So this is essentially a Megane hatch with a boot grafted on, is it?

Wrong. The Talisman is an all-new car that will fly Renault’s flag in the competitive D-segment, duking it out with Camrys and Accords and of course offerings from Kia and Hyundai. In fact, Renault wants it to be the leader in its class — lofty ambitions, really, given Toyota’s dominance.

It looks pretty good though…

Doesn’t it? The C-shaped LED daytime running lights upfront are Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker’s signature, and they give the Talisman loads of presence. The long body, low-slung roofline and the light clusters at the back give it a proper limo-esque appearance. It’s pretty spacious in there, too, so the space isn’t wasted.

Is the show matched by adequate go? Bet it has a CVT sullying the drive!

Unfortunately yes, the base PE specification gets a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine sending a wheezy 138 horsepower to the front wheels via a CVT. There is also an option of a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-pot that makes a more respectable 187 horsepower and 260Nm of torque. Best of all, it replaces the dreaded rubber band transmission with a seven-speed double clutch auto. That’s the one we’d have.

Sounds good. How about the interior?

It’s better than what you’d get in older Renaults, but there are still some plastics that wouldn’t exactly be considered premium. There is decent kit, though, with a large infotainment screen and oh, the R-Link 2 system works great.

I need a family car, when is it coming here and how much are we talking?

Renault Middle East is yet to confirm but expect the Talisman to be competitively priced. We reckon it will sit somewhere below Toyota Camry’s Dh83,900. It’s expected to go on sale this September.