Renault has designed and developed some of the most interesting mainstream cars of the last decade. In fact, some of these cars are so interesting that it’s difficult to remember they’re labeled as ‘mainstream’. But this is a value-driven brand; safety conscious with expertise in diesels and drama.
Have a look back into the deep dark 90s and you’ll easily find one Renault that was completely uninteresting. Forget anything as wonky as the Avantime minivan-coupe. The unusual and ugly luxury hatchback, known as the Vel Satis, was yet to come. Unique design elements like the Megane’s large hind end – in the distant future.
No, the Safrane was an unfortunately dull and predictably French sub-luxury front-wheel drive 4-door. More unfortunately, it appears at first glance as though Renault’s recent design push towards conservatism has created a second-generation Safrane – almost a decade after the previous iteration disappeared – that is similarly dull.
However, considering its positioning in the market as a large car with a V6 and an automatic; produced for regions (Middle East oil producing nations) where anything spacious is purchased, we better not assume that Renault won’t sell any new Safranes.
One more fact before you check out the gallery below: this new Renault is actually a Samsung underneath. The SM5 is just one of the mostly Renault-owned Korean manufacturer’s shared products. The Nissan Qashqai/Rogue became the QM5, for example.