Renault has lifted the covers off its long-awaited Talisman saloon. The new model will replace the Laguna when it goes on sale in Europe in 2016, though the French brand currently has no plans to offer it in the UK.
Squaring up to the likes of the Volkswagen Passat and Mazda 6 in the large family saloon market, the Talisman debuts a new styling direction for Renault, with the bold grille and front-end styling due to be transplanted on to the Megane hatchback, which arrives next year.
Inside, the Talisman showcases a new, simpler dashboard design, dominated by a portrait-oriented 8.7-inch touchscreen. Buyers should enjoy convenience and luxury touches such as a head-up display, digital instrument cluster, Bose surround-sound stereo and hands-free parking.
Two petrol and three diesel engines will be offered, with a 108bhp 1.4-litre diesel being the most efficient model at launch, with CO2 emissions of just 95g/km. While full performance figures are yet to be released, the 197bhp petrol motor is likely to be the choice for keen drivers. Both six-speed manual and six-speed twin-clutch automatic gearboxes will be offered.
Renault is also claiming that the Talisman will offer not only best-in-class passenger space, but also impressive practicality with a 608-litre boot and a cabin dotted with convenient storage compartments.
Unfortunately, Renault has cited slow large saloon sales in the UK as a reason not to bring it to our showrooms, with British drivers preferring hatchbacks and SUV crossovers. It is for this reason that we will also miss out on the new Espace people carrier.