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Renault Latitude road test

by Stephen Walker

11th December, 2011

Home > Road Tests > Renault

Related stories:
Renault Latitude released
14th April, 2011
Wraps come off Renault Latitude
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Some years ago, Renault came up with the idea of selling more cars. A component of the business plan that was implemented called for an expanded model line-up. One of those new models is the Latitude. Released earlier this year in Australia, the Renault Latitude positions the French marque in a new segment of the local market.

The South Korean manufactured car is 'family sized' being 4,897 mm long, 1,832 mm wide and 1,483 mm high with a wheelbase of 2,762 mm. This makes it almost as big as a traditional 'aussie six'. Therefore a nice size for anyone wanting a roomy sedan.

Renault has managed to fall off the radar for many car buyers, but the brand is making a promising attempt to position itself more favourably amongst local car buyers with a product-led revival. For example, Renault now has two European made models (Clio and Megane), three South Korean made models (Koleos, Fluence and Latitude) in the local line-up together with some light commercial vehicles. Other models are in the 'pipeline' too.

Our test car was the Renault Latitude Luxe, coloured Lava Grey (an optional metallic paint finish). Available with either a petrol or diesel engine, the test car came equipped with a Euro4 compliant 2.5 litre V6 petrol-fuelled engine coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Luxe is the top-of-the-line variant.

The Renault Latitude is priced from $36,990* for the base model (petrol or diesel), with the Luxe being priced from $42,490*.

Both Latitude models feature satellite navigation system fitted; Bluetooth® connectivity; Smart Card Key providing hands-free entry (with automatically locking doors as the card-holder walks away from the vehicle); Electric height adjustable and heated driver’s seat (with manual lumbar support); Heated, manually adjustable front passenger seat; Height and reach adjustable steering wheel; Automatic parking brake (engages when the engine is switched off); heated and foldable side mirrors; Sun blinds for rear windscreen and side rear windows; Tinted windows and windscreen; Black leather-trimmed upholstery with leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob; and 60:40 split fold rear seats.

Additionally, the Latitude Luxe includes Bose® Sound System; three-zone climate control with toxicity sensor and combined active carbon filter; Samsung Super Plasma® air ioniser with fragrance diffuser; Memory, heated, electronically adjustable driver’s seat with electric lumbar support and two-mode massage function; Electronically height adjustable front passenger seat; 18 inch alloy wheels with full-sized spare; Panoramic electric glass sunroof; Boot spoiler; Electric, body coloured side view mirrors with reverse synchronisation linked to memory seat; Reversing camera (integrated with the in-dash satellite navigation display); Tyre pressure monitoring system; and Electrochrome rear view mirror.

On the road, the Renault Latitude impressed with quite reasonable performance and good ride qualities. In fact, the V6 is quite a pleasing power plant and demonstrates that six-cylinders is still a worthy choice for modern day drivers. Our solely suburban driving experience averaged 13.1 litres per 100 kms. The combined cycle fuel rating in lab tests comes in at 9.7 litres per 100 kms.

Appreciated features include the self-engaging parking brake. This is the way to parking in the future. It's a great labour saving device. Keyless entry is always welcome, but with this new Renault the familiar Renault trick of self-locking when the card holder walks away demonstrates that Renault is a long way ahead of other brands in offering this joyful feature. No longer do you have to wonder if you locked the car! Push button (keyless) ignition is gaining acceptance in a wider range of vehicles and history will record Renault as a brand that accepted this feature at an earlier time. Of course the reversing camera is becoming a popular feature, but too few cars feature this important safety feature. It is a welcome inclusion on the Luxe for this driver who is too often on the look-out for extreme parking options.

Safety aspects of the Latitude reinforce the widely held viewpoint that Renault is amongst the best when it comes to keeping occupants safe. Six airbags and ESP are amongst the standard safety features.

Clearly, the Renault Latitude Luxe is an up-to-date larger-sized car that is particularly well equipped with modern day features that too many manufacturers are ignoring. That alone makes the Renault Latitude a commendable acquisition. But this car is also good value, it is pleasant to drive and it is nice to live with on a day-to-day basis.

NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.

More Renault News ..... here.

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