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  • Lots of luxury kit, no charge for the diesel, good on-road dynamics, refined engines, five-year unlimited warranty & roadside assist
  • V6 petrol could do with more torque, styling may be too understated for some

OUR RATING
6 / 10



Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review

Models driven:

Latitude Luxe 2.5 litre V6 Petrol, six-speed automatic transmission: $42,490

Latitude Luxe 2.0 litre dCi (diesel), six speed automatic transmission: $42,490

It’s a nice looking car, if not a touch conservative for a French carmaker, but even though it’s built in South Korea by Renault Samsung Motors, there’s a definite Euro feeling about the Latitude from the moment you climb aboard and settle in to the leather pews.

Far from the polarising shape of the previous generation Renault Megane, the latest offering from French automotive giant is indeed understated and should appeal to a much wider audience than many of its past designs.

One of the major attractions of this car is the high level of equipment Renault Australia has loaded into the base model Latitude, everything from proper keyless entry (that will automatically lock the car when you walk away), Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, heated front seats to power folding mirrors and an electronic hand brake are just some of the many features of the new Renault.

But for around $5000 more you can have the Renault Latitude Luxe, which adds a raft of additional features worth considerably more than the asking price, including a high-end Bose sound system (outstanding), three-zone climate control with toxicity sensor and active carbon filter, and a two-mode driver’s seat massage system that uses pneumatic rollers to reduce stress in peak hour crawls.

Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review

Its not just the high level of creature comforts that impresses, it’s as much about the quality of the various materials and switchgear that make this cabin a nice place place to be. The proper metal highlights around the shift gate and on the shifter itself remind me of that which is found in the more premium models from Volkswagen and Audi.

We kicked off the drive program in the 2.5-litre petrol engine model, which is in fact a Euro 4-compliant powertrain from the Nissan VQ family.

It’s not what I’d call an overly powerful engine, with just 133kW and an equally average 235Nm of torque, but it is smooth, as well as refined. And for a car that is just 2mm short of a BMW 5 Series, it actually pulls this luxury spec Latitude along very nicely.

It’s the level of refinement that impresses me most about this engine, and the fact that it’s nice and quiet inside the cabin, even under load when you have reason to punch it. And punch it you will need to when overtaking trucks or other cars at speed, as there’s not a lot of low-down torque.

Ride and handling dynamics are also well sorted in the Latitude. The Luxe variant rides on 18-inch rims and Renault has chosen to fit the car with exceptionally good rubber in form of Continental ContiSportContact3 tyres, which provide superb grip in the wet or dry.

Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review

Even over some fairly shabby roads, the ride was comfortable and the car felt well and truly planted, even at the 110km/h speed limit. More supple than soft, but firm enough for the car to track exactly where you point it, would be an apt description of the suspension compliance.

While the Latitude wasn’t designed to a be a sports sedan, it certainly feels slightly sporty in nature, and better on road than several of its Japanese and Korean competitors.

I particularly like the hydraulic steering set-up in the petrol variant. It’s well weighted from the straight-ahead position and responds quickly to driver input. It’s also accurate and the car goes precisely where you point it, without any of that vague or numb feeling you get with many cars these days.

The brakes are also very good with a nicely progressive pedal feel with all the usual safety features in that department including ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist and automatic activation of hazard warning lights (normally a feature of higher end cars).

The leather seats also provide great support, but they are of the firmer kind (like Volkswagen) rather than a more sumptuous design. That said after a couple of hundred kilometres behind the wheel I can report these are of the back-friendly variety and offer excellent lumbar support.

The six-speed transmission is a smooth shifting unit, but for overtaking you’re better off using the manual sequential option for higher revs before shifting gear ratios for extra pace.

Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review

With so much luxury kit on board the Latitude, peak hour commutes or highway holiday travel with the kids will be anything but boring.

Switch on the 10-speaker Bose audio system and you’re in for a treat. It’s been engineered specifically for the Latitude, by a team of Renault and Bose engineers, with careful attention paid to the positioning of the loudspeakers in relation to materials used throughout the cabin. It also produces crystal clear sound clarity at any volume and considerably better than I expected.

Bluetooth audio streaming is standard fitment across the model range and is simple to activate, as tested with my iPhone.

There’s also one-touch up and down windows and sun protection blinds for the side rear windows and rear windscreen. Add to that heated and power folding side mirrors, chilled glove box, and auto headlights and wipers and that still only represents a partial inventory of creature comforts found on board the Latitude.

It’s a spacious cabin too, with plenty of width for extra elbow-room between passengers, and although I didn’t spend a lot of time in the rear seats, the legroom back there would have to be close to class-leading in the mid-size passenger segment.

You won’t have to step up to the Luxe in order to get the fully integrated satellite navigation system either – it’s also standard across the model range. While it’s an intuitive unit by Tom-Tom that works well enough, it looks too small for the allocated space provided.

Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review

Renault certainly hasn’t missed much when it comes to the Latitude as there’s also front and rear parking sensors, while the Luxe includes a reversing camera.

The car also boasts a very good monitoring system in a graphic TFT screen between the two mail instrument dials, which means you can check a range of information including actual engine oil level and the all-important individual tyre pressures.

Stepping into the 2.0-litre diesel variant, known as the dCi, with a healthy dose of 380 Newton-metres, my initial response is: ‘yes, this is the car for me’. Peak torque arrives at just 2000rpm and passing those B-Doubles is pretty much effortless.

While Renault has clearly put in some major effort in the NVH department – in that the diesel clatter is largely muffled and hardly intrusive inside the cabin – it’s still not as refined as the V6 petrol version.

That said, with a combined cycle fuel consumption of just 6.5 L/100km (and remember this is a medium/large car) and plenty of poke when you need it, I can see the diesel being the family favourite, although Renault Australia is predicting a 60/40 skew in favour of petrol.

The big plus on the diesel side is that apart from far fewer stops at the petrol station, the benefits of a bucket-load more torque and the added drivability that brings will be at no additional charge, as Renault has priced both Latitude models at the same price.

Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review
Renault Latitude Review

From a handling and ride perspective, you can feel the additional weight of the diesel powertrain over the front end, and the steering feels slightly less accurate due to its electro-hydraulic set-up, but the differences are minor and don’t affect the overall enjoyment of the car.

The six-speed auto transmission is equally smooth-shifting in the diesel, and again the sequential shift option adds a little excitement to the driving experience, at least in the twisty bits.

It may not be quite as exciting as piloting a Megane RS 250, but Renault has produced a very appealing package in the Latitude that should find plenty of willing buyers wanting a more premium choice at a value-for-money price.


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RENAULT LATITUDE BREAKDOWN

Renault Latitude Review
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  • PROJET – L

    Good review.
    Appears to be a good car.

    Where is the 6 speed auto from?
    Is it a Nissan unit?

    • Lucia Light

      The 6 speed auto is made by Aisin of Japan and is used by probably all Japanese manufacturers.

  • save it for the track

    How big is the boot? How does it compare to Maxima? (drive wise) Are the specs available anywhere yet? i.e. Boot space, wheelbase etc. etc. ?

  • chippies!

    I like it, but that front overhang…

    • Gene

      I am looking at the car, something is wrong about it but can\’t tell what. Then you mentioned the front overhang and it dawns on me! It is the same problem with the 407.

  • Shak

    Renault seem to have the perfect package here. Shed loads of kit, refinement and quality in spades, good fuel consumption, a not ugly design, but not spine tingling either. This thing pretty much trumps the lifeless Camry in every way, except one. Badge. While The Camry has a big T on its bonnet, it will be class leader. I just hope for Renaults sake that they can market this car in such a crowded marketplace.

  • Tom R

    Don’t get me wrong, Iove some Renaults. The Laguna was so cool when I first saw it and I ADORE the sporty Clio’s and Megane’s. But this has ms pulling my hair out! Sharp pricing, great equipment, quality interior, etc. But i can’t help but this Renault has distanced itself from offering a French vehicle to that of a Korean vehicle. It looks like a Lexundai LS 45. with a Saab bonnet. *glares*. And I just don’t think it looks quality… Dunno, bit mismatched, out of proportion, badly placed shut lines?
    I don’t know whether I like it or not!!!

  • Roger Ramjet

    It looks like the last Sonata. Using the Maxima as its foundation means it will be the most reliable and probably best built Renault in many many years!

  • NotTheStig

    Looks an OK car but the poor resale will make buyers run away.

    The big issue for me is that it looks like something out of a advert, you know, the type where they make a car unrecognisable as a particular brand. It just looks like a Hyundai/Toyota/Subaru/Korean Holden mishmash…

    The Laguna had some sort of presence. This has less than zero…

  • A

    Looks good from the back, but the front looks so awkward and understyled, like a Korean car of ten years ago. And it’s a shame because as far as options, interior quality and design, dimensions and value go they seem to have it down…

  • kris

    resale value is going to be problem. It looks like a good car especially in its diesel guise.

  • Octavian

    I don’t know about this one Renault, the Clio and Megane are interesting cars but this just seems so conventional.

  • STP

    Ni class leader here.. just a quiet little cruiser with heaps of nice little goodies.

  • cristi_tt

    Here, in Romania, on the second hand market, Renault is synonymous with automotive unreliability, although it is one of the top 3 best selling new car brands ( mostly bought for fleets – every sales agent drives a Renault ). So, there goes the resale value of this “Renault”. It’s a shame, because Renault’s last attempt to succeed in the executive segment, VelSatis, was quite a good car in itself ( I have driven both petrol and diesel – 2004 3.5 V6 and 2005 3.0 V6 dCi ), though a total sales failure.

  • Aidon Luc

    Oh Renault, you fine girl, and you know you fine too.

    and that steering wheel, darn…girl I’ma steer you right into this freak right here, I’ma eat it all up.

  • nickdl

    It’s a nice car, the Latitude, but it’s just boring. That’s okay in something like a Hyundai or a Toyota but it’s a shame to see in a brand like Renault, renowned for quirky, exciting cars that appeal to the heart. As a former owner of a hideously unreliable Renault in the 90′s, it’s good to see that the company is making a big effort to iron that out with a longer warranty.

    I just wish they were bringing out the range of cars they sold in Europe. It’s great to see the Clio RS200 and Megane RS250 out here, but it’s just a shame to see boring Korean cars under the same marque. They’re very well equipped, but they don’t seem all that special to drive and they certainly aren’t exciting to look at.

    Renault clearly have bold plans to increase their sales in Australia and there’s little wrong with that. Although I would be surprised to see many Latitudes on the roads if their current marketing efforts are kept up. The last Renault ad I remember on TV was for the previous Megane, and that was over 5 years ago. Small wonder the Laguna hardly sold (apart from being a pretty average car), no one ever knew it was here. The same goes for these new models; the mainstream buyers that Renault are trying to attract would have no idea of the new Fluence, Megane or Latitude because there has been absolutely zero marketing.

    Good luck to Renault in trying to become more mainstream; all they seem to be doing is alienating the existing buyers with conservative models while having to appeal to the masses. Let’s hope that all changes soon.

    Oh by the way, wouldn’t the Latitude be classified as a large car given its similarity to the Maxima? If it’s the same size as a 5 Series it’s definitely bigger than most mid-size cars.

  • Dlr1

    its exactly the car Renault needs in Australia. Sharp pricing, loads of features, styling that doesnt alienate most potential customers and shouldnt age to quickly and a warranty that will help its resale value. Its resale probably wont be any worse that that of rivals like the 407, C5 or the Skoda. Improved new car sales volumes always help resale values. You only have to look at how resale values on Golfs and Passats have improved in the last 5 or 6 years as their new volumes have risen.
    Potentially this car could be a very popular alternative in the novated lease market where it can be used for 3 or 4 years and resold with factory warranty remaining.

    • Real Renaults

      If its “exactly the car Renault needs in Australia”,  then why don’t we see any on the road??? Don’t get me wrong, Renaults are a great brand, but  their attempts at cornering the market with Korean cars just doesn’t fit the brand.  I haven’t seen one on the road yet. Oh yes, I did see one parked out the back in a Renault lot, looking totally forgotten, which I think reflects the market for this car

  • Yunkel

    Took the petrol version for a test, Great drive but maybe a little gutless. Well appointed car. I am waiting to drive the diesel which I am probably going to buy

    • Mark

      Let me know what u think of the diesel.
      Was tossing between the new passat and a titanium mondeo,but this looks very nice aswell.
      Reliability was my main concern.But if its built in korea on a nissan platform,it might be the most reliable renault ever.

  • Leo

    You can buy the most luxury version with 2L diesel and manual gearbox in Belgium for 26kGBP or 42k$. I did. Drove Grand Espace before. This is top quality, drives fine, plenty of space, far more value for money. Compared it with a new Passat, even a C220, and I like this better. OK from the outside many cars look better in this segment, but I’m INSIDE. And it is really great to drive long distances, relax and enjoy the Bose. This Latitude is quiet, economic and elegant. And the best bargain you’ll find.

  • BoZo

    Hi Can anybody please let me know how the Luxe diesel goes?

    • http://www.searchandselect.com.au Dale

      We’ve had our diesel latitude for about 6 weeks now. Great car. So so quiet & smooth at highway speeds. Diesel torque makes overtaking on the open road easy. Evaluated Passat, Mondeo as well. Value for $ Renault wins easy and the diesel has ample torque – heaps better than the petrol variant (tested it to make sure). And dont let any reliability concern put you off because it has a 5 year unlimited km warranty. Great peace of mind.

    • BoZo

      Got the Luxe diesel, missing a bit of power on take off (owned a ford bf series2)besides takeoff power is as good, done 2000k’s on trip average 6.5 ltr/100k (will not get this around town)& handles well. Lots of things to play with, great sound / nav system etc,etc,etc,etc,etc.
      Test drove 2 x Mondeo’s (thought there was a problem with the first but the second did not impress)& VW jetta.
      Jetta was as good to drive power wise but with the extra’s latitude was by far greater value.
      Hope this helps someone.

  • Palah

    Currently have Laguna Privilege V6 wagon and very enjoyable car to drive (still has the leather smell after 110k). Has Mich. pilot sport 3 tyres the grip in the wet is fantastic (V8 holdens/fords etc) get left off the mark when raining & has high cornering levels(gr8 for a wagon). ..have not seen any crash data & hope they kept that side up as ancap results have shown Laguna one of the best stats seen in a car (the coloured person is all green besides yellow on 1 leg) leaves other so called 5 star cars wanting :)..pity Renault car dealer network sucks (for us) since Parramatta Sydney closed which would mean a 30+ min drive for service. Review sounds like Latitude drives much better(no wonder were flogging out old model at $30k) Drove the last Laguna but preferred our car :( …why have not driven yet, tried Passat, Mondeo Titanium,Peugeot 508/GT… but Latitude looks worth a try

  • BoZo

    12000k’s- 8.2 ltr/100k’s = city & country, all still works well & had no issues, traveled Sydney to Brisbane for holidays and handled freeways very well, for size & weight power & acceleration is very good,still trying to get used of diesel lag on take off.
    BoZo

  • Gjsmith Smith1

    have got the very same drivetrain in my Laguna 111 diesel, just done a three week trip around Australia, about 13,700K’s, absoloutely couldn’t fault this vehicle, absolutely gobsmacked at the economy, over 1000K’s per tank, mile eater in sublime comfort, Renault’s forever

  • Ashfand

    hi all
    is there any one who has experience about about this car? (renault latitude)
    I’ve heard that the noise of the motor and also the outside can be heard inside the cabin and it is annoying.
    is it correct or not?
    thank you so much

    • BoZo

      Ashfand owned the diesel for about a year now 28,000k’s, had no problems, i would be a bit worried about spare parts as there is bugger all out there (seen 2) diesel noise is no worry in the cabin, check oil level that makes it noisier, after first service they did not put correct oil level 1st warning light came on before leaving it was noisy, they took it back to workshop and topped up, still a bit noisy, checked dip stick when home still only half way up the dip stick, topped up OK. (when i took it in for 1st service the bloke at Renault service did not know what a Latitude was and i think it was the first the mechanic had seen.
       Still happy with it,
      Cheers BoZo

  • Vpk

    Nice family car- relaxing

  • Lucia Light

    Hi Have just ordered the 2014 Latitude and having owned many quality cars i have to say that this one takes the cake in accessories and price and to just rate it as six/10 does not say much about the reviewer. I ordered the Privilege model which has everything one can want except the led daylight lights which of course i can fit later. As having back problems which i feel will be alleviated by the massager which happened on a long test drive. Anyone who wants a reliable car with luxury would do themselves a favour by taking one of these latitudes for a test drive instead of relying on biased third party individuals who cannot look outside the box when testing a new car like this one. The style which is frequently bagged has the good fortune of not aging like some makes. In ten years it will still look up to date. The next update just only has to have the rear seat lower or roof raised to improve access for tall people but of course its not hard to just duck your head instead of moaning you hit the door sill. The use of the samsung ioniser is a leap forward in making this a safe vehicle on long distance drives as fatigue will not be a problem. These devices have a history of being beneficial to our health and well being.

Renault Latitude Specs

2.0 dCi : 2.0L DIESEL TURBO F/INJ - 6 SP AUTOMATIC - 4D SEDAN
Car Details
Make
RENAULT
Model
LATITUDE
Variant
2.0 dCi
Series
X43
Year
2011
Body Type
4D SEDAN
Seats
5
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
DIESEL TURBO F/INJ
Engine Size
2.0L
Cylinders
DIESEL TURBO 4
Max. Torque
380Nm @  2000rpm
Max. Power
127kW @  3750rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
78.4W/kg
Bore & Stroke
84x90mm
Compression Ratio
15.5
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
DIESEL
Fuel Tank Capacity
66
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.5L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1620
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1483mm
Length
4897mm
Width
1832mm
Ground Clearance
138mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1300  Unbrake:650
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
11.2
Front Rim Size
7x17
Rear Rim Size
7x17
Front Tyres
225/50 R17
Rear Tyres
225/50 R17
Wheel Base
2762
Front Track
1565
Rear Track
1552
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Heated Front Seats, Power front seat Driver
Control & Handling
17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering
Entertainment
Radio CD with 8 Speakers
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front
Interior
Leather Upholstery, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Side Airbags
Security
Central Locking Remote Control
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
60 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
30-K-10
Country of Origin
KOREA