KGM Torres

There’s a sleek wraparound digital panel atop the dashboard, which looks suitably classy and speaks volumes to KGM’s designs on establishing itself at the upper end of the ‘value’ car market, as do the copper-effect trim panels. 

But the premium sheen is easily wiped away. The steering wheel – conspicuously still wearing the old Ssangyong insignia – is rather too slim of rim and coated in a shiny faux leather that’s neither slick nor supple; the seat bases are flat and firmly unforgiving; the plastics are universally scratchy and thin; and the physical switchgear, glad though we are to see some, just lacks the reassuring tactility that you would expect for near-£40,000. 

The infotainment looks the part graphically and its menus are arranged more intuitively than in many an infuriatingly configured rival, but it’s fairly slow to respond at times and we had to employ the old IT Crowd fix a few times when the audio wouldn’t play. There’s no wireless smartphone mirroring here, either, which feels like a dropped ball. 

And then there’s the bonging. Left the engine running while you nip out to put your coat in the boot? Bong. Speed limit changing up ahead? Bong. Car in a neighbouring county brakes suddenly? BONG BONG BONG.

This isn’t a phenomenon unique to KGM, of course: the EU’s new GSR2 safety regulations have imposed upon motorists a lifetime of deafening and unhelpful electronic warnings. But other cars make it so much easier to deactivate these systems, and several times were we berated by the Torres’s irascible driver aid system without really being told why.

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