Review: Renault Laguna (2001 – 2007)

Rating:

Stylish looks, luxuriously well equipped and a comfortable ride. A fine motorway cruiser. Excellent crash test rating.

Plagued by wide-ranging problems with the electrics, mechanicals and build quality.

Recently Added To This Review

12 November 2017

Report of auto locking and satnav both failing on a 2007 Renault Laguna 2.0D at 40k miles. Read more

27 November 2013

Windscreen of 2003 Renault Laguna starting to delaminate. Read more

1 March 2013

Some dealers are now refusing to take this model Laguna in p/x to retail because of the potential for expensive come-backs over electronic problems. Read more

Renault Laguna (2001 – 2007): At A Glance

The new Laguna is two cars in one. Instead of offering a choice between a saloon, a hatchback and an estate car, Renault gives us a choice between two very good looking hatchbacks.

One is a sort of combination hatchback/saloon. The other is best described as a fastback estate, though Renault chooses the words 'Sport Tourer'. It's a few millimetres longer than the hatchback and a few millimetres taller. And while it's hardly ideal for carrying fridges and furniture, it's far prettier than a flat-backed, van-like estate car.

What does a Renault Laguna (2001 – 2007) cost?

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Renault Laguna (2001 – 2007): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4598–4713 mm
Width 1774 mm
Height 1433–1475 mm
Wheelbase 2748 mm

Full specifications

The Privilege spec is laden with goodies which Renault must hope will distract the driver from this serious deficiency. The rain-sensitive wipers, built-in rear side window blinds, electric folding door mirrors and electrochrome rear view mirror which removes headlamp dazzle at night are all very welcome. But all this comes at a price of £16,695, which puts it £2,100 more than a Mondeo 1.8 LX that has everything I want and the same £2,100 more than the equivalent Laguna II 1.8 Authentique. After all, £2,100 is enough for a decent holiday and, because second-hand buyers aren't stupid, after three years you're only likely to get 25% of it back on re-sale. Not only that, the radio-cum-navigation system, fitted as an extra to this car, was so complicated I didn't even bother with it.

Child seats that fit a Renault Laguna (2001 – 2007)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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What's the Renault Laguna (2001 – 2007) like to drive?

No less than six engines, from a 1.6 litre 110bhp petrol to a petrol V6 with 210bhp; and two diesels: a 2.2 litre 145bhp dCi and a 1.9 litre 110bhp/105bhp dCi (power is dropped by 5bhp for the automatic 1.9 dCi). Five-speed manual gearboxes are standard with four-cylinder engines. Four-speed automatic gearboxes are optional with most four-cylinder engines, a five-speed automatic is an option with the 2.2 dCi and a five-speed automatic comes as standard with the V6.

Trim starts at the base-level 'Authentique', rising to the top notch 'Initiale' (see Specification section for what you get with what). All are covered by a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty (whichever comes first) and the electro-galvanized body is warranted not to rust through for 12 years.

Approach the car and the first thing unusual thing you notice is that it has no door locks. You open the doors by pressing a button on a credit-card-sized electronic key, which you then insert into a slot in the dashboard. To start the engine you press a dashboard button, and to stop it you press the button again. This unfamiliar procedure is surprisingly easy to get used to.

Out on the motorway the Laguna II 1.8 Privilege I drove is an extremely accomplished cruiser. Comparisons with the class-leading new Mondeo 1.8 are inevitable and at an indicated 80mph the Laguna is certainly quieter with none of the boominess the Mondeo passes through at this speed. Ride quality is also a little bit better.

But those are the only areas where the Laguna beats the Mondeo. The indirect, fly-by-wire throttle action of the 1.8 engine makes it very difficult to drive the car smoothly around town. The car accelerates well enough, but its engine note is curiously feeble and unpleasant. And I simply could not get on with the steering.

The steering set up is, of course, power-assisted. But on the move it weights up around the straight-ahead to such an extent that it feels stiffer than the non-assisted set up in my wife's ancient Jetta. Because its self-centering action is so strong, you need two hands on the wheel at all times to remain safely in control. And on low- to medium-speed corners the artificial weighting robs the steering wheel of any feel of the road. I mentioned steering weighting up in my Audi A4 road test, but at least the Audi's overhanging engine is a reason for it, and overall the A4 steers much better. There is no logical reason for the way the Laguna II steers because all it does is give you the worst of both worlds. I envisage plenty of complaints about this from drivers of a lighter build.

So should you consider the Laguna II as a serious alternative to the new Mondeo and new VW Passat?

Of course you should. It's much better built than the troublesome Laguna I. If you value stunning looks, relaxed cruising at 70-80mph, decent seats, a comfortable ride and lots of gimmicks above the fine handling and sheer driving enjoyment of the Ford or the VW's aura of quality, then the Laguna II beats both the Mondeo and the Passat.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.9 dCi 47–48 mpg 10.2–10.5 s 154–159 g/km
1.9 dCi 95 48 mpg 13.6 s 157 g/km
2.0 16V 33–36 mpg 8.6–10.1 s 187–200 g/km
2.0 16V Turbo 34 mpg 8.4 s 198 g/km
2.0 dCi 150 46–49 mpg 8.9–9.2 s 154–162 g/km
2.0 dCi 175 45–47 mpg 8.4–8.6 s 159–167 g/km
2.0 Turbo 205 33–33 mpg 7.2–7.4 s 200–203 g/km

Real MPG average for a Renault Laguna (2001 – 2007)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

95%

Real MPG

23–55 mpg

MPGs submitted

127

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Renault Laguna (2001 – 2007)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Why is my Renault Laguna intermittently losing power?

I have a petrol 2005 Renault Laguna 2.0, the engine runs like a dream but sometimes when you are driving along there will huge loss of power for a few miles meaning that I have to drop it down to lower gears, then the engine will then just start running normal again for a few days. No engine management warnings lights come on and it has been computer checked, but that says there is nothing wrong. Can you help?
It would appear that the engine is going into "limp mode", but only intermittently. Therefore trying to identify the fault is going to be very difficult. With no warning lights and no faults shown via diagnostic it is not possible at this stage to identify. Would suggest that you check the fuel filter (last time it was changed?) and also the fuel pressure sensor.
Answered by Alan Ross
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