RE­NAULT

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -

VALUE

Re­nault is push­ing hard to win buy­ers and a five-year un­lim­ited dis­tance war­ranty, five-year road­side as­sist and low-cost ser­vice pro­gram ($897 for three years) are con­vinc­ing ar­gu­ments. Fea­tures are more com­pre­hen­sive than the ri­val Golf, adding a sun­roof, leather, heated seats and lane-de­par­ture warn­ing. Re­sale is an Achilles’ heel at 48 per cent.

DE­SIGN

Nicely styled but lacks the crisp­ness of the Golf. The boat-tail rear end is pretty but brings cargo vol­ume to 524L. Cabin styling is clean and sim­ple, the pale grey pal­ette light­en­ing the

in­te­rior. Some con­trol place­ment is not in­tu­itive.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The 1.2-litre turbo (97kW/205Nm) looks too small for the 4.6m wagon but per­forms well thanks to a slick CVT. Even with its shorter, lighter body, it uses slightly more petrol than the Golf, claim­ing 5.6L/100km. Wheel­base is longer than the Golf’s, mean­ing more space for rear oc­cu­pants.

DRIV­ING

SAFETY

A five-star car with six airbags and elec­tronic brake aids match­ing the Golf. There are park­ing sen­sors, cam­era and day­time run­ning lights, help­ful lane de­par­ture mon­i­tor, auto-dip high beam and full-size spare wheel. The 1.2-litre sug­gests wimpy per­for­mance but the wagon is ac­tu­ally a fun drive. Light steer­ing and soft sus­pen­sion take a bit of get­ting used to but the cor­ner­ing is poised and pre­dictable. The seats are softer than the VW’s, mak­ing it more suited to short trips. Switches are less easy to use than in the Golf.

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