Join Date: Jul 2005
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They just took it off.
A colleague got a supposedly identical spec car to mine but a few months later, and it had been 'stripped' mercilessly, possibly because Renault wanted a bigger distinction between the Privilege and the Initiale. He lost out on the voice synthesizer, got 16" alloys instead of the 17" Silverstones, no rear sun blinds or CD changer, and for some reason ended up with a different 2.0 petrol engine with (I think) 5bhp less than mine.
I've been driving Lagunas for ten years now (on my third, and about to go for my fourth) and this just appears to be typical Renault. They change car specifications more often than some people change their underwear.
One problem with the voice synth was that it used the hands-free phone speaker. In fact, there was no point in getting the Renault kit for my car, as the pre-wired mobile phone aerial didn't exist (replaced by the satnubbin), the speaker was already in use by the voice synthesizer, and the built-in microphone just didn't work. I ripped the thing out and stuck my trusty Nokia CARK-91 in instead.
On the new model, the electronic parking brake control is where the speaker used to be, and the buttons are also missing, so I suppose I'll be getting used to the car not talking to me in future.
Currently in Horatio's garage:
2010 Laguna III Initiale.