Renault Laguna Hatchback 1994 - 2001

Renault Laguna Hatchback 1994 - 2001

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Gives a pleasing ride
  • Smart and good-quality interiors
  • Lots of space in both models

Cons:

  • Extremely reliability
  • Older engines are unrefined

Overview

The Renault Laguna comes as either an estate or hatchback with both proving to be extremely spacious inside. The hatchback is a nicely styled car even if it is starting to look dated, but the hatchback is a different kettle of fish and was built for practicality rather than style. The interiors are comfortable and the ride supple, but the handling does let it down in the corners where there is significant body roll. The older engines are extremely unrefined, but the newer ones are much better offering good performance and economy.

Exterior and Interior

In its day the Laguna hatchback did look stylish, but over the years it has started to look a little dated. The estate model may have looked stylish from the front but side on it was never going to draw you in with its looks. However it's the interior and space inside that attracted most of its owners with its large comfortable seats that were able to seat three in the back with relative ease and a massive loading space in the estate. The boot in the coupe is also surprisingly big, although the boot lip does get in the way when trying to get heavier items out of it. The back seats fold flat in both models which increase the load area for any awkwardly shaped items. There are several trim levels available with the RT being the cheapest. The Alize is a better option though as it comes with air-con as standard, but if you can find either the RXE or Monaco trims at a decent price we would recommend going for these.

Performance and Economy

The 1.6-litre petrol essentially replaced the 95bhp 1.8-litre unit when it was released in 1998 as it is over 2 seconds quicker at 11.1 seconds from 0-60mph and is a lot more frugal achieving 37mpg. The 1.8-litre with 120bhp is quicker than the 1.6-litre, though not by much going form 0-60mph in 10.4 seconds, but returns a lower efficiency of 35mpg. If you're looking at the two 2.0-litre engines then its better to go for the more powerful unit with 140bhp, it is quicker going from 0-60mph in 9.6 seconds, and also more economical at 36mpg. The top of the range 3.0-litre V6 is very quick at 7.5 seconds from 0-60mph, but the fuel efficiency suffers and only manages 25mpg. The older 1.9dTi engine is slower than the newer engine, but is marginally more economical managing 51mpg. The newer 1.9dCi is a lot smoother though and quicker going from 0-60mph in 11.9 seconds and comes in just behind the other 1.9-litre at 50mpg. The standard 2.2-litre engine is very slow at 15 seconds from 0-60mph, but does return 42mpg. The newer turbo 2.2-litre is a lot quicker at 11.4 seconds, but only manages 39mpg. When it comes to insuring the Laguna most of the engines fall into groups 9 and 10, but the more powerful petrol engines do go as high as group 14.

Like to Drive

The Laguna offers a pleasant and soft ride, but this does come at the cost as there is too much body roll in the corners and the steering feels vague at the best of times. The driving position is good though with the drivers' seat offering loads of adjustments and support for longer drives and it comes with good views of the road ahead.

Faults and Repairs

The Laguna has far from a good record when it comes to reliability. The older it gets the more problems that seem to occur and the higher they go up in price. Check everything before you buy one, and we mean everything! The Laguna suffers from problems in most areas from the immobilizer to all of the dash warning lights, from the air-con to the power steering. Services are reasonably priced compared to their rivals but as for any unscheduled repairs you can be sure they will cost a fair amount to repair and with them proving more and more unreliable as they get older you can expect to be spending a lot more over the years.