KGM Torres EVX review: space face

David Linklater
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Light fantastic: grille-like light bar dominates the front of the Torres EVX.


Base price
Body type
sport utility vehicle
Boot Capacity
Maximum power kW
Range (km)
Maximum torque Nm
0-100 km/h
  • Looks pretty cool from the front
  • Class-leading BYD battery technology
  • Enormously practical and welcoming to passengers
  • Lack of traction (it’s FWD)
  • Cabin materials don’t match striking design
  • Some controls/displays a bit fiddly

With its futuristic face, it’s easy to see the Torres EVX as a symbol of KGM flicking a switch on the brand formerly known as SsangYong and instantly making it ultra-modern.

KGM Torres EVX.
It's not just the SsangYong name that has changed: there's a whole new design attitude.

SsangYong’s existing SUVs (Tivoli, Korando, Rexton) are pretty traditional. This new KGM is sleek and striking.

But it’s not quite that simple. While Torres is the first “KGM” to be launched in New Zealand, it was designed and engineered by SsangYong before the KG Mobility buyout (well, rescue) in 2022. Like so many brands, SsangYong just decided a new EV should look standout-swish. And it does.

The petrol version of the Torres looks a lot more conventional at the front: it’s all angles, holes and that funny fake red recovery tab that you also get on the Tivoli.

KGM Torres petrol.
Just for context: the petrol Torres doesn't look as futuristic.

There are some weird design elements on both Torres models. The 4x4-style tiedown handles on the bonnet are too teeny/flimsy to have anything actually tied to them. The tailgate features a faux spare wheel cover and side-mounted handle; but there’s no wheel there and the hatch still opens upwards in the conventional crossover manner.

While Torres is the first “KGM” to be launched in New Zealand, it was still designed and engineered by SsangYong.

The huge steering wheel looks like something from a 1990s SsangYong and it’s littered with a dozen tiny buttons for cruise control, audio and the like; it seems totally at odds with the rest of the interior, which is minimalist in the extreme and virtually devoid of physical controls.

KGM Torres.
All kinds of strange stuff going at the back: it's not quite what it seems.

So there are a few distractions; but overall this an electric SUV that seems to have been designed with a fair bit of confidence and polish.

There is a drive-mode shortcut screen that you can access by swiping down from the top; like a mobile phone.

The dual digital displays look impressive and the menus are intuitive, although some of the small graphics and colours make menus hard to read. You can configure the displays to your liking, though; we found the Sport-mode instrument panel (selectable separately from the actual drive mode) to be the clearest of the bunch.

KGM Torres EVX.
Old-school steering wheel seems out of place here.

Speaking of which: the drive mode selector is buried in the infotainment display, but there is a shortcut screen that you can access by swiping down from the top; like a mobile phone.

The powertrain is borrowed from BYD, so you can be assured of proven components and Blade battery tech/durability.

Not obvious if you don't know it’s there, but once you do it’s great because you can call up the menu even when Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is running. Phone projection is still wired by the way, but a wireless charging pad is also standard.

KGM Torres EVX.
V2L adaptor is standard: plug into the charge port to power external devices.

The powertrain is borrowed from BYD, so you can be assured of proven components and Blade battery tech/durability. There's also a V2L adaptor for the charge port, which means you can power three-pin electrical devices from the car.

The electric motor makes a class-competitive 152kW/339Nm, which is enough for satisfying-but-not-swift performance. Getting going can be a little irksome, though: the shift-by-wire tab requires one tap to go into Neutral and then another for Drive or Reverse; so it’s a double-dip. You get used to it.

KGM Torres EVX.
Big 20-inch wheels look great, and actually the ride is still pretty good.

Torres is not exactly rapid, but the front-drive configuration and Nexen tyres still struggle with the instant torque of the electric motor. In anything beyond Eco mode (which is annoyingly sluggish), the wheels spin too easily even on medium throttle. This is yet another EV that would be improved out of sight with a switch to rear-drive.

But it rides pretty well. The suspension is set up for comfort at open-road speeds, and there’s nothing wrong with that; it rolls in corners but the weight and low centre of gravity of the EVX means the chassis is still well-controlled. The 20-inch wheels are a potentially corrupting influence around town, but aside from a little nervousness over corrugated sections, it’s pretty settled. And those wheels do look awesome.

KGM Torres EVX.
A dozen buttons on the steering wheel; but some of them are quite handy.

For the most part the driver assists work well. The adaptive cruise is good and while the lane-assist steering can be a bit jerky, you can easily switch it on or off with a shortcut button on the steering wheel. So maybe that old-school tiller is handy after all.

Following KGM’s media launch drive, several colleagues complained bitterly about the driver attention alert; during my (later) test time with the car I wasn’t even aware of it existence, almost like it had been disabled. Make of that what you will.

KGM Torres EVX.
The boot is simply enormous: over 800 litres.

The real strength of the Torres is its space and practicality: this is as much about the passengers as the driver. Rear-seat leg and headroom is generous in the extreme and the boot is an incredible 839 litres. This could easily be a 7-seater with some cargo space to spare (but it’s not). The split rear bench folds almost-flat to liberate 1662l.

Nice touches for the rear-chair occupants, too. The back seats are heated, there are dual USB-C charging ports and a mobile-phone pocket on each front seatback. The rear speakers can be muted on the infotainment screen if you have sleeping kids (or grumpy relatives) and there’s even a pet mode that allows you to keep the air conditioning running while the car is parked.

Prior to some extreme discounting on rival European EVs like the Skoda Enyaq and Volkswagen ID.4, we’d have said the Torres represented a strong-value alternative - not as dynamically polished, but a tempting option all the same.

The Skoda/VW are currently selling at very close to the KGM’s $66,990 sticker, which requires a rethink. But know what? The Torres’s class-leading BYD battery tech, sheer practicality and family-friendly packaging mean it should still be very much on the shopping list.

BATTERY: 73kWh with single electric motor POWER: 152kW/339Nm GEARBOX: Single-speed, FWD 0-100KM/H: 8.1sec RANGE: 462km (WLTP) PRICE: $66,990 (launch price).

What are the key statistics for the KGM Torres EVX?

The BYD-sourced powertrain features a 73kWh Blade battery and single 152kW/338Nm electric motor.

Is the KGM Torres EVX efficient?

It's a relatively large and heavy vehicle, but the BYD battery gives the Torres EVX an impressive 462km range - and being a BYD battery, that figure is realistic for day-to-day driving.

Is the KGM Torres EVX good to drive?

Performance is on par with other family EV-SUVs (0-100km/h in 8-ish seconds is pretty much the default for this kind of car) and it rides well, but the FWD configuration means you don't really enjoy tight corners or wet roads.

Is the KGM Torres EVX practical?

Yes! There's loads of cabin storage, the rear seats provide generous accommodation (and a few nice detail touches) for occupants and the boot is simply vast, with more cargo space than SUVs one or two classes larger.

What do we like about the KGM Torres EVX?

It looks really striking at the front, the BYD battery inspires confidence and the cabin is incredibly welcoming to passengers.

What don’t we like about the KGM Torres EVX?

There's not enough traction from the FWD chassis, some of the hard cabin materials don't match the avant garde design (not to mention that old-school steering wheel) and some of the controls are a bit fiddly.

What kind of person would the KGM Torres EVX suit?

Somebody in the market for an EV with all the medium-large SUV virtues, who likes (or can look past) the left-of-centre brand/styling and recognises the EVX's ease of use and incredible practicality.


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