Aside from the practicality that the Renault affords, I must say that it also proves decent to drive but it could have been so much better.
The 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-pot makes a respectable 168bhp and 233Nm of torque, but the potentially more impressive performance of the engine is slightly dampened by the Xtronic CVT. What we have here is one of those ‘intelligent’ rubber bands that simulates up to seven ‘ratios’ to give you the impression of driving a conventional automatic, however when you try some enthusiastic driving you are met with a persistent drone from the engine due to the gearbox.
When cruising along, the cabin is kept fairly quiet, with the fixed-rate springs and dampers affording a refined, comfortable ride. Body roll is kept well under check, and the steering offers a decent amount of feedback considering the low average standards expected in this class.
It’s not too bad on the move — and I suppose you could always turn the radio up to drown out the CVT.