The concept car XM3 Inspire first appeared at the 2019 Seoul Motor Show. At the time of its release, the style of sedan, coupe, and SUV was exquisitely combined and received great attention. They agreed that if the mass-produced car retains the design characteristics of the concept car, it will certainly succeed. On the other hand, there was also a voice of concern. This is because the now discontinued flagship sedan SM7 was disappointed by the large gap between the concept car and the mass-production type.
However, the XM3 was mass-produced by inheriting the strengths of the concept car XM3 Inspire, and as soon as it was released, it received great attention from the market. The merit of being able to choose a model that is comparable to expensive Imports with similar concept at a reasonable price was great. For those in their 20s and 30s, who put design and price first when buying a car, the XM3 was a great option.
However, after 4 months of launch, the issue of engine shutdown was hampering sales. The sales volume, which had exceeded 5,000 units, plummeted to 1,000 units, and has not recovered until now. The issue has been recalled, and the currently sold model is said to have replaced related parts.
XM3 is entering its second year of launch. The charm was still there. The crossover genre, which is made by combining two or more car features, becomes a car that is neither me nor myself if it loses design consistency. Renault Samsung Motors has created a new concept car that has never been in the brand by properly blending the family look within the large frame of a coupe-type SUV.
The front part has the same family look as the top model, the QM6, to preserve the brand identity, and the side line, the highlight of this car, is a coupe-shaped, sharply pulled style. The rear is like a fastback sedan with hatch doors. It doesn’t look dull like an SUV, but keeps the atmosphere on the side as it is.
The interior cockpit configuration is tailored to those in their 20s and 30s, which are set as major purchase targets. With a 10.25-inch large-screen full digital instrument panel and a vertical 9.3-inch main display panel, you can check various information and operate the car infotainment system. It is not as expensive as an expensive car in which the instrument panel and main display panel are integrated, but it has good visibility and convenient operation.
Moreover, the steering wheel has a shift paddle. Although it is not a model that claims sports driving as an advantage, you can feel the pleasure of manually shifting gears with a shift paddle. The fun of pulling up to the RPM red zone and shifting while listening to the sound of the engine is unruly.
However, it does not seem that there is a great advantage to the generation who are not familiar with electronic devices. Only the frequently used air conditioning system can be operated with physical keys, and the remaining detailed functions must be accessed through the touch-type main display panel. Since more than one menu must be selected and set, intuitiveness is inevitably lowered, and operation while driving is inconvenient.
The test drive is the top trim RE signature with the most options among all the trims of the XM3. Boss sound system, variable ambient light, smart phone connection system, EASY CONNECT, and all other functions can be used. In addition to this, the XM3 can use quite a variety of features. It will be of great help if you choose the option that suits you before buying and choose a trim.
Now let’s take a look at indoor habitability. Cars with a sloped roof line are inherently limited in headroom and cargo space. The XM3 also doesn’t have much room in the second row of headroom. However, the wheelbase is longer than that of the same model, so it doesn’t feel too narrow. The XM3 wheelbase is 15mm longer than the brand’s top model, the QM6. It feels like having lost headroom in legroom.
Like the second row, the height of the stacker is low due to the roof line, but the length is more than expected, so you can load more luggage than expected. According to the information revealed by Renault Samsung Motors, the load capacity is 513L. Although there is a slight angle, folding the second row seats provides maximum storage space. It is an indoor space suitable for a single person, a couple of two, or a family unit consisting of 1-2 children before school.
The test drive’s powertrain is a combination of a 1.3L turbo engine and a 7-speed DCT. The maximum output is 152 horsepower and the maximum torque is 26.0kg·m. It’s not a remarkable performance for a car with a sporty look and a shift paddle. However, it looks like it is not good for family-level users to drive in the city center, such as commuting, and on weekend highways and light off-road driving.
As a model aiming for an SUV, the viewing angle of the driver’s seat is definitely higher than that of the sedan. The high viewing angle makes it easier to drive, so even beginners can have confidence. You can enjoy driving without lack of power within the speed limit section. As it goes up at high speed, a clear limit due to the limitation of displacement is revealed, and the sudden change of posture at high speed is unstable due to the high body and soft suspension settings. However, it is not a big disadvantage because it is not a car that enjoys sharp cornering while running at high speed.
Renault Samsung Motors XM3 has a great styling that blends various types of car features. The interior space that can be lost due to the coupe style is packed with a long wheelbase. Along with this, there is also the Marit, which is priced compared to the competitive model in its class. The TCe 260 trim, which the test drive belongs to, starts at 21 million won, and the 1.6 GTe trim that uses the inline 4-cylinder 1.6L engine, which is a lower trim, can be selected from 17 million won.
-Exudes presence with a unique style of domestic car like never before
-Abundant options, large interior space compared to the body. And reasonable price
-Downsizing engine that struggles during high speed driving
-A dull handling sensation that does not match the sporty appearance
-Ssangyong Tivoli: A more SUV-like crossover with diesel engine and four-wheel drive
-Hyundai Venue: Compact crossover with more reasonable price
Written by Kim Jong-woo
Motorflex latest article