Compared to some of the Renault diesels, the
is reliable. But that may well be like saying that, compared to dog muck, baby sick actually tastes quite nice.
In just about every respect that matters, the
performs better than the
that replaced it. It has a few more horses, produces peak power at lower RPM's and produces over 80% of its peak torque figure across most of the rev range. This makes for excellent flexibility and the
is a damned good drive. So why did they drop it?
I suspected for a while that they wanted to put a few more horses between the normally aspirated 2.0 and the
(then at 165 IIRC.) But Webcode's answer makes more sense, and being a Renault employee, he probably has a better insight into the matter than most of us.
As for fuel economy, surely 30mpg is nothing to write home about for a car and engine of this size. I know there are worse, but there's a lot better out there too, usually without resorting to direct injection technology. My two 2.0 8v Laguna I RXE's typically managed 38 and 35 mpg respectively on a good motorway run. My
struggled to break the 30 mark with similar driving technique. Direct injection is supposed to give good fuel savings, but Renault's design did not achieve this. I'm not sure what mpg figures they were anticipating when they designed it, but high 20's to low 30's probably wasn't their objective.