!

KGM Motors Torres EVX infotainment screen
 KGM Motors Torres EVX dash

Comfort and practicality

It’s impressively comfortable and spacious - more than enough room to carry five adults, with lots of handy cubby holes, and has best-in-class 1662 litre adaptable capacity load space with the rear seats folded (703 litres with them in place). There's a small storage area under the boot floor big enough for two charging cables, but no frunk. You also get Apple CarPlay, Google Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, front USB and AUX ports, TomTom navigation, and wireless phone charging as standard.

My only real criticism, besides the fact you have to control everything through the digital interface, is the incessant beeping. Designed to meet 'self-driving level 2.5', the Torres EVX is packed with electronic safety equipment, which is also a curse in itself as you have to switch off all the systems everytime you get in the car to prevent yourself from going mad with all of the aural reprimands. This is probably more relevant in the K40 trim level that we had as it comes with rear cross traffic warning and traction control system, blind spot detection and blind spot assist and safety exit warning.

The plusher variant also benefits from an 'aided conversation' mode where the driver can talk more comfortably with rear seat passengers, and 'sleeper mode', which prevents music emitting from the speakers enabling welcome respite for those sitting in the back on longer journeys, 


By KGM’s own admission the “Torres EVX blends futuristic design with the robust nature of a traditional SUV, combining urban sophistication with rugged off-road capabilities”. What we would say is take this with a pinch of salt. Coupled together with those aforementioned promotional pictures we had high hopes that this was going to the affordable electric Defender that Land Rover will never build. Alas, it’s not. I also think they’ve missed a trick not offering a third row of seats. On the plus side, the charging stats are competitive, the cabin is spacious and practical, it looks the part, and it’s easy to drive. There is no mid-sized EV crossover quite like it (not sure if that's good or bad!), and it would make a good all-round family car if you don’t mind the over inflated price tag or the fact it’s not a good choice for off-road adventures.

Key Specs

2024 KGM Torres EVX K40

Price (RRP OTR): From £47,495
Top speed: 109mph
0-62mph: 8.1 seconds
Power: 152kW (203bhp)
Torque: 250lb-ft
Driving range (combined): 287 miles
Charging time: 28 min (350kW, 10-80%), 37 min (100kW, 20-80%), 9hrs (11kW, 0-100%)
Insurance group: 48D
Vehicle warranty: 7 years / 90,000 miles
Battery warranty: 1 million kilometres / ten years

#batteries #electric-vehicles #ev-ownership #vehicle-to-grid-v2g

Comments (0)

Be the first to write a comment

Login/ Signup