THE Laguna is by no means perfect, but it is pretty good. There are some issues, but the main one is the price. The tested car was the Privilege diesel hatch which goes for $50,690.
It’s a nice car, but that is a lot of money. The price seems even steeper when you consider the Renault brand is still weak in Australia, especially compared to carmakers like Volkswagen and Peugeot.
One of the best things about the Laguna is its suspension. The ride is nice and comfortable, absorbing many of the bumps with little fuss. Even so, it also corners very well with very little body roll and is able to maintain impressive corner speeds.
You find yourself throwing the Laguna into corners faster and faster, expecting it to give up, but it just keeps hanging on.
Many customers will never find this out and will simply enjoy the relaxing drive.
The diesel engine is effortless with a large reserve of torque especially between 2000 and 4500 revs.
It works well with the automatic, which shifts quickly and cleanly.
Fuel consumption stood at 7.7 litres/100km, which is pretty good, though any savings are eaten up by the higher price of diesel.
It’s not all good news, though. The engine is not overly loud except at idle where it rattles away.
It also sends vibrations through the steering wheel and the body, which is not what you expect for a car of this price.
Apart from this, the Laguna is pretty quiet, even on country roads with coarse chip tarmac.
The steering is light, which is nice for lowspeed parking.
It also feels quite accurate when you are pushing hard in corners, though it could do with a bit more feedback The automatic handbrake is a handy feature.
It turns on when you stop and turns off automatically when you press the throttle, so you never have to touch it. It sounds like a small thing, but its a nice touch.
The leather seats are comfortable, though not all that supportive, and the heating is great on winter mornings.
The interior is OK and the surface quality is good, but it does look a little plain and there is no high-resolution colour information screen, which are becoming more common.
The sound system was let down because of poor radio reception. It couldn’t pick up a major local AM station in Melbourne, which is a problem.
There is a lot of space in the cabin, with lots of head and leg room in the back and the boot is quite spacious.
Styling is always subjective, but most people agree the Laguna looks good and stands out in a crowd.