What is it?
The Sport Tourer is 62mm longer than the hatch, and Renault is hoping it will lure potential Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra buyers away thanks to its combination of space, practicality and good looks.
Buyers face a dizzying array of 21 engine and trim combinations. We tried the 158bhp 2.0 litre dCi 160, which is the most powerful diesel in the range, and the Dynamique trim level. Unfortunately this combination won’t go on sale in the UK – but the two will be available separately.
What’s it like?
No matter how hard Renault tries to get away from the fuddy-duddy associations of the estate name by calling this the Sport Tourer, it still has to be judged by the same standards. First and foremost that means trying to lure buyers looking for space and practicality.
Those 62mm over the hatch have been used well. There’s lots of knee room for rear-seat passengers and the boot opens out to an impressive 1600 litres. The front passenger seat also folds forward to open load length up to an impressive 2.55 metres – good enough for most DIY needs.
Opening up this space isn’t entirely practical, though. To fold the rear seats back you first have to flip up the seat bases (and make room for them by pushing the front seats forward), and the space you are then left with has a step in it that dents usability.
The interior of the car is pleasant, without being dazzling. The materials and dash layout are simple and effective, the range of adjustments good for any size or shape of driver and the array and type of storage areas impressive.
However, no matter how comfortable the driver, it’s still tricky to see out the back thanks to the sloping roofline and thick rear pillars. If the headrests are up, this problem becomes even worse.