SM3 dCi, the diesel version of the subcompact sedan that Renault Samsung Motors rolled out in Korea on Jan. 4, is expected to fuel competition in a segment dominated by Hyundai Motor Group, industry sources said on Sunday.
““The new player, armed with European style, advanced fuel efficiency and convenient infotainment system, will offer more choices to customers, who are considering buying a compact sedan,’’ the sources said.
RSM revamped its steady-selling SM3 compact sedan by combining Renault’s 1.5 dCi diesel engine with dual clutch transmission supplied by GETRAG, a German transmissions supplier.
The 1.5 dCi diesel engine meets the Euro 6 emissions regulations, the company added.
The new car boasts a mileage of 17.7 kilometers per liter, equal to that of QM3, the firm’s best-selling compact diesel SUV.
The automaker launched the small diesel sedan to strengthen its diesel car lineup following the release of face-lifted QM3 last November.
Despite Volkswagen’s diesel emissions-cheating scandal, automakers here continue to increase diesel car models based on strong demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.
According to the market data, diesel cars made by Korean automakers beat gasoline-powered vehicles with a 44.6 percent market share for the first time.
To snatch customers royal to Hyundai’s Avante and Kia’s K3, SM3 dCi offers convenient functions tailored to Korean customers such as the popular “T map’’-based navigation system by SK, music streaming service by Melon and phone-to-car video transfer function.
The price of SM3 dCi vehicles starts from 19.8 million won ($16,530) including tax, which is cheaper than the entry price of QM3 fixed at 22.3 million won.
“The company is targeting Korean consumers seeking rational consumption,’’ said RSM vice president Park Dong-hoon.