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Re: Grand Megane 1.5Dci 106 Tomtom Edition - Should I buy?
It depends on whether you're buying with your head or your heart. My head would buy the Toyota and my heart would buy the Renault. Though I too have a few Toyota horror stories: For example my colleague's Avensis, which has had its engine rebuilt twice under warranty at a very low mileage. I've heard that Toyota's decision to move some engine production to Eastern Europe has resulted in quality control issues.
In my personal experience: Japanese cars are (mostly) boring but reliable. The few exceptions (i.e. 'interesting but reliable') tend to be interesting on the outside and/or go like stink, but they're still as dull as dishwater on the interior. It's almost as though the innards are an afterthought.
European cars tend to be better thought out from a comfort point of view, and as you've seen for yourself, Renault excel on the number of 'executive toys' that they're prepared to throw into a car that they're selling for non-executive money. These complex electronic devices can bite you on the backside in years to come, but that's the gamble.
If you're looking to change the car after 3 years, then the manufacturer's warranty should cover it. That same warranty (with the same level of cover) can be extended up to 5 years for a few hundred quid extra. Beyond that, your chances of being left with a big bill are probably higher on the Renault than on the Toyota.
Currently in Horatio's garage:
2010 Laguna III Initiale.