Laguna's a Real Treat

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), March 26, 2004 | Go to article overview

Laguna's a Real Treat


Byline: By Steve Hughes

An illustration of just how much modern motors have improved is revealed by an inspection of Renault Lagunas.

The attractive Sport Tourer model became available for almost pounds 1,000 less, at the same time as the arrival of an impressive new diesel version.

The cheaper Laguna Sport Tourer was made possible by the introduction of a lower trim level, which reduced the price of the 1.8-litre Dynamique from pounds 16,500 to just pounds 15,650 for the 1.8-litre Expression version.

This has since risen to pounds 16,000, but it does include twin front, side and curtain air bags, remote central locking, four electric windows, alloy wheels, CD player, air conditioning, electric door mirrors, anti-lock brakes and brake-assist.

This is an indication of just how much equipment levels have improved in recent years. Only five years ago virtually every one of those items would have been either unavailable or certainly extra-cost pieces of equipment on a basic family car.

Today we almost take them for granted. The same applies to improvement in diesels, with the Laguna being a fine example.

In addition to the standard 1.9-litre diesel engine there is a more powerful 2.2-litre unit. This produces 150bhp, which endows the Laguna 2.2dCi with an impressive combination of 45mpg economy and a 135mph top speed.

However, while this is a very creditable achievement, it has already been overtaken by arch-rival Vauxhall. Vauxhall's new 1.9-litre diesel unit matches the larger Renault engine both in terms of performance and economy.

Indeed, in the case of the similarly-sized Vectra model, it is quicker off the mark, has a higher top speed, and lower CO2 emissions. …

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