Australia Post Goes Electric

Renault Kangoo electric vanIf you’re as old as I am you’ll remember the days when the Postmaster General’s Department … the predecessor of Australia Post … ran a large fleet of small column-shift Bedford vans in major urban areas.

They were generally driven all over the suburbs as if the devil was running close behind and … if you happened to be the passenger … you clung to anything you could get your hands on because your life probably did depend on your grip.

These were in the days before OH&S regulations … there were no seatbelts and entry and exit for driver and passenger was via large sliding doors that only ever seemed to be closed in heavy rain.

Yes those were the good old days and most of us who travelled in those vans do remember them with some fondness. Of course those days are long gone and yesterday Renault and Australia Post announced a whole new era in small red delivery vans.

Starting in June Australia Post will take delivery of a small group … 2 in Melbourne and 2 in Sydney … of Renault Kangoo Z E vans. These zero emission fully electric vans are the first Renault electric vans to be introduced in Australia and Australia Post will use them for parcel deliveries.

While the company is obviously using the trial to showcase the Renault Kangoo electric van to the Australian marketplace Australia Post is looking a variety of metrics to see if fully electric vans are the way to go for suburban work in the future.

Tech Specs
The Renault Kangoo electric van is powered by a Synchronous AC electric motor with a maximum power output of 44 kW (60hp.

The power is supplied by a Lithium Ion battery that requires 6 to 9 hours to reach maximum charge and that gives the vehicle a range of between 80 and 125 km.

So the days of the red Bedfords might be long gone but remember, this is an electric vehicle and electric vehicles have some fairly sparkling acceleration so maybe we’ll see a Renault Kangoo electric van being driven like in days of old when the devil was just behind and gaining fast.

Renault Kangoo electric van

By | May 27th, 2014|Renault|0 Comments

Renault Master High Roof Van

Renault Mast High Roof VanJust when you thought that van roofs couldn’t get any higher the Renault Master High Roof is added to the Renault range of commercial vehicles.

Not only do you get 36% more space in the Renault Master High Roof van but you also get rear-wheel drive and dual rear wheels … a first in the Master range. The rear axle rating in the new Master High Roof van is 3,200kg and the vehicle can tow another 3,000kg.

Load space in the Renault Master High Roof van has been increased to 17 cubic metres and the payload has been increased to 2134kg which means this van can really carry a big load.

Despite the size and the carrying capacity the unladen weight of the vehicle has been kept down to ensure that the gross vehicle mass is just 4,500kg which means that the vehicle can be legally driven by anyone who holds a normal passenger car licence.

Although just because they can doesn’t necessarily mean they should. Based in a tourist town we see a lot of people driving big campervans who are way out of their comfort zone.

high roof Renault Master

The engine
Let’s face it … in a van this size you’re probably not going to want sports car performance but you are going to want plenty of grunt and that’s what you get with the standard 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine that produces 110kW of power and 350Nm or torque between 1500rpm and 2750rpm.

This engine is coupled to your choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a new ZF six-speed auto that uses an electric actuator to engage the clutch so that you get a better level of control when moving at very low speeds in tight situations.

Dimensions and Loading
We’ve already mentioned some of the dimensions but here are a few more of the ones that are important to commercial users.

The Renault Master High Roof van shares the same wheelbase as the normal LWB model in the Master range but the overhang has been increased by 650mm and that gives you an interior load length of 4,383mm, a width of 1,765mm and an internal height of 2,048mm.

The rear doors open to 270 degrees and that means that a forklift can be used to load the van. The passenger side sliding door is 1,270mm wide and 1,684mm high. A driver’s side sliding door is an option.

Renault High Roof Master

Safety and other goodies
The Renault Master High Roof van comes with an Isringhausen suspension seat as standard equipment for the driver. There’s nothing quite like a good seat when you’ve got to travel long distances in a commercial vehicle.

Standard equipment includes dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability control with ASR traction control, cruise control and speed limiter, steel bulkhead with window, remote central locking, multifunction trip computer, Bluetooth and reverse parking sensors.

You can add to those safety features in the Renault Master High Roof with the Safety and Security Pack that includes auto headlights, rain sensing wipers, fog lights and alarm.

From there you can step up to the Premium Pack which gives you sat/nav, a reversing camera (something that really should be standard equipment in a vehicle this size) and some extra storage compartments.

Price
Well the Renault Master High Roof is a big commercial vehicle so the price tag fits the size To get into the manual version the price starts at $50,990 plus dealer and government charges and you can add another $2,000 for the auto.

The new High Roof Master is here in Australia and ready for delivery.

 

By | November 7th, 2013|Featured, Renault|0 Comments

2013 Renault Megan Entry Model

2013 renault meganeIf you have a yen to drive a small car that’s not only classy but not what everyone else is driving then the 2013 Renault Megane range is definitely worth looking at.

It’s even more attractive now that Renault have completed the Megane range with their entry level model that features a 1.2-litre four-cylinder, turbocharged, fuel injected petrol engine that comes a drive-away price tag of just $19,990.

For that price you get some impressive technology and a fuel consumption of just 5.6L/100km on the combined cycle.

Of course great fuel consumption and a small motor are not going to translate into sparkling performance but 0 to 100km/h in 10.9 seconds is not too shabby and the engine produces 97kW of power at 5,500rpm and 205Nm or torque that comes in at 2,000rpm.

renault-megane-front

The Renault Megane gets that power to the road via a six-speed manual transmission and manages to produce just 132g/km of CO2.

Unfortunately Renault is not going to hold the entry level Megane at that $19,990 drive-away low price for long. At the moment Renault has indicated that that introductory price will only last till November 15.

2013 Renault Megane rear

 

By | October 14th, 2013|Renault|0 Comments

Renault Fluence Gets a Mid-life Makeover

2013 Renault FluenceI’ve always been something of fan of Renault cars even though their appearance could be described as a little quirky.

Back in the mid-1970’s I owned a Renault 12 that took me over a lot of country kilometres … both tar and dirt … and I suppose that was perhaps one of the less quirky designs that have come out of the Renault design studio at that time. Even if it was a little boring to look at it was exciting to drive with great acceleration and handling.

Personally I tend to like those quirky designs … they say something about Renault and about people who buy their products … they’re not afraid to be different. Unfortunately though there’s nothing all that quirky about the Renault Fluence … with the exception of the name.

However the Renault Fluence is selling here in Australia and it’s selling in enough numbers for Renault to want to release the latest version. There’s not a whole lot that sets it apart from the previous model but then that’s what you get in a mid-life makeover

On the outside
On the outside there’s a restyled grill and new headlamps at the front and a chrome strip at the rear. Both the 16-inch alloys on the Dynamique and 17-inch wheels on the Privilege have undergone some changes too,

On the inside
It’s on the inside that most of the changes have occurred. There’s now a new digital dashboard fitted to both models in the Fluence range and it’s just a little bit quirky so there’s hope yet for the Renault Fluence.

The radio and the cloth upholstery on the base model … the Dynamique … have undergone a change and Bluetooth connectivity allows mobile phones to feed music into the Arkamys 4-speaker, 2-tweeter sound system.

Interior of the 2013 Renault Fluence

The top-of-the-range model … the Privilege … has new leather upholstery along with a 7-inch full colour touch screen that connects the driver with the audio, satellite navigation system and other in-car systems. A new Bose audio system has also been added.

A new assisted parking brake has been added to the Renault Fluence Privilege and rear parking sensors and a colour reversing camera with guidance system have been added as well.

Smart-Card Key
The Renault Smart Card Key system in the Renault Fluence has been upgraded so that as long as the card is close to the vehicle the doors will unlock automatically and the push-button starter on the dashboard can be activated.

A sensor in the car communicates with the Smart Card Key so that if the driver moves away from the car the doors will automatically lock until the key comes back into range.

Rear of the 2013 Fluence

Prices
The 2013 Renault Fluence starts at $23,143 (manufacturer’s list price) for the base model Dynamique with manual transmission and $25,143 for the automatic while the Privilege with CVT auto starts at $30,298.

The prices are interesting but the look of the car … well …

 

 

 

 

By | September 26th, 2013|Renault|0 Comments

The Renault Master

the renault master light commercial vehicleLast year I went down to the Brisbane Truck Show … it was a good excuse for my eldest son and I to take the Holden Omega Ute we had on test on a suitably blokey outing.

The truck show was what you would expect … lots of big trucks … big rigs and even bigger price tags and despite those price tags there were a lot of people talking serious business and if you had taken a quick look you would have thought that the big trucks was where all the interest lay.

But if you looked behind the big rigs … and the medium sized trucks … you would have seen that there was a lot of interest in the light commercial vehicles that were on display. Fiat, Renault, Ford and Mercedes-Benz all had vehicles on display and they were attracting a lot of interest too. These days there’s big money to be made in light commercials and all those brands are out there to grab their share of both the small and larger light commercial market.

Renault’s offering at the larger end of that segment is the Master and they have now released a new version and you’ll be surprised at what you now get in a light commercial vehicle and just how much these vans can actually carry.

The Renault Master comes in both medium wheelbase and long wheelbase versions and is equipped to not only carry a big load but also function as an office because that’s what a lot of these vehicles really are … mobile offices. The driver not only has to deliver the goods but he also has to keep records as he goes and the days of using your lap as a desktop while you scribbled entries in a docket book or work diary have long gone as far as Renault is concerned.

These days the driver gets a swivelling desktop that’s fitted to the fold-down back of the middle seat along with plenty of storage areas that can be covered to protect against prying eyes.

The model range
The Renault Master comes as either a short or long wheelbase van fitted with a 2.3-litre diesel engine coupled to either a six speed manual box or a Renault Quickshift auto box.

The roof height of 1894mm is standard for both medium and long wheelbase models.

The new renault master

There are three option packs available … one that adds extra storage and a power outlet in the cargo space … another that adds several extra airbags for the driver along with automatic headlights and wipers, fog lights and cornering headlights … and a premium pack that adds satellite system, a reversing camera with the screen mounted in the back of the driver’s sun visor and multimedia connectivity.

The engine
Well it’s not necessarily one that you would want to work on … there’s not a whole lot of room under the bonnet. Renault’s 2.3 dCi turbo-charged engine is mounted transversally at the front and it’s coupled to transmissions that are designed to give good acceleration and fuel economy as well.

The automatic version of the Renault Master will deliver 8.5L/100km while the manual version is a little thirstier at 9.0L/100km. Renault have given the Master a 105 litre fuel tank and that means that the range for the auto version is around 1230km while the manual has a range of around 1150km.

The need for business owners to keep maintenance costs down hasn’t been lost on Renault either. The timing chain is what Renault calls “fitted for life” … of course the engine will die if the timing chain breaks so I’m not sure what Renault is saying here. Engine coolant will now last 60,00km or 48 months and Renault claims that the brake pads will last 20% longer too.

The Renault Master comes with a three year/200,000km warranty and three years of 24 hour roadside assist and service intervals are 15,000km/1 year.

The automatic versions of the Renault Master come with a couple of extra controls on the dashboard that are designed to make life easier for the driver. One controls traction in slippery conditions and when it’s engaged it will automatically select second gear when starting from a stop.

The second control automatically changes the clutch mapping when carrying heavy loads … and the Renault Master can carry some heavy loads.

rear view of the renault master

Carrying capacity
The medium wheelbase Renault Master has 10.3 cubic metres of cargo space and can take two standard Australian pallets  while the long wheelbase version has 12.5 cubic metres of cargo space that will hold three pallets.

Both versions have rear barn doors as well as a left-hand side sliding door as standard. A right-hand sliding door is an option. The rear doors open as far as 270 degrees while the side door has a 1200mm opening … that’s wide enough for a pallet to slide in.

Of course getting the load over the door sill can be a problem and the Renault Master  has a 543mm high sill for the long wheelbase model and 548mm for the shorter version.

renault master interior

Interior
In the callow days of my youth I often had cause to be driven around various suburbs at high speed as a front seat passenger in various PMG (the predecessor of Australia Post) vans. The interior of those vans was spartan to say the least, seat belts were non-existent and you only closed the sliding doors if you wanted to appear weak.

I’m sure those drivers would be stunned by what the interior of the humble delivery van looks like and contains today.

Renault has set out to provide a car-like driving position for the Renault Master and they have even increased the amount of legroom in the new Master by 57mm compared to the previous version. The driver’s seat has a wider and longer cushion and now comes fitted with an armrest as standard.

A fully adjustable suspension seat is available as an option and that’s good news for drivers who cover long distances in these vans.

A glazed steel bulkhead and Australian standard cargo barrier are fitted as standard and the bulkhead helps to keep noise levels down in the cabin.

Air conditioning is standard and climate control is available as an option. Bluetooth connectivity is standard, there are large and small storage compartments spread throughout the cabin and as mentioned earlier there’s a rotating table on the back of the middle seat.

side view of the renault master

Safety
The new Renault Master comes with anti-locking brakes, emergency brake distribution, electronic  stability programme, seat belts with pre-tensioners, front airbags for driver and passenger and brakes that can bring the Master to a stop from 100km/h in just 44.7 metres.

The protection provided by the bulkhead and cargo barrier is augmented by the addition of numerous tie down hooks on the floor and pillars in both the long wheelbase and the medium wheelbase versions.

The bottom line
The medium wheelbase manual version is $43,990 and $46,490 with auto transmission while the long wheelbase version is $44,990 for the manual version and $47,490 for the auto.

The Renault Master medium wheelbase model

 

The Renault Master long wheelbase model

 

Some of the goodies in the premium pack

By | February 17th, 2012|Renault|Comments Off on The Renault Master

Renault Frendzy

renault-frenzyI don’t think that I’ve ever seen a car maker bring out a genuine concept for a commercial vehicle before. Sure there’s at least one Ford concept commercial vehicle floating around in Europe at the moment but that’s an electric vehicle built into a standard body.

The Renault Frendzy on the other hand is a genuine concept vehicle and it pushes some boundaries with typical Renault flair.

The idea behind the Renault Frendzy was to produce a commercial business vehicle that can also double as a comfortable passenger car and at the same time be environmentally friendly and connected to the world.

The result, according to Renault, is a vehicle that’s a combination of modern work tool and warm and friendly family car.

Exterior
You will notice that the Renault Frendzy comes with just about every door you can think of. There are the usual doors for the front-seat passengers … a sliding door on the curb side for loading straight from the footpath. A rear opening door on the driver’s side for passengers and you’re typical tailgate at the rear.

renault-frenzy-interior

What you may not notice is that the window on the sliding door incorporates a window display … after all every business wants to advertise what they do and what better place to do that but on the window. That display can be quickly changed while the vehicle is on the move.

There’s also no central pillar to get in the way when you’re trying to load it up with goods or passengers.

Renault understand that drivers of commercial vehicles often operate in quite different conditions to what drivers of family vehicles might experience so when the Frendzy is being operated in work mode the rear-view mirrors sit upright but when the driver switches to family mode the mirrors rotate to the horizontal position.

renault-frenzy-side

The Frendzy is 4,091mm long and 2,172mm wide including the mirrors.

Interior
Renault believe that interior lighting is important to set the right mood so when the vehicle is in work mode the interior lighting is green but when the driver switches to family mode the lighting changes to a warm orange color.

Inside the vehicle it becomes obvious that the Frendzy has a fabric roof that can adapt itself to the shape of bulky items that may be loaded in the rear of the vehicle.

The rear bench seat is integrated into the floor and stows out of the way when the vehicle is in work mode. The front passenger seat can also fold forward to give even more space in work mode.

The Frendzy comes with a BlackBerry PlayBook plugged into the centre console and apart from allowing drivers to stay connected to the Net it also controls the display that appears on the side cargo door.

Carrying capacity is 2,250 litres.

renault-frenzy-rear

The engine
The Renault Frendzy is powered by a 44kW electric motor that produces up to 226Nm of torque. Power to the wheels is via a direct drive transmission and that combination can push the Frendzy to a top speed of 130km/h.

Renault gives no indication of the distance the Frendzy can travel before the lithium-ion batteries need a fresh charge.

While there is undoubtedly a few things that have been included in the Renault Frendzy that will never see the light of day in a production vehicle there’s a lot that we can expect to see in the humble delivery van in the next few years.

By | July 15th, 2011|Renault|Comments Off on Renault Frendzy

New Renault Koleos

new-renault-koleosRenault have announced that the “renewed” version of the popular SUV … the Renault Koleos will be released in Australia towards the end of the year.

As with any mid-model refresh the basic shape of the Koleos has been retained but the front end has been revised with a new chrome grill replacing the air intakes on the previous model and new, slimmer headlights have also been added

From the side you can see that the rear-view mirrors now incorporate LED turn indicators and there are new wheel rims available. There has been no change to the body shape at the side or rear.

The all-wheel drive version of the new Koleos features a transmission designed by Nissan and Renault says that this gives the Koleos “genuine off-road capability”. The Koleos certainly has plenty of ground clearance so that claim to having genuine off-road ability could be more than just talk.

renault-koleos-dash

Inside the Koleos
The interior of the new Renault Koleos now features a selection of new upholstery options and the dashboard in front of the driver has been updated.

Renault says that the new Koleos “boasts segment-leading cabin space and comfort” and they say that the Koleos offers more headroom and knee room for the driver and front seat passenger than any other small SUV.

renault-koleos-interior

Hopefully they mean it because here at Aussie Motoring we’ve heard that tall drivers don’t get nearly enough leg room.

Safety
The new Renault Koleos comes fitted with ESP, emergency brake assist, programmed structural deformation in case you’re involved in an accident, six airbags and seat belt pretensioners.

renault-koleos

Pricing and specifications for the various models will be released closer to the launch day.

By | June 24th, 2011|Renault|Comments Off on New Renault Koleos

Small Vans for Small Business

holden-combo-vanTimes are tough for small business here in Australia and so there’s no margin for error when it comes to spending our hard-earned money. We have to be sure to get as much bang as we can for every buck we spend so if your small business needs a delivery van the making the right choice of van for your particular situation is critical.

Not only do you need a van that will carry the load you need to shift every day but you also need one that isn’t going to cost you more than you can afford … is cheap to run and cheap to maintain.

So today we’re going to compare the three cheapest small vans that are currently available here in Australia … the Holden Combo, the Volkswagen Caddy and the Renault Kangoo.

Holden Combo
The Holden Combo is 4,322mm long and 1,892mm wide. It has a cargo area of 2,390 litres with a maximum floor to ceiling height of 913mm and a tray length of 1.78m. The cargo area also includes a rubber cargo mat. The Combo and will carry a maximum payload of 735kg.

holden-combo-van-rear

Access to the cargo area is via a sliding kerb side door that opens to 62cm and twin vertical rear doors that will open out to 180 degrees. There are six anchorage points in the cargo area

The Combo is powered by a 1.4-litre petrol engine that will run on E10, 91octane ULP or 95 octane PULP. The engine delivers 66kW of power at 5,600rpm and 125Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The engine is coupled to a five-speed manual gearbox and that combination has a fuel consumption of 6.34L/100km on a combined cycle.

A complimentary inspection is due at 3,000km or three months and the first service is due at 15,000km or 12 months.

holden-combo-van-dash

Standard features in the cabin include driver and passenger front and side airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners with force limiters, air conditioning, single disc audio system and clothe trim on the seats.

The Holden Combo also comes with an anti-lock braking system and electronic brakeforce distribution. It has a towing capacity of 1,000kg braked and 500kg unbraked.

Holden doesn’t display the recommended retail price on their website but from a quick look at dealer prices it seems that you can expect to pay somewhere between $21,000 and $22,000 for a Holden Combo.

The warranty period is three years or 100,000km … whichever comes first.

Volkswagen Caddy Van
vw-caddyThe Volkswagen Caddy is 4,406mm long and 1,794mm wide. It has a cargo area of 3.2 cubic metres with a maximum floor to ceiling height of 1,244mm and a tray length of 1.78m. A rubber mat for the cargo area is an optional extra. The maximum payload is 780kg for the manual.

Access to the cargo area is via a sliding kerb side door that opens to around 70cm and your choice of a rear tailgate or vertical doors. There are six anchorage points in the cargo area.

You get the choice of a petrol or diesel four-cylinder engine in the Volkswagen Caddy. The petrol version has a direct injection 1.2-litre engine that produces 63kW of power at 4,800rpm and 160Nm of torque at 1,500 rpm. That engine is coupled to a five-speed box and you can expect to get around 6.9L/100km on a combined cycle.

vw-caddy-rear

The diesel version has a common rail direct injection 1.6-litre engine that produces 75kW of power at 4,400rpm and 250Nm of torque at 1,500rpm. That’s coupled to a fie-speed box and you can expect to see fuel consumption figures of around 5.7L/100km on a combined cycle.

Volkswagen don’t say a lot about service intervals so you’ll need to check with a dealer for that information.

Standard features in the cab include air conditioning, driver and passenger airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners, height adjustable front seats with under-seat storage, over-head storage and clothe trim on the seats.

vw-caddy-dash

The Volkswagen Caddy also comes with Electronic Stability Program, ABS, MSR, EDI and Hill Holder.

The warranty period is three years and unlimited kilometers (12 years for corrosion) plus you get road side assistance for the warranty period

The recommended retail price for the Volkswagen Caddy is $21,990 for the petrol version and $26,650 for the diesel and of course you have to add dealer and government charges to those figures to get the on-road cost.

Renault Kangoo
renault-kangoo-vanThe Renault Kangoo is 4,213mm long and 1,829 wide. It has a cargo area of 3.0 cubic metres with a maximum floor to ceiling height of 1,251mm and a tray length of 1,476mm with a sill height ranging from 588mm to 609mm.

Access to the cargo area is via kerb side sliding door and rear doors that open out to 180 degrees and the cargo area comes with a liner as standard along with floor and side anchorage points. The maximum payload for the petrol model is 650kg and 800kg for the diesel model.

You get a choice of petrol or diesel engines in the Renault Kangoo. The 1.6-litre petrol engine produces 78kW of power at 5,750rpm and 148Nm of torque at 3,750rpm. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard with the petrol engine and with that combination you can expect to get around 8.3L/100km on a combined cycle.

renault-kangoo-van-rear

The 1.5-litre diesel engine produces 63kW of power at 3,750rpm and 200Nm of torque at 1,900rpm. A five speed manual transmission is standard with the diesel engine and with that combination you can expect to get around 5.2L/100lm on a combined cycle.

Renault claim that the diesel Kangoo provides the best fuel consumption and emission figures in the class.

Renault don’t say a lot about service intervals so you’ll need to check with a dealer for that information.

Standard features in the cab include height adjustable steering wheel, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, a single CD audio system, overhead parcel shelf and electric folding door mirrors.

renault-kangoo-van-dashboard

Safety features include ABS with EBD, front driver airbag, side impact bars in the doors and load-limiters and pre-tensioners for the seat belts.

The warranty period is 3 years or 150,000km and you get 24 hour road side assistance as well.

Unusually the recommended retail price for both the petrol and diesel version of the Renault Kangoo is the same at $24,490. Government and dealer deliver charges have to be added to that.

So which would you buy? The diesel Kangoo certainly looks good value for money if your looking at running costs and it’s certainly carries the biggest payload but in many cases it’s going to come down to something far more personal than price or payload.

If you’re going to spend a lot of time in the driver’s seat the choice of small van for your small business is going to come down to which seat you feel the most comfortable in and which offers your aching back the most support.

By | May 22nd, 2011|Holden, Renault, VW|1 Comment

Captur – Renault’s New Concept Car

renault-capturWhen you cut through all the hype that filled the press release from Renault about their new concept car – the Captur – you end up with the bare facts.

And the bare facts are that the Captur was designed as a sporty crossover that might appeal to young couples who might like to get off the beaten track. The designers wanted to produce a car that encouraged people to think of movement and lightness and at the same time recognize a vehicle that was both powerful and could handle more than just your average suburban street.

At the same time Renault wanted to produce a concept vehicle that could actually be put into production and be more than just a different looking SUV.

renault-captur-side

While there some unusual interior fittings … the rear of the vehicle has a floor lined with three layers of rope and seat backs fitted to the sides of the vehicle that can fold out to form rear seating complete with seat belts if you want to provide extra seating … the engine is much more down-to-earth.

Renault Captur is fitted with the Energy dCi 160 – a 1.6-litre twin-turbo engine that produces 118kW (160hp). Peak torque of 380Nm cuts in at 1,750rpm.

renault-captur-dash

Renault CAPTUR’s performance gets an extra boost from the RX2 system that improves traction at low speeds. Should one of the two driven wheels lose traction, this entirely new mechanical self-locking differential transfers all or part of the engine’s torque to the wheel with the most grip.

renault-captur-rear

Renault CAPTUR also introduces the Visio-system. This uses a forward-facing camera mounted at the top of the windscreen to provide driver-assistance functions. This new technology is able to embed synthesised images into real-time images of the road ahead displayed on a central screen.

Renault says that this is the principle of augmented reality, and it will enhance the driver’s perception of the external world by superimposing purpose-designed elements. Renault claims that this system helps reduce driving stress, for a relaxed, reassuring ride.

I’ve always had a soft-spot for Renault vehicles and at one time I even owned a Renault 12 so I quite like the looks of the Renault Captur … but I don’t think I could handle a vehicle wanted to augment my reality … the way I drive that’s scary enough without having it ‘augmented’ in any way.

renault-captur-interior

By | February 20th, 2011|Renault|1 Comment

New Renault Kangoo

renault-kangoo-vanWhen it comes to light commercial vehicles there are certainly plenty to choose from and both Renault and VW have announced new models in the last few days.

The Renault Kangoo has been Europe’s top seller in the light commercial vehicle segment and with a very competitive price point the new Renault Kangoo is likely to popular here in Australia too.

Powertrain
The new Renault Kangoo comes with your choice of a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to a four-speed auto box that produces 78 kW of power or a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel combined with a five-speed manual box that produces 63 kW of power.

Fuel consumption for the diesel is 5.2L/100km on the combined cycle while the petrol version returns 8.3L/100km for the same cycle.

Body
The new Kangoo is now based on Renault’s Scenic platform so the Kangoo now comes with a wider track and longer wheelbase than before and that means that there’s more load-carrying space.

Loads up to 1218mm will slide between the rear wheel arches and loads up to 635mm wide can be loaded through the side door.

renault-kangoo-van-side

The Kangoo is also designed for the tough conditions you only find in the city … city drivers may not face the rough roads and wildlife that the rest of us face but they do have to put up with drivers who don’t care about other people’s vehicles.

To make the cost of repairing those inevitable bumps and scrapes a little more bearable the Kangoo body incorporates front mudguards made from noryl – a composite material that is able to absorb small bumps without a trace.

The cabin
The cabin of the new Renault Kangoo incorporates plush seating, plenty of stowage that includes an A4-sized area on the dash, under seat storage, a large centre console and big door pockets.

The glovebox is large enough to hold two laptops.

Comfort
Standard features include Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control with a speed limiter.

The list of standard equipment also includes air conditioning, power front windows, powered, folding, heated body-coloured door mirrors, height adjustable steering wheel, trip computer, 2×15 W AM/FM stereo with single CD/MP3 player and fingertip controls plus RCA Aux. jack, tinted front windows, colour-coded front grille, fog lights, a load area liner and load area lighting and tubular protection bars behind driver’s seat.

renault-kangoo-van-rear

Safety
Safety features on the new Renault Kangoo include a standard driver airbag, four-wheel disc brakes, ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist), seat belts with pre-tensioners and load-limiters.

Options
The options list includes ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) with traction and understeer control on the petrol model, front passenger airbag, side airbags for driver and passenger, automatic lights and windscreen wipers.

You can also have a right-hand side sliding door, glazing for both sliding doors, rear parking sensors, glazed tailgate with rear wiper (in place of barn doors), and a plastic sliding roof flap to allow the transportation of particularly tall items, such as shrubs and bushes.

The bottom line
You can drive the Renault Kangoo away for $25,990

By | December 8th, 2010|Renault|1 Comment

The Renault Clio RS 197

renault-clio-rs197Renault describe the Clio RS 197 as “the F1 inspired hot hatch” and if you look at the specifications there’s no doubt that this three-door hatch really can move along. So if you’re in the market for something that really is all show and all go then this could be for you … but …

Sadly there are always ‘buts’ and for many drivers there are two ‘buts’ about the Renault Clio RS 197 that are hard to overcome.

The first ‘but’ is that this is what some people might consider to be a very ‘serious’ hatch so it doesn’t come with an automatic gearbox … but then if you’re seriously considering a hot hatch from Europe you probably already have a licence that allows you to drive vehicles fitted with manual gearboxes.

The Renault Clio RS197

The second ‘but’ is the price. Although this is only a three-door hatch we’re not talking cheap Korean here so don’t be surprised when I tell you that the on-road price for this car is going to be well over $40,000 … just the list price is $37,990.

So if the lack of an automatic transmission doesn’t bother you and the price hasn’t taken your breath away let’s look at what you get in a Renault Clio RS 197.

The engine
What turns this three-door hatch into a fire-breathing monster is a multi-point fuel injected 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 145kW of power at 7,250rpm and 215Nm of torque at 5,550 rpm.

The Euro 4 engine requires premium unleaded fuel and it consumes 11.6L/100km around the city and 6.5L/100km on the open road. The CO2 emissions are really quite high at 199 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

The engine of the Renault Clio RS197

But if you want a three-door hatch that will do 0 to 100km/h in 6.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 223km/h then I guess emission levels are not going to be much of a concern.

Later in the year we might see a new engine with even better fuel consumption and emission figures for Renault have just announced a new Clio model in Europe that comes fitted with the Renault eco2 engine that complies with the latest European emission laws.

Steering and Suspension
Steering in the Renault Clio RS 197 is a variable electric power assist system with just 2.83 turns lock-to-lock and all that gives you a turning circle of 11 metres kerb-to-kerb.

Suspension is a double-axis strut system on the front and torsion beam with programmed deflection coil springs on the rear.

Brakes
The front brakes are Brembo 4-piston calipers and ventilated discs while the rears are solid discs. ABS with electronic brake distribution is also fitted.

The dashboard of the Renault Clio RS197

Safety
Safety features include a sports-tuned electronic stability programme, front, lateral and curtain airbags, anti-submarining airbags and height-adjustable seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters.

The headlights are double optic and height adjustable and they’re fitted with wipers and a “see me home” function.

Interior
Interior features include height adjustable steering wheel, multi-function trip computer, climate airconditioning, tinted windows, split folding rear seats and map lights for the driver and passenger.

The interior of the Renault Clio RS197

Most people who buy a three-door hatch … especially one like the Renault Clio RS 197 aren’t going to be worried by a lack of luggage space and that’s good because there’s only 228 litres of space when the rear seats are in the upright position and 1,038 when they’re folded down.

Of course if you drive a Renault you tend to be something of an individual and Renault understands that … that’s why they offer a huge range of accessories that include everything from carpet mats to a coat hanger that gives you “crease free clothing storage”.

In between those two extremes there’s a front splitter kit, a mirror finisher kit, a rear spoiler, side skirts, roof bars, a steering wheel insert that features the Renault logo, an interior personalisation kit … and that’s only some of the option list.

So there you have the Renault Clio RS 197 … a genuinely hot three-door hatch that’s definitely not going to be for everyone.

By | January 18th, 2010|Renault|1 Comment

Renault Leguna Estate

renault-leguna-estateRenault have long been known for very distinctive designs for their motor vehicles. Even as far back as the Renault 10 there was no way that you could mistake it for anything else.

So I guess that we shouldn’t be surprised that what Renault labels as an ‘estate’ may not actually look much like a traditional station wagon … what most people think of when they hear a manufacturer describe one of their vehicles as an ‘estate’.

The Renault Laguna Estate certainly doesn’t have the boxy shape that one normally associates with an estate or a station wagon. Instead the Laguna’s steeply sloped rear window gives this estate more of a sports car look although, at 4.8 metres in length, the Renault Laguna is definitely not a sports car.

Although the Laguna Estate rides on exactly the same chassis as the Laguna sedan the rear overhang gives the Laguna Estate a 501 litre luggage area with the rear seats in the raised position and 1,593 litres of space with the rear seats folded down.

Petrol or diesel
The Renault Laguna Estate comes with your choice of a 2.0-litre diesel engine or 2.0-litre turb-charged petrol engine but if you want torque and economy you’ll pass on the petrol engine.

The Renault Leguna motor

The diesel engine is matched to a six-speed automatic gearbox and it’s a combination that returns 7.0L/100km and 185g CO2/km and it complies with Euro V pollutant thresholds.

Maximum torque of 340Nm is produced at 2,000 rpm and maximum power of 110kW arrives at 4,000 rpm.

Even if you’re not into being environmentally friendly you will still find that the diesel engine saves you more for the best consumption figures that the petrol engine can produce is 8.9L/100km along with 210g CO2/km.

Maximum torque of 270Nm for the petrol engine cuts in at 3,250rpm and maximum power of 125kW arrives at 5,000 rpm.

Interior
Remember, this is a Renault so it’s going to be a little different and the positioning of the driver’s controls is no exception. While most manufacturers put the cruise controls somewhere close to the steering wheel don’t look for them there on the Renault Laguna Estate … instead when you want the cruise control look down on the central console.

Front cabin space on the Renault Leguna

The air conditioning system is designed to meet each occupants needs and it also comes with filters that will keep out unwanted fumes and pollens. When the system detects fumes or pollens it automatically closes the outside intake-vents and changes to recycled air from within the cabin.

The dashboard on the Renault Leguna

Safety Features
Active safety features such as ESP, ABS and EBA are fitted across the range and a tyre pressure warning system is standard on the top of the range Renault Laguna Estate.

The Laguna Estate also comes with a new sensor system that enables the side airbags to be deployed in half the time taken by previous systems.

For a drive-away price you’ll need to contact your local dealer.

By | January 3rd, 2010|Renault|Comments Off on Renault Leguna Estate

Renault CLIO Enters Bathurst 12 Hour

clio-rsThe Renault Clio 197 will be represented in the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro 12 – 14 February 2010, the first time a Renault has raced on the mountain since Alan Jones raced the Williams Renault Super Tourer at the Bathurst 1000 in the late 1990’s.

Richard Gartner will be entering the car the Safe-T-Stop Renault Clio as number 97, referring to the model code (Renault Clio 197) in the Class D Production Sports category.

“The Clio was purchased brand new from Northshore Motors, Hornsby, who will also be servicing the car. “The car will run on German KW Suspension components, fitted and supplied by East Coast Suspension, Kirrawee and it will also use a Limited Slip differential designed by Drechsler Motorsport in Germany,” explained Gartner.

clio-197

Gartner took out the 2009 Bathurst 12 Hour class F (Production Sports) in a Honda Integra and will be driving the Renault 197 with GT Champion Mark Eddy. The two have both competed in the 12 hour Sepang and Gartner also boasts regular drives in the 24 hour Nurburgring and Dubai 24 Hour. The two are yet to be joined by a third driver but are feeling confident in the cars ability.

“The Clio will circulate in the mid to low 2 minutes 40 second bracket and should be very reliable. We will try to get through the race with as few pit stops as possible and aim at a class win and top 12 outright,” said Gartner.

The Renault is just one of many cars that have recently entered the Event and is expected to challenge the Honda Integra and Toyota Celica domination of the class in previous 12 Hour Events.

“We are still two and a half months out from the race and expecting up to 40 entries in total,” said Event promoter James O’Brien.

The Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro is now in its 4th year, with a grid of over 50 cars expected to compete. The race features production cars in a class structure representative of the mass road-going market. BMW, Mitsubishi, Ford, Holden, Nissan and Subaru are expected to compete for outright honours, while an Alternative Energy class is open to diesel, hybrid and LPG entries.

The Event will be televised in a 3 hour special on the SEVEN Network, through Fox Sports, New Zealand and other International Markets

By | December 22nd, 2009|News, Renault|Comments Off on Renault CLIO Enters Bathurst 12 Hour

The Renault Koleos

koleos-smallRenault has borrowed technology from Nissan and come up with a compact SUV that looks distinctly like a Renault

With Australia’s continuing love affair with SUVs it seems that any manufacturer who wants to feed the local demand will make sales but the European manufacturers like Renault and Peugeot are going to have problems overcoming the branding that Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi have already achieved.

They may even have to overcome a perception of quirkiness that perhaps lingers in the market place but for Renault the Koleos might just do that (although a different name for the vehicle, models and accessory packs might have given the vehicle even more appeal).

Renault is mid-range of the compact SUV market with the Koleos and it comes with plenty of features that will make it very competitive in that market. The Koleos comes in two levels of trim with your choice of 4×2 or 4×4 and petrol or diesel engines.

“Renault has applied its high standards of safety, engineering and design, along with great value for money, to the SUV market and, as a result, the Koleos is an outstanding vehicle,” says Renault Managing Director, Rudi Koenig. “Customers can choose between 4×2 and 4×4, petrol and diesel with all models extremely well-equipped and, of course, safety that is second to none.”

International Pedigree
Launched in Europe in June, the Koleos is the first 4×4 crossover vehicle to be produced by Renault and will be sold in over 40 countries around the world.

The first truly ‘global’ product to emerge from the Renault-Nissan Alliance the Koleos was designed by Renault, developed by Nissan and is manufactured in Renault Samsung Motors’ Busan plant in Korea. The global durability testing programme included over 30,000km in Australia’s harsh northern climates.

Renault Koleos front view

Exterior
Renault wanted the lines of the Koleos to be both distinctive and pleasing to the eye. The front-end of Koleos features the grille-mounted Renault logo flanked by air intakes and modern elliptical headlamps and the side aspect was designed to enhance its 4×4 calling and ruggedness.

Renault believes that “the arrow that flows from the rear lights along the car’s flanks to the front gives Koleos a particularly assertive character and the distinctive lines of its hatch form a movement that spills from the bottom of the rear window to converge on the rear logo which sits on a gloss black finish plaque”.

Rear access is via a split-opening, ‘clamshell’-type tailgate to assist cargo area access although those who have tried loading luggage over an open tailgate may beg to differ with the suggestion that it assists access to the cargo area.

Rear view of the Renault Koleos

The upper part of the hatch permits access to the boot in cramped spaces and allows items of more than one metre wide to be carried. When lowered, the bottom part of the tailgate serves as a handy seat for two adults (up to 200kg).

Standard exterior features include: body coloured bumpers, chrome-effect front and rear skid plates, 17’ alloy wheels, satin chrome door handles and aluminium roof-rails.

The exterior differences between the entry-level Dynamique and top-of-the-range, Privilege, are subtle. Both models are fitted with 17” alloy wheels (with differing designs) and the Privilege is fitted with front and rear parking sensors as standard.

There are no styling, or badging, cues to differentiate between 4×2, 4×4, petrol or diesel models.

Interior
The driving comfort, noise levels and interior design of the Koleos interior set it apart from most compact SUV’s.

Interior of the Renault Koleos

All controls fall easily to hand and the flowing dash design is finished in soft touch materials. A leather-wrapped steering wheel (height- and reach-adjustable) and gear shift is standard on all models.

Renault Koleos dashboard

A raft of equipment aimed at taking the stress out of motoring underpins how effortlessly Koleos fits into the Renault family. Features include the Renault keyless card and start button function, automatic handbrake, headlamps and wiper activation, dual-zone climate control, satellite audio controls, cruise control (with speed limiter), power windows, roof-mounted child-minder mirror, electronic child locks and adjustment of the exterior mirrors.

The comfort of rear seat passenger is enhanced by two, b-pillar mounted, air vents with fan speed controls located on the back of the centre console. Folding tables are also integrated in the back of the front seats.

The Dynamique interior is finished in dark charcoal with cloth trimmed seats, complete with satin cabin highlights.

The Privilege is trimmed in beige leather and fitted with heated front seats with electric controls for the driver. Perimeter entry is also standard.

The ‘Modularity Pack” (Standard on Privilege, optional on Dynamique) includes an ‘easy estate’ system which enables the 60/40-split rear bench seat to be folded away at the flick of a lever. The pack also includes a forward folding front seat back which allows items up to 2.6m long to be transported, adjustable incline on rear seat backs, a removable centre console insert, rear armrest storage and a 12-volt outlet in the cargo area.

An optional electric panoramic sunroof is also available.

In typical Renault fashion there are plenty of storage spots all around the cabin. The dashboard includes an air- chilled, 15-litre glovebox, while the storage space in the centre console is extremely large. Extra space is provided in a drawer located beneath the front passenger seat, door bins will take a 500ml bottle and the lidded stowage space incorporated in the armrest is ideal for CDs.

The Dynamique is equipped with a single CD, AM/FM audio system whilst the top-of-the-range Privilege is fitted Bose® developed audio system which comprises a digital amplifier, seven loudspeakers and a sub-woofer.

All Koleos models are fitted with an auxiliary audio input for MP3/iPod connections.

Particular attention has been paid to effective damping of both mechanical and road noise. Effective use of balancer shafts and a twin-mass flywheel damper has been made to minimise cabin intrusion from the diesel engine along with engine subframe filtering and soundproofing materials.

These solutions combine to give Koleos an extremely quiet cabin environment, especially on poor quality roads.

Safety For All
Koleos is fitted with the very latest active and passive safety features. ESP is standard on all models.

In emergency braking situations, drivers can count on ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist and ESP with understeer control. Even before the latter kicks in, the all-wheel drive transmission control system intervenes to adjust the front/rear torque split as soon as the first signs of oversteer or understeer are detected.

Koleos benefits from Renault’s long-standing work in real-life accident analysis. In terms of passive safety, its body structure features programmed crumple zones at the front and the back. The cabin was designed as a survival cell for passengers in the event of an accident.

Koleos is the tenth Renault model to be awarded a five-star EuroNCAP crash test ratings. Koleos comes with a long list of equipment committed to optimising occupant protection, including dual-front, dual-side and curtain airbags and load limiters for the front and rear seatbelts and front seatbelt pretensioners

Powertrains – 4×2 and 4×4
Koleos will be available in 4×2 petrol and 4×4 petrol and diesel powered variants. The 4×2 Dynamique is powered by the 2.5 litre petrol engine and is available with a 6-speed manual or CVT.

Diesel power for the Renault Koleos

The 4×4 Dynamique is a powered by three engine/transmission combinations. The 2.5 litre petrol is fitted with a CVT and two variations of the 2.0 litre diesel engine are available. The 6-speed manual dCi is produces 127kW while the 6-speed adaptive automatic transmission is mated to a 110kW engine.

The top of line 4X4 Privilege is only available in petrol/CVT format.

The 2.0 litre diesel engine features the very latest diesel engine technologies, including piezoelectric injectors, common-rail 1,600-bar fuel injection, special-design pistons and a variable-geometry turbo which all combine to make this the most efficient four-cylinder diesel of its class.

The automatic variant produces 110kW of power at 4,000rpm and 320Nm of torque at 2,000rpm, while the manual diesel produces 127kW of power (at 3,750rpm) and 360Nm of torque (at 2,000rpm).

In addition to the effortless performance offered by both engines fuel economy is equally impressive with the 2.0 litre dCi manual version returning a combined useage of 7.9 l/100km and the automatic 8.3 l/100km. CO2 emission for both models are 209 g/km and 221 g/km respectively.

The 2.5-litre Euro 4-compliant petrol engine which delivers peak power of 126kW at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 226Nm at 4,400rpm. On the 4×2 Dynamique models the engine is paired with a manual six-speed gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 4×4 Privilege comes standard with CVT.

The 2.5 engine is extremely fuel efficient with the 4×2 manual version returning 9.6 l/100km while producing 230 g/km of CO2

4x4i
Equally at home on all type of roads Koleos benefits from Nissan’s experience of all-wheel drive transmission.

The ‘All mode 4x4i’ control system, Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control not only enhance safety performance but also deliver genuine off-road ability.

The MacPherson-type front suspension combines with the fully-independent multilink rear suspension to deliver comfort and directional stability in all situations. Meanwhile, the dampers and springs have been tuned to match Koleos’ specific dimensions and contribute to the targeted balance between comfort and handling. The rear dampers are mounted at an angle in order to free up as much space as possible between the wheel wells (an extra 100mm compared with vertically mounted dampers).

Ground clearance of 206mm (diesel version: 188mm) and approach and departure angles of 27 and 31 degrees respectively are further illustrations of Koleos’ off-road credentials. (Note – X-Trail ground clearance – 200mm, approach angle 26o, departure angle 22o)

In ‘auto’ mode, the electronically-controlled torque split between the front and rear is automatically calculated as a function of available grip.

In normal conditions, torque is delivered to the front wheels only. Should less grip become available, however, some of the torque is instantly diverted to the rear. In extreme conditions, up to 50 per cent of torque can be transferred to the back wheels in this way. For optimal pullaway from standstill however much grip is available, the system delivers engine toque to all four wheels.

This front-rear split is ensured by an electronic coupler and controlled by the latest-generation ‘All mode 4×4-i’ system developed by Nissan for X-Trail.

The coupler’s bespoke control unit uses data communicated by the engine control unit and by different sensors (wheel speed, yaw, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, steering wheel angle, accelerator pedal position) to instantly optimise traction in all conditions.

When grip is at a premium, such as on snow, mud, dirt or sand, the driver only has to flick a switch on the dashboard to electronically lock the transmission in 4×4 mode and thereby direct 50% of torque to the rear. The transmission can also be locked in front-wheel drive mode.

Koleos will also be available in permanent two-wheel drive form for those customers wanting crossover looks and packaging, but who have no call for all-wheel drive transmission.

Koleos is equipped with a Hill Start Assist function which can prove a particularly useful asset during everyday motoring. This system is automatically activated on gradients of more than 10 per cent to prevent the vehicle from slipping back down the slope. It also does away with the need for the driver to switch rapidly from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal which is inherent in all other vehicles.

Similarly, Renault Koleos is equipped with a Hill Descent Control system for even safer off-road motoring. This function is activated via a switch on the central fascia and automatically holds the vehicle’s speed at a maximum of 7kmh on downhill gradients of 10 per cent or more without calling for use of the brakes. Particularly useful when Koleos is used off-road, this system also contributes to active safety since it allows the vehicle’s downhill speed to be controlled on steep, snowy or icy slopes. The function also works in reverse gear.

True to its ability and application all Koleos models are fitted with full-size, 17” alloy spare wheels.

Warranty
The Koleos comes with a three-year or 150,000km warranty.

By | December 12th, 2009|Renault|2 Comments

BMW Announces an Electric Mini?

BMW is said to be preparing to build an electric MiniIt’s being reported that BMW will soon commence building 500 electric versions of it’s ever-popular Mini.

The Chairman of BMW AG is reported as saying that this small group of cars will allow BMW to gain knowledge and experience in the production of eletrically powered vehicles.

It’s believed that 490 of the electric Minis will be shipped to California where they will be leased to selected customers.

If the report is correct then BMW has joined other European manufacturers including Volkswagen, Daimler, Peugeot and Renault in taking the first tentative steps towards building a vehicle that produces zero emissions.

By | July 10th, 2008|Mercedes Benz, Mini, Renault, VW|Comments Off on BMW Announces an Electric Mini?

The New Renault Laguna

There’s something about French cars that appeals to me … they’re quirky and definitely fun to drive and that’s probably why I still regret selling my Peugot 404 wagon (you could crank start it) and my Renault 12 sedan – the one that was covered in paint blemishes from new but Renault never quite got round to fixing for me.

That inherent character is still around today, I mean how could you look at something as ugly as the Megane and not love it. And I guess it’s that character that made me take a second look when the promo for the new Renault Laguna arrived in my inbox.

Renault Leguna

It’s not due to arrive till much later in the year but Renault doesn’t want to surprise you by having it arrive here unannounced. The new Laguna will come with a “wide range of petrol and diesel engines” all coupled to a six-speed gearbox or a five-speed auto.  And even though the promo forgets to mention the size of the engine I think 2.0 litre is going to be the standard here.

Renault Laguna rear

The new Laguna comes with ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist. It also comes fitted with dual side airbags the include new impact sensors that allow the bags to be deployed in half the time taken by other vehicles.

Renault Laguna interiorInside the car you’ll get all the creature comforts you could want in a car. There’s an air quality system that automatically closes when it detects impurities in the air as well as dual zone climate control with three modes to keep everyone happy.

Interestingly the Laguna will also be available in a station wagon variant. You can find more information about the new Renault Laguna here

By | June 19th, 2008|Renault|Comments Off on The New Renault Laguna

Nissan to Launch an Electric Car

The head of Nissan has announced that the company will be launching an electric car into the US market place by 2010.

Nissan and Renault will work together on the required technology and by 2012 will have the vehicle available outside of the United States. Nissan will focus on marketing the vehicle in Asia … especially China … while Renault will sell the vehicle into the European market.

By | March 6th, 2008|Nissan, Renault|5 Comments

No Frills Renault

I have to admit to having a serious soft spot for French cars. My first French car was a Renault 12 sedan and my second was a Peugot 404 wagon. They were different, they were quirky and they were reliable so it’s no wonder that I still look at French cars and sometimes get the itch to buy another one.

I’m not sure though that I would buy this one simply because I’ve gone beyond the no-frills level but if it were sold here in Australia it would probably sell like hot cakes on price alone.

Renault Logan Sedan

It’s the Renault Logan built by Renault’s subsidiary Dacia and in Europe the base model retails for around 6,000 Euros – thats about $A9,500. While many pundits in the Europe described this car as an ugly duckling when it was launched in 2004 it has certainly captured a very large share of the market.

The demand is so great that in Germany and France there’s a 6 month waiting list for the sedan and the 7 seat wagon

Renault Logan wagon

Renault are preparing to move into Indian market and parts of South America with both the sedan and wagon and the new van that has just been released and expects to be selling one million Renault Logans worldwide by 2010.

Renault Logan van

Will we ever see the Renault Logan in Australia? The quirky side of me certainly hopes so.

By | July 14th, 2007|General News, Renault|1 Comment

Australian Summer Cars 2

Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet

Yesterday we started this series with one of the cheapest way for someone to get into an open topped car in Australia – a 2000 Holden Barina Cabriolet. There’s no way today’s convertible could be called ‘cheap’ but it certainly is the most unusual of all the convertibles in the ones we will be looking at over the next few days.

While all the other convertibles in our list of Australian summer cars have either metal or cloth tops the Renault Megan Coupe Cabriolet comes with something very unique – a glass roof. But then unique is nothing new to Renault

Renault Megane Cabriolet

The Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet is powered by a 2 litre 16 valve 4 cylinder motor that puts out 98 kilowatts of power. It comes fitted with fully intergrated automatic roll bars, leather trimmed upholstery plus a full range of extras.

Renault Megane Cabriolet

Prices start at $48990 for the manual version and rise to $51,490 for the automatic and you can see more of it here.

By | January 6th, 2007|General News, Renault|3 Comments