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Renault models, news & reviews
By Ben Pulman
23 August 2007 10:29
Because the so-called D-segment isn’t dead, yet. Although this market sector peaked at 3.4m European sales in 1998, nearly one million cars are still expected to be sold in 2007. Renault wants 9 percent of this market, and while that may not sound like a lot of sales, combined with a platform that will also underpin many other Renault-Nissan products, notably the next Primera, and the new Laguna will meet Carlos Ghosn’s demand that every car must be profitable. The new Laguna needs to be good, because not only are more buyers leaving for crossovers, medium-sized 4x4s and the like, but the competition is better than ever. As well as upmarket German offerings the Laguna has to contend with the new Mondeo, Passat and the forthcoming Vectra.
Yes to the former and hopefully no to the latter. Renault's new Mk3 Laguna is spearheading the firm's new Commitment 2009 plan to boost quality. They want this car to be top three in its class for product and service quality. Which is why earlier this year CAR Magazine joined a Laguna prototype testing in Argentina as part of the attempt to iron out the faults that plagued the previous generation. The result is a three-year, 100,000-mile warranty as standard across the range and, apparently, a car that has been ‘engineered and will be manufactured with a level of quality never reached to date by Renault’. By comparison the Mondeo has a three-year warranty but only to 60,000 miles. It’s also what you can’t see that has been improved. Electrical faults plagued the previous car so three complete ‘electrical platforms’ were built. These complete electrical systems were tested ‘day and night’ and only then were the first roadgoing prototypes built. Since then, 120 cars have covered over 6 million km without any major faults. Renault believes this exhaustive testing will cut the number of first-year warranty claims by 80 percent. Being a Renault, safety kit is generous. There are six airbags as standard and a new rear thorax airbag is an option for £250. ABS with EBD, Brake Assist (which primes the brakes when you come off the accelerator) are standard across the range as is ESP with ASR traction control on all but the 1.5 dCi. The Mk2 Laguna was the first car to receive a five-star NCAP safety rating so the new car should be equally class-leading.
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Renault Laguna Dynamique 1.5 dCi 110 (2007) CAR review
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The Laguna has quite a lot of showroom appeal and the interior is very nice indeed. In my view, the interior is better than that of the Mondeo. However the 1.5 dCi engine is hopeless in this car. It isn't too bad once you are travelling at 60 but from a standstill it is completely gutless and it's noisy. If it improves on the dreadful reliability of it predecessor, then it should do well.
03 March 2008 04:46
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