Renault Samsung unveils the updated QM3

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Renault Samsung unveils the updated QM3

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Models pose with the updated QM3 from Renault Samsung Motors during a press conference in eastern Seoul on Wednesday. [RENAULT SAMSUNG MOTORS]

Renault Samsung Motors revealed on Wednesday an updated version of its flagship crossover QM3, the latest redesign of the vehicle that pioneered Korea’s small-sized sports utility vehicle market.

“[The new QM3] comes from the heritage of the Renault Captur, which has ranked top in the small SUV market in Europe for three straight years since 2014,” said Park Dong-hoon, the CEO of Renault Samsung, the Korean unit of French auto giant Renault Group, at a press conference in eastern Seoul on Wednesday.

“Its design can be defined as ‘French chic,’ sharing a look with the SM6 and QM6.” The SM6 is the company’s mid-sized sedan while the QM6 is its premium SUV.

Since its launch in late 2013, over 61,000 units of the QM3 have been sold in the Korean market, according to Park.

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While its front - mainly the grille, headlamps and fog lights - underwent some changes to mirror the SM6 and QM6, the automaker maintained what had been considered the main weapon of the previous model, its market-leading fuel efficiency.

The new QM3 comes with a 1.5-liter diesel engine that, according to the carmaker, has reduced engine noise while increasing fuel efficiency. The combined gas mileage of the vehicle is 17.3 kilometers per liter (40.7 miles per gallon).

The company did not fail to include advanced safety options, mirroring other vehicles on the market. Along with the blind spot warning system that will be applied to some trims, the new safety option named “EZ Parking” comes with a bird’s eye view parking system that will help even beginners park without difficulty.

The release of the new QM3 is expected to yet again stir up the already-heated small SUV market.

The local market is getting more saturated with top automaker duo Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors recently throwing their hats into the ring.

Hyundai Motor released the Kona, its first small-sized SUV, early last month, following by Kia Motors, who unveiled its own small crossover Stonic.

SsangYong Motor, the market leader in small SUVs, also updated its Tivoli earlier this month.

Among the small crossovers on the market, the Stonic will likely be the main rival of the new QM3. According to Kia, it gets about 17 kilometers per liter in combined fuel efficiency, nearly equivalent to that of the new QM3.


BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]





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