Micropost: 2016 Renault Talisman

The other day I saw this car for the first time. A shortage of time stopped me from giving it a close look. It’s the Renault Talisman, in the metal.

2016 Renailt Talisman in Aarhus, Denmark.
2016 Renault Talisman in Aarhus, Denmark, in an unusual colour.

The French justifiably have protection for their film and television media. I wonder if something similar is needed for French cars. Ceci n’est pas une voiture francaise. I don’t have a cedilla on my keyboard, before anyone writes in. It’s quite professional and also dotted with a few oddities such as the faint swerve of the base of the side glass over the rear wheel, the eccentric shutline that dives from the base of the A-pilllar to the front lamp and the useless vent under the A-pillar. The rest is generic Eurocar.

This is to 2016 what the Renault 9 was to 1981. Isn’t it to do with “premium” being slathered all over the design when something else was required. Maybe not French but definitely Renault. The customers of the cars this vehicle is derived from are not going to look twice at this, nice as it is (it’s actually quite nice). Shame about the big wheels. Can wheels get too big, I wonder? When will we reach peak wheel diameter?

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

29 thoughts on “Micropost: 2016 Renault Talisman”

  1. I know I’m not making friends with this statement, but I’m actually quite pleased that a few Espaces are to be found on German roads this year.

    Yes, its predecessor was the superior car, but given the choice between no Espace at all and this variant, I’d happily take the slightly SUV’d one. I actually quite like that car.

  2. I would prefer an Espace also to this car. By far. The one and only Renault with a kind of high-quality interior.

    To be honest, i was visiting the Renault dealer some days ago. I had difficulties to see which car is the Megane Grandtour and which is the Talisman Grandtour. The Megane is a really large compact car and the Talisman is not so very different. And big wheels are mounted on both cars (but Renault is offering some really nice wheel designs, i have to say).

    Second thought: Renault-design is ageing really fast. The Captur was an eyecatcher in 2013 – especially in bi-coloured trim. Now i don´t pay attention to it, i don´t know if there were some Capturs in the showroom.

    Third thought: the big touchscreen looks horrifying cheap – and Renault is installing it in every new car. When not switched on, It looks like an old monochrome monitor of the eighties.

    For me, the Clio Grandtour is the best looking Renault at the moment.

  3. I don’t mind this Talisman at all. If it were a new Passat, the commentariat would likely let it pass without a murmur. Sadly I will never see one on UK roads, so if anyone spots it in the wild again I wouldn’t mind a few more photos.

    1. I agree with you Chris – in isolation, it’s smart enough. But does it carry enough “french-ness” to be Renault?

  4. I’ve never seen a Talisman on the road. It seems now the estate is ready and will hit the showrooms, so I expect that to change soon.

    1. They’ll probably get a fair few fleet sales in France and other parts of Europe, and if they sell as many as Peugeot’s 508 they’ll have done ok.

    2. It’s not a stunner, but we all know what offering a car in this class means to any manufacturer’s image. Renault simply cannot do without it, and after that re-badged Samsung debacle, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

    3. The Peugeot 508 is on a downward trajectory saleswise, and the C5 is on its last legs so Renault have little excuse not to take a significant number of sales from PSA – in its home market at least. Elsewhere I don’t fancy its chances.

  5. Isn’t it peculiar about this and few other recent cars (Focus, Avensis, C5?) that they are simultaneously busy and bland. There is a lot going on and it doesn’t add up to much. That Avensis I showed a few months back had the same busy-but-bland feeling. The 508 is not much less milquetoast and, dare I say it, the 3-series is just protected from anonymity by its C-pillar. This never bodes well for a vehicle.

    1. In a moment of slow traffic imposed idleness this afternoon, I noticed that three otherwise identical F30 320ds had subtly different rear bumpers. Pointless, or am I missing something?

  6. When was the last time that “frenchness” actually sold cars?
    The task for the French manufactures from the middle class upwards isn’t an easy one, as we all know – and hasn’t been for quite a while now.

    I was underwhelmed, to say the least, when I saw the first pictures of the Talisman. But to my eyes at least it is a lot better in the metal. The point being: It is always a matter of expectations, and since our (= enthusiast) expectations regarding French limousines haven’t been met for some time, they have grown accordingly – maybe so much so that they are impossible to be actually met. It is like dreaming of unicorns and elves.

    1. Daniel: Over in the US of Stateside at The Truth About Cars there is often ironic reference to brown, manual transmission estate cars. People seem to regard them fondly but no-one buys them. I suspect your point about unicorns holds true in the same way.
      That said, if Renault are going to design a car for this class, is this the best they can do?
      I had a look at the article I wrote a year ago on this and the eventual car is a lot less fabulous than the text I wrote for it. While I don´t expect this car to cure the ills of the world, I think there is a better design possible than this mish-mash.

  7. I’ve only encountered one Talisman in the wild, in the eastern sprawl of Ostend. Prompted by the article, I did some grubbing. I’d idly presumed that, like its Latitude predecessor, it was as French as spaniel for Sunday lunch.

    However, it seems that it’s produced (assembled? PDI’d?) beside the Espace and Scénic at the Douai plant built for the Renault 14,

    They’ve even made a video to prove it:

    1. It’s not on sale in the UK and has been available for purchase since 2015 in mainland Europe.
      Evidently the Danes aren’t going for it in much of a big way. The Dutch will be more appreciative, I expect.

    2. I suspect deliveries didn’t start until late 2015 or early 2016 as I don’t remember seeing it once in Paris at Christmas.

  8. Getting down to vulgar money, in France the Talisman kicks off at € 27,900 for a 110PS ‘Life’ trim diesel. The equivalent wagon is € 29,100.

    Top whack is € 42,400 for the Initiale Paris Energy dCi 160 EDC. I’d expect it to be pretty Brougham for that money.

    For comparison, a 150bhp 518d is € 39,990 with another € 2300 to do its own gears.

    The cheapest way into the dCi 160 EDC is the second from top ‘Intens’ trim at € 37,900.

    Not sure what this tells us, other than that BMW are lagging behind Renault (and Alfa) in not making automatic a standard fitment in large € 30,000+ saloons. Only the dCi 110 and 130 Talisman have manual as an option.

    1. Hi Mark: I will take a stare at that tomorrow morning. Thanks for digging that out. I don´t watch TV so it´ll be interesting to see the car in motion. I think I may have seen a second Talisman the other day. They won´t seem real until the appear outside my local supermarket.

  9. I was driving home from work one night and was going slowly and there was a queue of cars going slowly the other way and I spotted the biggest footprint of a DRL I have ever seen. It could not be a truck as I could not see a truck’s cab above the car in front of this “thing”. As traffic moved it emerged as a Talisman. That DRL is MASSIVE because it goes into the lower bumper so much. I hate it when static and not on, as it is a total bit of tat added to the design that’s not required. But have to say when on, it certainly packed a punch. Very handsome car overall too.

    But in a country that loves their Renaults and where you see more new Passats as a percentage of total cars than I’ve seen anywhere else in Europe (if you can say Turkey is Europe!), that was the only Talisman I’ve ever seen on the road. Low supply perhaps? Because Turkey is also the only country where I ever see facelifted Peugeot 508s fairly regularly… So they do buy non German here in this class.

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