The new Laguna Sport Tourer is a case in point. Renault has moved far away from a “Mondeo man” image of staid dullness. The word “estate” has gone and the Sport Tourer offers a stylish, value for money alternative to its mainstream rivals.
While unmistakably a Renault with the distinctive diamond on the nose, the Laguna Sport Tourer has an elegant, up-to-date look. It looks robust and solid, while at the same time, being streamlined. And the interior moves Renault design on even more, with a classy, modern and upmarket feel and some interesting features.
The sweeping, curved dashboard design is attractive and well thought out, with all controls and dials clear and easy to hand. The car is started by inserting the credit card-style key into a slot and pressing a start button. A silver centre console incorporates the controls for cruise control, automatic parking brake, and satellite navigation if fitted. There are plenty of storage spaces around the cabin including a drinks holder which slides out of the dashboard.
Seating is comfortable for five adults, with electrically adjustable heated front seats, and load carrying capacity is good. Folding the rear seats expands luggage capacity even more to a huge 1593 litres.
Handling is predictable and solid, giving the driver a good feel of the road. Steering is responsive, with just the amount of power assistance you need.
I drove the 150 bhp 2.0 litre diesel version which pulls extremely well throughout the range and is very smooth as well as being exceptionally quiet. It comes married to an easy-changing six speed manual gearbox. Fuel economy is good, returning 54.3 mpg in mixed driving.
Equipment levels are good on the Dynamique trim level which I drove, with smart 18″alloy wheels, a good stereo and CD and electric front and rear windows, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors which fold when the car is locked (if you walk away with the key in your pocket it will lock itself), automatic headlights and wipers, parking sensors and dual climate control coming as standard. The Laguna has always been strong on safety so there are no worries there. Every safety feature that can reasonably be put on this car is there. My version had a Tom-Tom satellite navigation system with traffic and speed camera warnings.
The Laguna has held a strong market share in its sector across Europe. The new versions won’t do that any harm.
The 2.0 diesel Sport Tourer version of the Laguna will take up £21,805 of your disposable income.
Road test by Ian Strachan Communications Ltd
Ian Strachan is a motoring and business writer and PR consultant. He can be contacted on 01543 490932 or 07949 202596 or via email: email@example.com