The rear end features new LED tail-lights and on the higher powered cars, twin, chrome, tailpipes.
The rear end features new LED tail-lights and on the higher powered cars, twin, chrome, tailpipes. Compared to the Laguna II, the new car is 10mm longer, 36mm wider and 12mm taller, so it hasn’t grown too much. However, despite the increased dimensions, the New Laguna is around 15kg lighter. This and its slippery shape help with fuel economy.
The test car housed the 1.5 dCi, diesel engine, although you wouldn’t know it as Renault in true egalitarian style; don’t put any nomenclature on the car, save the name across the boot.
This engine is one of three that are new to the Laguna and the one that makes this particular Laguna the first vehicle to conform to Renault’s eco2 programme. What that means is CO2 emissions must be less than 140g/km (it’s 136g/km), there must be a minimum of 5 per cent recycled plastic used in the car’s manufacture and the factory where it is produced must have an IS14001 certificate for environmental management. That’s all the boxes ticked, than and it is 85 per cent recyclable.
That aside, the 1.5 dCi engine punches above its weight. So much so that I had to check to make sure that it wasn’t the 2.0-litre unit under the bonnet. Renault is suitably proud this engine, claiming that it is a class-leader in terms of its mix of performance, fuel economy and emission.
It produces 110PS at 4,000rpm and 240Nm of pulling power at 2,000rpm, which propels the car from 0-62mph in 12.1 seconds, and the top speed is 119.3mph.
In combination with the non-optional, 6-speed, manual gearbox, the hatch version has fuel consumption figures of 46.3mpg for the urban cycle, 61.4mpg for the extra-urban and the 55.4mpg for the combined. It is the most frugal unit in the range.
There is a certain amount of mix’n’match with engines and transmissions; the new proactive, 6-speed automatic ‘box comes with the 2.0 Turbo 170 (petrol) and the 2.0 dCi 150 units, while the manual transmission is a standard feature of the 2.0 140 and the 2.0dCi130. Furthermore, not all of the trim levels are available with all of the engines.
The New Laguna is a relaxed mile-muncher. Even when cruise control is not fitted or activated, the motorway miles disappear, smoothly under the tyres. Both the body and the suspension have been stiffened considerably and the anti-roll bar has been thickened but the ride is by no means harsh, but a bit more focused. This sensation is enhanced by the new and improved steering, which now offers more feedback and definitely makes the car go where and when you point it.
According to Renault, the New Laguna is the quietest 5-door in its class (up to 40 per cent less noise than before) but the diesel unit can be easily heard, perhaps, because of the reduced wind noise. I find the muted rumble quite comforting and not in the least obtrusive.
Inside the cabin of the Expression, there’s an air of style and chic. The fascia is a pleasant mix of gently swooping lines, which for the most part, are made from a well padded material with a dark, ‘elephant skin’ texture. Between the top layers, a metallic-effect panel is punctuated by a small information panel. It looks good in the test car but even better in the Initiale, where it is replaced by a pale wood, which is repeated on the doors.
Renault Laguna Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Renault Laguna 1.5 dCi Expression|
|Body Type||5-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Spray Blue Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||12.1 Seconds|
|Top Speed||119.3 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||61.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||A 3-year warranty package - the first 2 years unlimited mileage and a third year limited to 60,000 miles.|
|Price (when tested on the 23/12/07)||£16,350.00|