Car Review: Renault - Laguna (01-07)  Series 01 (3 stars)

Average. A bland rival for the Passat and Mondeo that does nothing badly - but nothing particularly well, either.

The Laguna has always been a bit of an also-ran in the hard-fought "rep box" segment, and its case isn't growing any sharper as it grows older.Its appeal will be strongest to those whose who are looking for copious equipment and a painless driving experience, and who aren't too worried about its dull design and insipid dynamics. A mid-life facelift did the Laguna's aesthetic appeal no favours, while the cabin's design feels a bit old fashioned.On the plus side, it's a supremely comfortable mile-muncher, perfectly suited for life on Britain's motorways. High speed cruising refinement is good and the driving position is well up to coping with long stints behind the wheel.

Off motorways, the Laguna's case fades with an uninterested driving experience on country roads. Soft suspension produces lots of body roll and rewards attempts at faster progress with the sort of heaving body motion that's almost guaranteed to engender motion sickness among passengers.

We can't really see any case for the petrol-powered versions, which feel thirsty and not particularly special when compared to the excellent turbo-diesels. Of these, the entry-level 130 bhp 1.9 litre unit is arguably the best, combining excellent economy with very impressive levels of refinement.

Although well priced against rivals, especially when the typical Renault dealer's generous discounts are factored in, very steep depreciation mean the Laguna makes limited financial sense as a new purchase. Nearly-new examples offer far better value.

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Renault Laguna (01-07) Series 01 StatisticsCar Reviews

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