Could the Korean SUV makes its way to our shores with a French badge on its grille?

The 2020 Renault Samsung XM3 has been revealed in production form after being previewed as the XM3 Inspire Concept two months earlier, itself heavily based on the Renault Arkana concept from 2018. It’s sloping roofline makes Renault (or Renault Samsung) one of the first non-premium brands to venture into the coupe-SUV segment.

2020 Renault Samsung XM3 styling

The XM3’s styling is largely unchanged from the concept car if you excuse the downsized alloy wheels. LED headlights and tail lights mirror that of any recent Renault, with the latter almost meeting at the middle of the hatch. Higher spec models are offered with 17-inch alloys, a panoramic sunroof and a shark fin antenna. While that sloping roofline is likely to impede on practicality, the boot offer a reasonable 513 litres.

2020 Renault Samsung XM3 interior

While the exterior looks like a Russian-spec Renault Arkana with Samsung badging, the interior tells a different story. An all-new dash design mimics that of the new Clio/Captur twins (albeit with a Polo-eque plastic trim on the upper dash) with similar infotainment and driver assistance technology. Unlike the Arkana, the 2020 Renault Samsung XM3 gets a 10-inch digital driver display, 9.3-inch portrait touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic park brake, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop & go and lane keep assist. By contrast the Arkana gets by with analogue dials, an 8-inch touchscreen and blind spot monitoring.

The XM3 gets two four-cylinder petrol engines from launch – a 1.6 naturally-aspirated unit and a 1.3 turbocharged unit. The 92kW 1.6 engine is paired with a CVT, while the 110kW 1.3 TCe is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Interestingly, Renault pitched the 2018 Arkana concept as a global model and, while it’s claimed to not be destined for European markets, Renault Samsung have expressed the importance of introducing the XM3 to other markets.

Is the 2020 Renault Samsung XM3 coming to Aussie Shores?

While Renault Australia has expressed its interest in the Arkana, local availability will depend on RHD production. In saying that, the Koleos (which is built by Renault Samsung in South Korea) is Renault’s number one selling vehicle in SUV-obsessed Australia.

About The Author

Coming from a background in design, Steve has a keen eye for detail when it comes to reviewing cars. Whether he's scrutinising the ergonomics of the infotainment system or how effective the lights are at night, no detail goes unnoticed. Steve will help you choose your next car with your heart and your head.

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