French ditch the attitude
Renault is after Kia’s and Mazda’s money with the new mid-sized sedan
KOREA, Japan and France have all had a hand in the new Latitude.
Renault’s latest pitch into the mid-sized field is more controlled and on-target than anything in the past and also comes with a $36,990 opening price that buries memories of the over-priced Laguna.
The Latitude still has to overcome buyer resistance and it needs to answer plenty of questions. However, it shows the new Australian management is not stopping after repositioning and repricing the Megane at the start of the year.
The Latitude is definitely a Renault but not as we’ve known them. It’s less
‘‘ French’’ and more worldly and that approach could work for a car that must go up against everything.
A starting price of $36,990 looks good and there is a lot of good stuff in the Latitude. For a start, the price tag is the same for the turbo diesel and V6 petrol engines and there is a Luxe package with plenty of added fruit for $5500. Building with Samsung in Korea means basic equipment runs from leather seats and alloy wheels to sun blinds, keyless starting, a 3D sound system, satnav, a TomTom system, including speed limits, and dual-zone airconditioning.
But the big value boost in the Latitude is the five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
Most of the technology is loaded into the equipment, not the mechanical package.
The Latitude is a standard front-wheel drive sedan with a six-speed automatic coupled to either a torquey turbo diesel or a smooth petrol V6.
But there is some neat stuff hidden away, including the basics of its Nissan Maxima stablemate in the mechanical package and the V6.
The Latitude will sell in more than 50 countries and that means it is bland. Not offensive but not a head-turner.
The shape ensures there is good space in the cabin, particularly rear-seat leg room and a big boot.
No one can explain the silly attempt at a spoiler on the boot.