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by Matt Brogan

The new Renault Samsung SM5, which CarAdvice spy photographers caught testing in Australia last week, is enjoying strong sales in its home market of Korea since going on sale there in January last year.

Designed in Seoul and manufactured at the firm’s Busan plant in South Korea, the SM5 sold 60,960 units in Korea for 2009.

On the day the SM5 was released (January 18, 2009), a record 2012 orders were taken for the SM5 which is currently available with a choice of four- and six-cylinder engines. A diesel model will be made available at a later date. The SM5 uses the Renault-Nissan alliance Xtronic CVT transmission.

The new SM5 measures 4890mm (L) x 1830mm (W) x 1490mm (H) and offers such features as tri-zone climate control with air ionizer and fragrance diffuser, a massaging driver’s seat, Bose premium audio system, Bluetooth connectivity and adaptive, directional bi-Xenon headlamps.

Renault Australia’s Managing Director, Mr Rudi Koenig, told CarAdvice that although Renault does test its future cars in Australia from time to time, they are not always models planned to be launched here, and that at this stage there has been no announcement made regarding the sale of the SM5 in Australia.