2017 Renault Talisman

True contestant in mid-size saloon class

"It has the proportions that give the kind of balance you'd expect for a modern sedan."

"If the GCC dealers know how to promote it, Talisman will surpass its rivals and become the new reference in that segment," said Issam.

The French brand's new mid-size family car (previously known in some markets as Laguna or Safrane) is now labeled as Talisman and, after quite some time behind the wheel on the highway and city roads around France, it became obvious that the Talisman is not to be compared with its previous generation.

How does it drive?
The best way to describe it is that it's unlike any other family car by Renault I've seen. It is not the sportiest car in the segment, but it overtakes its rivals as not only a comfortable large car, but also an amazingly agile large car. When I shifted everything into 'Sport', I walked away impressed. The steering feels firm and sufficiently precise and the ride is excellent. In fact, whichever Multi-Sense setting you choose, you'll find that few other cars in this class have this much versatility when it comes to driving dynamics.

Interior
With electric seats, the driver's seat automatically slides back 50 mm to facilitate easy ingress. Once the driver is seated, it returns to its original position. The Talisman's wide front seats were designed with airline business class seats in mind, in order to deliver the most comfortable seating available in the new model's class. Depending on the version, the seat cushion height, seat back and cushion angle, position of the seat cushion's leading edge, and lumbar support are all electrically adjustable thanks to three buttons located to the side of the seat. It is possible to memorize up to six individual driver profiles using the R-LINK 2 display. The entry-level Talisman is equipped with a car radio featuring a 4.2-inch (11 cm) display. It offers flawless reception and CD quality sound. Renault's R-LINK 2 connected tablet delivers a refreshing look and user-friendly functions. It is the Talisman's control center.

Exterior
The Talisman's design brings a touch of Latin sensuality to the world of three-volume saloons. It has an assertive chrome grille complete with a centrally positioned Renault logo, a long, creased bonnet which adds muscle to the front end's styling, LED daytime running lights which form a C-shaped signature that extends down to the bumper, LED Pure Vision dipped and main beam headlights for a natural feel and superior visibility (compared with halogen lights), a balanced ratio of two-thirds/one-third between the body panels and glazed surfaces, sculpted sides incorporating a bespoke chrome molding on the front wings, side views embellished by rear quarter lights evocative of the world of limousines, a chrome beading that highlights the contours of the side windows, prominent wheel arches which suggest strength and performance, a broad rear end with prominent shoulders, and LED rear lights with 3D-effect light guides.

Verdict
Talisman's traits are more than enough to propel it onto customers' shortlist. It is truly one great step from Renault – one more option worth considering for those in the market for a family car such as our GCC market.

Rivals: Volkswagen Passat, Toyota Camry, Mazda 6, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Peugeot 508, Honda Accord
Pros: Striking design, friendly infotainment system, dual-clutch gearbox, spacious and comfort-focused interior
Cons: Hard plastic around the center console, tough competition
one word: bravura
4 stars

Specs
1.6L turbo, inline-4-cylinder, 200 hp @ 6,000rpm, 260 Nm @ 2,000 rpm
7-speed dual-clutch auto, FWD
0-100 km/h: 7.7 sec, top speed: 200 km/h, fuel consumption: 5.6 L/100 km
Weight: 1,520 kg

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