"The Renault Laguna's interior is well built and comfortable, and the diesel engines are very efficient."
With an impressive blend of comfort and value, you would expect Renault's Laguna to be a common sight on UK roads. What's more, the current version is much better than any previous Laguna. The interior is well built, while the diesel engines are efficient. The Renault's biggest problems are that its resale values are very poor and there are a number of superior rivals in the family hatchback class.
The steering feels vague and is so light you can’t tell it's even attached to the front wheels. The ride is quite soft, but the Laguna is a fine choice if you are looking to make long journeys. It's effortless to drive and a great cruiser. The 2.0 dCi diesels suit it best, as they are more powerful than the smaller 1.5 dCi, but the latter is very cheap to run and popular with company car drivers. Steer clear of the petrol engines, as they will be worth even less money when you come to sell on. Top-spec GT models get four-wheel steering, which improves grip and agility.
There's loads of space in the front and the ride is smooth, but rear passengers will find the cabin a little cramped. All models get lumbar support for the driver's seat and there's little in the way of wind noise at speed. The suspension makes quite a loud thudding sound when it soaks up bumps, but for the most part it irons out rough roads well.
Build quality is thoroughly impressive inside, and the cabin is undoubtedly the best that any Laguna has ever had. Reliability is a different matter, though. Renault claims that the current Laguna is better than any other when it comes to dependability, but it's still had its fair share of problems. The latest Laguna failed to make the Top 100 of this year's Driver Power survey, but of those owners that did rate their cars, many highlighted electrical issues. Safety is a strong point. The Laguna scored a full five stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests
The Laguna's 462-litre boot can’t match the space offered by rivals like the Ford Mondeo (528 litres) and Mazda6 (500 litres). However, the rear seats fold flat and the boot opening is wide, which makes loading easy. A sore point is the hatchback's swooping roof line, which eats into headroom in the rear. There's loads of room up front, but it seems to be a case of style over substance in the rear.
Value for money
Low starting prices make the Laguna a compelling prospect from new. The entry-level Expression 2.0 16v petrol is very cheap for a large hatchback. However, it's best to steer clear of the petrol models, as they don't suit the Laguna's relaxed nature and the diesels are much more valuable second-hand. The cheapest 1.5 dCi diesel is very affordable and one of the best buys of the range.
Diesel models are cheap to run, especially the 1.5 dCi, which returns 57.6mpg on average and is very inexpensive to tax for company car drivers in particular. Forget petrol versions as they are worth very little second-hand.