Ssangyong could use a win.
The last few years haven't been kind on the only other major auto brand from South Korea with global ambitions that isn't Hyundai or Kia. Financial issues, failed partnerships, and lackluster models on the sales chart aren't what they need right now. They could do with a good-looking and rugged SUV that is sure to attract customers to their showrooms.
Perhaps their all-new SUV could boost their hopes. It seems rugged, but we're not so sure about the good looks.
This SUV is called the Torres, and clearly, Ssangyong wants to take you outdoors with it. That makes sense as the company has trimmed its offerings to an all SUV or pick-up line. The Torres will be seated in between the Korando and Rexton, meaning it will be a fairly big vehicle.
But it seems Ssangyong can still come up with a vehicle that is polarizing in terms of style. The vehicle does have rugged styling with a beefed-up exterior, though the combination of the massive grille, the unusual DRL, slim LED lights, faux intakes, and the skid plate combine for a rather unique look. If anything, Ssangyong seems to have made nods to several famous 4x4s.
Like the FJ Cruiser, the hood seems to bulge a bit to make you think this car has a big engine, but it doesn't. The Torres uses the Korando’s turbo-charged 1.5-liter engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It will primarily send power to its front wheels but a 4WD option will be available. This should give it some off-road credentials.
Ssangyong went for a wider stance by swelling up those fenders. The Torres can be fitted with 17 to 20-inch wheels depending on the trim level, and Ssangyong says there will be optional side steps and even a Defender-style storage box on the side. To complete the rear, you have Explorer-like rear tail lights and a rear skid plate
The interior of the Torrest doesn't seem to be sparse either. There are three screens. The instrument cluster seems to be fully digital and would be your first screen. The second is a dedicated 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen found on top of the air-con vents. This will mainly give you access to your media.
The third and last screen would be the 8-inch climate control touch screen found under the air-con vents. You have 702 liters (24.8 cubic feet) of luggage space with the 5-seater configuration while the space turns to 1662 liters (58.7 cubic feet) with the rear seat folded.
Customers can also expect ambient lighting, six speakers, USB ports, ventilated seats, seven airbags, and plenty of ADAS features depending on the trim level. The off-road feel stops at the door sills as the 4 spoke flat-bottom steering wheel, dashboard, doors, and center console are all wrapped in premium leather.
The Torres is now available in Korea with pricing from 26,900,000 KRW (about PHP 1.1M) to 30,400,000 KRW (about PHP 1.26M). If Ssangyong decides to bring it in, this looks like a good contender to take on today's crossovers if they can price it right.