Renault Laguna

TomTom 2.0 dCi 150

Renault Laguna Hatch, action
Renault Laguna Hatch, front
Renault Laguna Hatch, boot
Renault Laguna Hatch, rear
Renault Laguna Hatch, interior

WE all know that your first choice is not always your best choice. Decide in haste and repent at leisure is a well used but nevertheless true phrase.

So when it comes to considering a new family or company car what do you do? Go with the flow and a quick decision, or meander a while taking in a wider view?

You would be well advised to take the latter course when it comes to the Renault Laguna Hatch 150, a car whose qualities you may not have considered at first but which can hold up its head in some distinguished car parks and leave you with a smile when you know what you have saved.

The Laguna range is extensive, comprising some 37 models in three bodystyles, six trim levels, with five engines and priced between £18,000 and £30,200.

The Laguna Hatch 150 sits about mid-way through the range and is one of the most popular in the series, particularly with its low emissions and tax advantage.

The 150bhp engine is very refined and developed so power delivery is prompt and performance is strong over a wide power band. It sounds busy when pressed but never rough.

Mated to the six-speed gearbox, manual is standard and six-speed automatic is available on just 150 FAP engines for an additional £1,100, the combination which makes up this powertrain provides good acceleration from low revs, has plenty in reserve for overtaking on open roads and is sufficiently high geared to ease economically along main roads.

It is not particularly noisy either which adds to the overall feeling of refinement in this Renault.

I liked the weight and feel to the power steering and the ratio gave a good turning circle in town while the brakes quickly and easily slowed it from speed. The parking brake was also very effective on our steep test hill.

If you like simple, easy to locate and use secondary controls, the Laguna will delight. They all come immediately to fingers around the steering column or on the facsia.

Instruments are fairly straightforward too, but mine seemed to be frequently obscured by reflections from the windscreen.

The ease of minor controls was continued in the switches for the heating and ventilation and the system worked well distributing copious quantities of air where-ever directed.

Powered windows were further aids while a sunroof is £615. TomTom navigation is fitted to most as standard, but you need to check model derivatives or you have to pay an additional £415 for the integrated system.

Oddments space is generally good throughout the cabin and the boot holds from 462-litres minimum to 1,377 maximum and there is a big opening behind the hatch and a low sill over which to lift items.

Access for occupants is easy and the room inside is good, particularly headroom. Seats are very comfortable, deeply shaped and padded with plenty of adjustment range on the front pair.

The Laguna's ride quality is good. It soaks up bumps without real complaint and at any speed and this has not seriously compromised its handling which is very sure and safe and the natural tendency to run wide on bends is quickly and safely contained by lifting off the throttle.

Road holding is good and there are no vices to worry about.

I would have preferred a clearer view to the rear over the shoulder and when parking close to something but the lights and wipers were very effective.

Performance was good, not outstanding, but it was also economical and achieved results without a lot of driver effort.

Trim levels in the Laguna series are good and not Spartan. Careful packaging and comparison with rivals has produced a good compromise between cost and creature comfort.

FAST FACTS

Renault Laguna TomTom 2.0 dCi 150

Price: £22,518

Mechanical: 150bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 130mph

0-62mph: 9.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 41.5

Insurance Group:13

C02 emissions: 180g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 100,000 miles

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