[Behind the Wheel] Renault Samsung’s new SUV caters to urban driving

By Kim Bo-gyung
  • Published : Sept 17, 2017 - 17:09
  • Updated : Sept 17, 2017 - 17:09
Renault Samsung Motors, the South Korean unit of French carmaker Renault, has released a gasoline-powered version of its popular QM6 midsize SUV, targeting drivers who drive in the city and prefer SUVs, the company said Sunday.

The press took the QM6 GDe gasoline model for a test drive from Gyeongwonjae Ambassador Incheon to Grand Hyatt Incheon, totaling 60 kilometers earlier this month.

Before the test drive, CEO of Renault Samsung Motors Park Dong-hoon told reporters, “SUVs are no longer for people who enjoy off-road driving. A change in thought led us to see that there needs to be a gasoline-powered SUV suited for urban driving.”

Gasoline-powered version of Renault Samsung‘s popular QM6 midsize SUV (Renault Samsung)
The carmaker downsized the horsepower and torque for the gas-powered model, instead focusing on quietness and fuel economy.

The 2.0-liter gasoline-powered QM6 has a maximum 144 horsepower and 20.4 kilograms-force of torque, which is lower than Hyundai Motor’s compact SUV Kona.

Offering a quiet driving experience, the vehicle showed a fuel economy of 10.7 kilometers per liter during the test drive.

The official fuel efficiency of the model is 11.7 kilometers per liter, up to 2.4 kilometers per liter more efficient than Hyundai Motor’s Sante Fe SUV, the company said.

The continuously variable transmission, also known as a single-speed transmission, made by Japanese automatic transmission supplier Jacto and installed in the midsize SUV reduced noise and prevented the car from wobbling when changing gears.

According to Renault Samsung, the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine, which does not make much noise, along with the soundproof front windshield also help produce a hushed ride.

The model is recommended for motorists who prefer smooth driving sedans offer with a muscular look.

A downside of the gasoline model was a lack of power on highways due to a low horsepower and torque.

Downsizing the horsepower and torque has allowed the Renault Samsung to cut down on price.

QM6 GDe SUVs drive through Incheon. (Renault Samsung)
Priced between 24.8 million ($21,870) and 28.5 million won, the QM6 gasoline version is up to 2.9 million won cheaper than rival models, the company said.

The carmaker will aim to reach about 600 units in monthly sales of the gasoline model.

It expects to sell over 40,000 units of QM6 gasoline and diesel SUVs worldwide this year. 

The Korea Herald rating (out of 5 stars):
Design: 3 stars
Safety: 4 stars
Gas Mileage: 4 stars
Price: 4 stars
Overall: 15/20

By Kim Bo-gyung (