Is this Saturn’s Next Small Car? Take a Closer Look at the Renault Samsung SM3...

Is this Saturn’s Next Small Car?  Take a Closer Look at the Renault Samsung SM3...

More and more industry analysts seem to agree that at some point in the next two years, Saturn retailers will begin selling a compact car that's based on the Renault Samsung SM3 you see in the picture above. While there has been evidence published to support this theory, it is only speculative at this time since none of the parties involved — Saturn, Roger Penske, or Renault-Samsung — have made any official announcements. But it doesn't hurt to take a closer look, right?

The new 2010 SM3 is a handsome little sedan that would fit right in alongside the Aura, Outlook, and Vue in Saturn's current lineup. While the SM3 is large for the compact class, Renault-Samsung has managed to achieve impressive fuel economy (more than 35mpg) thanks to a Nissan H4M four-cylinder powerplant and "Xtronic" transmission. The H4M is one of the newest engines to be developed under the Renault-Nissan alliance.

Saturn has a reputation for building safe vehicles, and it will be important for the brand to continue to offer state-of-the-art safety systems and impressive crash protection in whatever cars it sells in the future. The SM3 offers advanced features like Electronic Brake Force Distribution – Anti lock Braking System (EBFD-ABS), as well as a Brake Assist System (BAS) that the determines when sudden braking is necessary and increases braking power. For what its worth, Renault-Samsung says the vehicle will achieve the highest rating in offset crash safety performance (5 stars). Side and curtain airbags are available on all models.

According to Renault-Samsung, the SM3 is available in Korea with five trim levels and a wide variety of features:

See more than 20 new photos of the SM3 online, along with pictures showing more available features, in the Photo Gallery.

Source: Renault-Samsung

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General Motors Statement Regarding Black Oak Partners Press Release About Saturn

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As noted in GM's viability plan presented on February 17, 2009, GM announced it would review the potential spin-off or sale of Saturn and if those options did not prove viable Saturn's operations would be wound down over time. Over approximately the past 60 days, a sub-committee of Saturn retailers has been studying the feasibility of the sale or spin-off options, and has identified some parties that are potentially interested in a purchase or spin-off of Saturn. We are advised that one of the interested parties is Black Oak Partners. We are not at liberty to discuss any other interested party. With respect to what the eventual outcome concerning Saturn might be with Black Oak or any other interested party, it is simply premature at this time to speculate on what any eventual outcome may be.