New version of big French saloon launched, but not for Europe
26 August 2008

Renault is making a big saloon again - but it's not about to risk trying to sell it to European buyers.

This is the reborn Safrane, a large Korean-built saloon that the French manufacturer is aiming to sell in the middle East. It's powered by a 2.3-litre V6 engine producing around 170bhp or a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder motor; both units are mated to an automatic transmission driving the front wheels.

Renault is keen to pitch the Safrane as a premium item (climate control, Bose stereo etc), but it sports one of the most complex, muddy bloodlines of any car on the market; it's essentially a rebadged Samsung SM5 (a model only available in Korea), which is essentially a rebadged Nissan Teana (a model only available in Japan), which sits on the same platform as Nissan's Maxima and Altima.

The new Safrane will be built at Busan in South Korea, alongside Renault's first joint venture with Samsung Motors, the Koleos SUV. Sales start in early September.

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Comments
6

26 August 2008

Shame. It doesn't look remotely like a Renault. I'm glad it's not coming to Europe. It looks dated already. Still, at least the New Megane isn't far off now!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

26 August 2008

Good decision. Will more than 100 Brits miss it?

28 August 2008

The Nissan Teana/Cefiro underpinnings of this Safrane are already five years old. This car is aimed at the executive market in Asia competing against the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The Nissan has a very un-Japanese interior - the dashboard looking more Renault Vel Satis than any Nissan product.

With the 2.3 liter V6, it offers acceptable thrust and the car has a reassuringly solid and heavy feel to it. It is not remotely sporty and with anything less than the 2.3 liter V6, I find it hard to believe it could get out of its own way!

I believe this new Safrane will make a great taxi because the cabin offers decent room in all directions and the ride is comfortable over most surfaces.

30 August 2008

[quote A R Chen]I believe this new Safrane will make a great taxi because the cabin offers decent room in all directions and the ride is comfortable over most surfaces.[/quote]

Oh great! Grey import minicabs!

Where has all Japanese design went to?

31 August 2008

When it first came to the market in 2003, the design is very Renault-like, but the Safrane manages to look more premium than now replaced Teana on which it's based. The shape of headlights don't look too much different from that of Megane's (but the Teana's is slightly shapeless). The Renault influence continues in the (now ageing) Latio/Tiida/Versa which looks like a less distinctive Megane with a 307 rear. Given the difficulty in selling big cars with mainstream brands, it should not be sold in wetern Europe.

4 April 2014
so its gonna be a rebadged juke. nobody would ever buy a renault 4x4.

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