A new brand, KGM Motors, needs a new car and this KGM Torres is very much that. A tough, versatile, five-seat upper-mid-sized SUV, it comes in both combustion and EV forms and offers something quite appealingly different.

'Powered by Toughness' is apparently the design philosophy behind this KGM Torres - which is hardly a unique approach amongst SUVs. So it's quite refreshing to find that this car looks quite different to most of its rivals. The slotted grille gives a Jeep-style vibe, but here it's accompanied by all kinds of sharp creases and edges. This SUV's a little bigger than it looks in the pictures, the 4.7-metre length about the same as a Nissan X-Trail or Skoda Kodiaq.

The Westmorland Gazette:

There's a chunky profile too, with 1,720mm of height and 1,890mm of width. Lots of black plastic cladding and a contrasting C-pillar add finishing touches. The red towing hitch covers of the combustion version are omitted on the all-electric EVX version. And that EV model is also set apart by a blanked-off grille, a unique 20-inch wheel design and a special LED light bar (replacing conventional headlights).

It's modern and minimalist inside, where a wide, slim dashboard houses a pair of 12.3-inch screens. You view the 'twin panoramic' instrument display through a four-spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel. And you're surrounded by metal accents, smart ambient lighting and (on top models) leather upholstery, which all aim to create a luxurious, sophisticated vibe.

The Westmorland Gazette:

Rear seat space is generous for a couple of adults, but you might reasonably expect an SUV the length of an X-Trail or Kodiaq to offer a third seating row. The Torres doesn't, which seems like a bit of a missed opportunity. That does at least mean you get a class-leadingly large boot, rated at 703-litres with the rear seats in place - or 1,662-litres with them folded.

This is a futuristic -looking car, but its core engine is rather old school, the same 1.5-litre 163PS four cylinder petrol turbo unit used by the old Korando and Tivoli. KGM says it's been massaged bit for this installation, with a 10% improvement in acceleration, which explains why the 10.8s 0-62mph sprint time is the same as the smaller Korando model fitted with the same basic unit.

The Westmorland Gazette:

Top speed is 118mph. A 6-speed auto transmission is mandatory, but unlike with the Korando, 2WD isn't; if you don't want front wheel drive, a 4WD option's available at the top of the range. With 280Nm of torque on tap, braked towing capacity is rated at 1.5 tonnes (750kg braked) plus there's a trailer sway control function.

The brand claims this C+ segment SUV creates 'a new market niche'. It's an important car for the brand to have, filling the gap between its existing Korando and Rexton models. The Torres is so important to the future of this Korean maker. It's the company's first really credible volume SUV and within the range is this manufacturer's first really credible volume electric vehicle. Firsts don't get much more significant than that in the modern automotive era.

Facts at a glance:

Car: KGM Torres

Prices: £34,995-£39,995 - on the road {1.5}

Insurance groups: 32-33

CO2 emissions: 194g/km {2WD}

Performance: 0-62mph 10.8 secs / Max Speed 118mph

Fuel: (combined) 33.2mpg {2WD}

Boot capacity: [litres] 703-1,662

Will it fit in your garage?: Length/Width/Height 4705/1890/1720 mm

Who to see: Ullswater Road Garage


01768 864546