Renault Samsung Motors tested the SM6 1.6 TCE. Renault’s Talisman domestic model, the SM6, features a luxurious exterior design and a high-speed driving stability. In particular, it is attractive to apply LED headlamps, 19-inch wheels, and active damping control for the first time in Korea, which is comparable to imported luxury sedan.
The popularity of Renault Samsung SM6 is exceeding expectations. In March, the first month of its release, 6,751 SM6 units were sold in Korea, closely chasing Hyundai Motor’s Sonata. The Sonata’s 7,053 units sold in March included 611 YF Sonata, a previous-generation model, and it seems that the SM6 has actually topped the sales list of mid-sized cars.
The SM6’s exterior design has a low and wide image. Headlamps and grills located relatively low with flat bonnets create a sporty image. The LED daytime driving light, reminiscent of a medieval driver’s helmet, is an item that will be applied to Renault and Renault Samsung’s new cars in the future. Talisman and SM6 have some different shapes in the part where the bonnet and grill meet, because Renault and Renault Samsung have different emblems.
The 8.7-inch vertical infotainment monitor leads the atmosphere indoors. It features an interface similar to a tablet PC with a configuration similar to electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla and the new Volvo XC90. Artificial leather has been added to the dashboard and door trim to enhance the luxury, and the quilting sheet and wing type headrest applied to the RE trim are attractive items that can only be found in large cars. Unlike existing Renault Samsung Motors, the seat position is appropriate.
The SM6 advanced trim supports multi-sense, which provides five driving modes. Through four basic modes and one user setting mode, it creates different driving senses and indoor atmosphere such as engine and transmission reaction, engine sound, steering, ride, instrument panel design, and ambient light. Each mode can change detailed settings, so it is possible to reflect the user’s taste.
The biggest part of Multisense’s setting is the change in engine sound and active damping control. Each function supports three modes: comfort, neutral, and sports, and sensory changes in comfort and sport are clearly transmitted. The most satisfying setting in daily driving is to adjust the engine sound and suspension to the comfort, which features a luxurious sense compared to competing mid-sized cars.
The SM6 basically suppresses the roll somewhat strongly. This is a common feature in European cars, and the left and right movements are rough in situations where irregular bumps are transmitted to the left and right wheels. In sports mode, the pressure of the damper increases to more directly transmit the curvature of the road surface. Due to these characteristics, adhesion to the road surface increases in high-speed driving, resulting in improved stability while lower ride quality.
The curved road shows the unique agile handling sense of French cars. Electronic steering wheels have been applied, but there is no sense of difference. The 19-inch wheels and tires show a good grip, but the limits of the tire grip feel unclear. The overall movement in the cornering limits also shows a somewhat dull sense compared to the existing French car, which is regrettable in the absence of a rear steering steering system.
The model tested is the SM6 1.6 TCE, which is equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline turbo engine. It has a maximum output of 190 horsepower at 5750 rpm and a maximum torque of 26.5 kgm at 2500 rpm, similar to a 2.7 liter natural intake engine. Combined with Getlock’s wet seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The 19-inch tolerance weight is 1435kg, which is 15kg heavier than the SM6.2.0. The combined fuel consumption is 12.8km/l (11.6 in the city center, 14.8 in high speed).
The SM6’s driving sense in daily driving is soft. Smooth oscillation acceleration is possible due to the relaxed torque generated from low rotation. In particular, it blocks the inflow of external noise quite well, and the application of sound insulation windshield and meticulous windshield finish stand out. It also effectively blocked noise from the floor of the body. However, the fact that engine vibration is somewhat transmitted when stopping seems to need improvement.
The side has a coupe-shaped silhouette through a gentle rear glass surface with an emphasis on the side. Opera Glass was applied to the C pillar to increase the sense of openness. It also emphasized dynamism by applying a design that increases the volume of the shoulder line as it goes back. Since large wheels have been considered from the beginning of the design, 19-inch wheels do not look burdensome.
The SM6 has impressive punch power in the high-speed area. In particular, acceleration at 80-160 km/h outperforms the parameters. The virtual engine sound is not very attractive because it simply feels like the engine sound is loud around 2000 rpm, which is the usual engine rotation area, while the 4000-5700 rpm high rotation creates an attractive engine sound reminiscent of a high-performance turbo car.
High-speed driving features an effective suppression of external noise inflow, a rigid body, and a sense of suspension, which is lower than the actual speed. In addition, the brake system, which is not easily exhausted even in frequent braking, is ahead of the competitive model. The satisfaction of the SM6 1.6 TCE is quite high in the part of running well, spinning well, and standing well, which corresponds to the basics of the car.
It is judged that the overall completeness of the SM6 is quite high. However, some disadvantages are also identified, and in the movement that quickly crosses the speed bump, the impact is transmitted from the front wheel. Unlike the process in which the damper of the front wheel contracts, the speed of relaxation feels slow.
On the other hand, the rear suspension, which was controversial at the beginning of its launch, does not feel the rough movement unique to the left and right connected suspension in terms of ride quality. The fact that the steering wheel is not operated in the idling stop situation and that the console of the ceiling blocks some field of view of the room mirror seems to need to be improved.
During the test drive, the SM6 TCE recorded a cumulative average of 11 km/l. Fuel economy in high-speed driving is more impressive than in the city center, and at 80km/h, the average fuel economy was around 19km/l. The characteristics of actively utilizing dual clutch transmissions and fuel cuts with low power loss were found to be good fuel efficiency in cruise driving.
On the back, the rear lamp was thinned and the combination lamp was positioned long to emphasize a wide image. A 3D type LED rear combination lamp and an integral muffler tip are applied to the upper trim. The simple design with the number plate moved to the bumper creates a different image from the competitive model.
SM6 is Renault Group’s global strategic model and was developed by Renault and Renault Samsung with investment of 700 million euros (about 916.2 billion won) over five years. The SM6 was designed based on the top-level architecture CMFD of the CMF platform jointly used by the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and is known to have invested the reduced production costs in design and quality enhancement through the public platform.