Cars > Peek

KG Mobility introduces itself to PH market with the Torres

Admittedly the most attractive in the brand’s five-car launch lineup

Something about the exterior styling looks familiar and yet also fresh. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

Early in October, we told you about the possibility of KG Mobility entering the Philippine market this year, courtesy of The Covenant Car Company Inc., which also distributes Chevrolet in our country. Later that month, TCCCI formally announced this partnership. And this week, the firm officially launched the South Korean brand.

First, a short definition of names.

KG Mobility is an automotive brand, not some alternative transport organization (which is what it sounds like to the uninitiated). The brand used to be known as SsangYong, and was given its new name by its new owner, KG Group. “KG Mobility” is obviously a mouthful, so the distributor will call the marque “KGM.”

Some lines and elements are refreshing to stare at. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

The midsize SUV you see here is the Torres, one of the five models that KGM is bringing in at launch (the other four being the Tivoli, the Tivoli Grand, the Rexton and the Musso Grand).

Aside from being new to our ears and eyes, the Torres is a legitimate world-class vehicle. In fact, it is one of the 36 candidates for the 2024 World Car of the Year, an award determined by international motoring journalists.

Not cheap-looking by any means. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

At 4,700mm long and 1,890mm wide, it is a bit shorter but wider than both the Toyota Fortuner and the Mitsubishi Montero Sport. Propulsion is courtesy of a 1.5-liter GDI turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine, rated at 161hp and 280Nm. This SUV is available with front-wheel drive (Apex FWD) or all-wheel drive (Apex AWD).

Other features of the Philippine-market Torres are seven airbags, 1,662L of cargo space, eight-way power front seats (with heating and ventilation), a nine-inch HD infotainment screen (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), a 12-inch digital cluster, wireless phone charging, and adjustable interior lighting.

The interior appears somewhat too luxurious for an SUV. Then again, we suppose that’s how you beat your rivals. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

We told TCCCI executive vice president Lyn Buena that the Torres has a lot of personality, and she gladly agreed. Perfect for the young demographic that the vehicle is aimed at. She promised a test drive once a demo unit became available.

KG Mobility Philippines shared the price lists of the five cars it was introducing, and you may check these out here if you’re interested.

For the sake of this article, these are the prices of the Torres:

  • Apex FWD – P1,918,888
  • Apex AWD – P2,218,888

If you want this midsize SUV, we suggest you get one now as it is being offered at discounted introductory prices: P1,868,888 for the Apex FWD, and P2,168,888 for the Apex AWD.

All KGM vehicles come with a five-year/100,000km warranty.

That’s a generous cargo compartment. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

Where exactly to buy one? Best to ask the distributor directly via its website or Facebook page.

By the end of 2024, the goal is to have established “12 independent dealer-partners.” Seriously hoping that TCCCI can replicate the success it had with the estranged MG brand.

We know that TCCCI management is aware of the advantage that the company has on its hands. First, KGM is a brand that is starting over, which gives me reason to expect excellence from it. Second, it’s from South Korea—a breath of fresh air in an industry now swarming with Chinese cars.

The latter is not lost on the distributor. Even the food served at the event was distinctly Korean. We won’t be surprised if their marketing materials in the coming days will point out (and brag about) the K-culture connection.

If you’re a K-pop/K-drama fan, maybe your next SUV has arrived.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.