SM7 underrated as premium car
By Kim Tae-jong
A few names immediately spring to mind when considering cars with excellent performance, impressive fuel efficiency and comfortable driving experience and they are probably on the list of best-sellers.
But there are also lesser-known cars, even though they are just as good as their better-known counterparts. And in this sense, the SM7, a large-sized luxury sedan from Renault Samsung Motor (RSM), would be one of them.
RSM ambitiously introduced a new generation SM7 in August, based on a stretched version of the automaker’s third generation SM5, a mid-sized sedan.
The vehicle is equipped with the latest technological innovations and combines elegance, traveling comfort and a quiet ride with safety.
When it was launched, at first glance the SM7 seemed to be competitive with domestic rivals such as the Grandeur 5G from Hyundai Motor, the K7 from Kia Motors and the Alpheon by GM Korea, and even more expensive foreign counterparts such as the Lexus ES350. In some sense, it is better than competitors.
But the sales results have been disappointing, and it has dealt a severe blow to RSM, which is suffering from sluggish sales.
But despite poor sales the SM7 has been chosen as the best car in terms of customer quality satisfaction. It proves that the vehicle has been underrated and failed to receive the recognition it deserves.
In a recent survey by automotive research firm Marketing Insight, the SM7 topped the best car list in terms of overall quality satisfaction. The survey was conducted on 26,904 drivers who have bought a new car within the past three years.
It scored 82.4 out of 100 and the QM5, RSM’s SUV, came second with 82.2. They were followed by the Genesis luxury sedan from Hyundai Motor and the Alpheon, which scored 80.8 and 80.7 respectively.
Marketing Insight officials concluded the RSM suffers from poor sales because the value and strengths of the automaker’s cars have not been properly promoted.
The SM7 has two main lineups — a 2.5 liter VQ25 V6 engine with 190 horsepower and a 3.5-liter VQ35 V6 engine with 258 horsepower, each with three variants depending on options.
Although it was developed from the SM5 base, the SM7 has more elegant design features.
This reporter had a chance to drive the SM7 RE, the top variant in the lineup, over the weekend.
For over two hours of driving in central city areas and countryside, the vehicle offered a comfortable, silent ride and its high-performance engine delivered smooth and delicate acceleration. At night, its adaptive and directional bi-Xenon headlights allowed for comfort and safe driving.
Overall, the driving experience was satisfying, no less than that of luxury foreign vehicles.
Drivers seem to find more value for money when buying the SM7, as the automaker has continuously upgraded the sedan with the latest innovative technology, which was only available in a limited number of imported cars or very expensive vehicles.
Some of new features include Walk Away Closing, which automatically locks the car if the driver with the smart key walks 1 or 2 meters from the vehicle. Another innovative function is Around View Monitoring, which provides a virtual 360-degree view of objects around the car.