The introduction of the Torres to the European market was very important for SsangYong, as the fresh South Korean novelty is expected to help the manufacturer continue the train in the name of decent sales and a way out of debt. This is certainly what the new majority owner of the car company, the KG Group company, wishes for, as it promotes a successful future for the brand.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

Torres is as long as a Škoda Kodiaq.

In any case, we could call the SsangYong Torres a larger SUV in the eyes of a European, because with a length of 4.7 meters it caught up with the current Skoda Kodiaq. And here it applies to a certain dimensional standard.

In terms of design, the car will not be mistaken, as it has a unique face, rear and profile. From the front, a somewhat sad Jeep looks at you inspiringly, and from the back, a style à la Mitsubishi Pajero, but it cannot be said that it should be a copy. On the contrary, the mix of certain elements created something that we have not seen before.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

The vertical slats of the mask evoke cars from Jeep.

The body, dotted with angular shapes, also has an asymmetrical fifth door that evokes the idea that it should perhaps open to the side, but this is only an illusion. The doors open upwards and behind them is hidden a giant trunk with a volume of 703 liters (four-wheel drive), or 839 liters (front-wheel drive).

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

The asymmetrical fifth door opens upwards, although it appears to open from the side.

The exterior can thus be described as really fresh and unspoiled, while it will definitely be one of the main selling points for why you should saddle up with the Two Dragons (SsangYong in translation).

Motorized spaciousness

An introduction to the interior reveals a familiar design and several new elements that complement the truly royal living space and practical seating. The seats can be fitted to the body, including the headrest, and it doesn’t matter whether you are 160 cm or 190 cm tall. In short, the setting ranges are above standard.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

The living space inside is royal, the seats are solidly adjustable, the steering wheel fits perfectly in the hand.

We were also delighted by the oddly shaped heated steering wheel, thanks to its narrow rim, which makes it grip well. We also praise the variable power steering – pleasantly loose at low speeds, adequately stiff when driving. Bravo, this worked.

And then we have one fresh element that replaced the button control panel of the air conditioning and the seat controls. If you look at the place, you will find out that it is actually an embedded LCD tablet. Some people see this solution as an innovation, while others see it as more acceptable control than storing these basic settings in the bowels of the main info system.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

An embedded tablet replaced the classic air conditioning button panel.

It’s a bit of a shame that the display is not configurable or otherwise adjustable using, for example, widgets. This means that its potential is not fully utilized, but perhaps the manufacturer will change it later. In any case, if there was a traditional panel with buttons from Rexton or Korand, it would undoubtedly be a more elegant and ergonomic solution.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

We would like the screen of the familiar info system to be slightly higher. However, we praise that it is filmed on the driver.

In the new model, you would probably expect a new generation info system, however, it is the original interface from older models, which, as usual, does not have many other functions apart from navigation and radio. So there is also a parking camera, expectedly 360-degree, in reality only the rear, but with decent image quality.

In addition, the LCD display of the info system is embedded in a wide plastic casing, however, it is located relatively low. It certainly wouldn’t hurt if the screen moved a little higher, i.e. more into the driver’s field of vision. However, we praise her left-handed turn.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

The indicators on the instrument panel match the overall concept of the car.

We consider the rectangular instrument panel with a small LCD on-board computer to be great. As is usual with SsangYong, it contains most of the settings. For loyal customers of the brand, it’s a common thing, for newcomers it will be a bit of a surprise. In any case, thanks to their digital concept, these “alarm clocks” agree nicely with the design concept of Torres.

Otherwise, the overall finish of the interior is at a very decent level, despite the fact that the cabin is full of non-upholstered plastics. Some even look like leather/quilted, which is an illusion, but thanks to the softening to the touch and the look, it does not look unpleasant at all, despite the fact that it is a plastic material.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

The dashboard is made of softened plastics, but optically it looks as if it is lined with leather.

An old known technique

The powertrain is also well-known, as it uses a traditional turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 163 horsepower, which can be paired with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. The torque of 280 Nm is then transmitted by the transmission to the front wheels, or optionally to all four wheels with the option of locking the drive.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

Also, the drive unit is nothing new, it is an old well-known turbocharged fifteen-cylinder.

And since it is a proven power unit, it has a few skeletons in the closet in addition to its positives. When driving, the engine’s breathlessness is not noticeable until the moment you need to accelerate dynamically on the highway – typically from 110 to 130 km/h or higher. Then the 1.6-tonne four-wheeler doesn’t want to sprint at all, because it lacks the necessary torque.

This is not to say that it was a lazy traveler, as Torres and I covered more than a thousand kilometers on the highways. We only point out the situation when the car runs out of breath. The second highway nuisance during our testing was quite noticeable aerodynamic noise, intensifying from 130 km/h and above.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

At higher speeds, the car is out of breath during acceleration.

Another factor is higher consumption, again a well-known pain point for ssangyongs with this engine. An economical drive with almost no highways in the districts costs eight liters per hundred, however, if you add 130 km/h highways to that, you head for nine liters, while German roads with no speed limit then cost over 10 liters of gasoline per hundred (around 150 km/h ). You will save something if you choose only front-wheel drive and manual, however, the combination of automatic and 4 × 4 will definitely not be a savings.

On the other hand, you don’t have to be afraid to take Torres on a hike or in the snow, because she is built more like an adventurer than a road girl. Feel free to call it the South Korean “Subaru”, because this car definitely has soft-road potential.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

Thanks to the 4 × 4 drive and ground clearance of 195 mm, the car can also be used off-road.

Unbeatable base price

The first few kilometers on this car are definitely not decisive, as only after a few hundred kilometers on different roads will you realize how comfortable the car is for long distances, i.e. at legal cruising speeds. The benefit in the form of good seats is reflected in reduced driver fatigue, as well as a suitable steering wheel or independent front and rear suspension.

Photo: Tomáš Kopečný

Travel comfort is at a high level within the prescribed speeds, even on Czech roads.

Although it is not a perfect highway vehicle, the model copes well with the beaten paths of Czech meadows and groves even on 20-inch discs with 245/45 tires. In short, it drives pleasantly well, is really spacious and has a highly attractive exterior design.

On the other hand, we expected a bit more innovation with such a hot new product, when it is supposed to be a sales driver of the brand. Apart from the exterior design and the royal space, it is the old familiar SsangYong, only enriched with a few new elements. A similar service will be provided by Korando, albeit smaller, but basically cheaper.

However, if you simply want a car the size of a Kodiaq, but you don’t intend to pay a million crowns for it, then Torres makes sense even with its compromises, because for the basic price of CZK 699,900 it is a very interesting offer. Higher equipment will cost 769,900 CZK, even higher for 849,900 CZK and the highest one for 909,900 CZK. For the automatic, the first two trims cost an additional 49,900 CZK, for a four-wheeler (only with an automatic) for all trims other than the basic, also 49,900 CZK.

Specifications SsangYong Torres AWD
Motor turbocharged inline four-cylinder
Displacement volume 1,497 cm3
Performance 120 kW (163 hp) at 5,000–5,500 rpm
Torque 280 Nm at 1,500-4,000 rpm.
Transmission automatic, 6 degrees
Tree all wheels
Operating weight 1 618 kg
light height 195 mm
Maximal speed 191 km/h
Consumption (combination) 9.08 l/100 km
Fuel tank volume 50 l
Wheels and tires 245/45 R20
Dimensions (length/width/height) 4 700/1 890/1 720 mm
Wheelbase 2 680 mm
Volume of the luggage compartment 703 l