- 2009 Renault Laguna Dynamique Estate; 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel; six-speed automatic; wagon - $46,990*
- 18-inch Alloy Wheels $1000; Metallic Paint $800; Panoramic Sunroof $2000; Xenon Headlights & Headlight Washers $1950
Renault’s Laguna sedan was a good drive, but I thought it lacked substance and feel. The styling also didn’t do much for me – that rear end looks like it was styled off a square faced Russian. I thought the Laguna Estate (French for wagon) would be much the same.
I was wrong.
The cabin follows the same trend with Alcantara-clad seats and a metallic finish to the cabin trim. An optional full-length glass roof adds ambience to the cabin, featuring an electric blind to decrease the bite of hot summer days and an electric opening at the front for the grownups.
Rear seat leg room is compromised by an over-accommodating set of front seats. The result is leg room which is strictly limited to children – or midget adults.
Starting at $38,990 for the Laguna Expression Sedan, the Laguna Dynamique being tested retails for $46,990 (plus on-road costs).
Safety features include ten airbags (dual front, dual front and rear head, and dual front and rear side), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), engine immobiliser and three-point rear seatbelts. In addition to the raft of airbags, the Renault Laguna also achieved a five star ANCAP rating. It scored a staggering 35.91/37, making it one of the highest rating cars tested.
The impressive four-speaker sound system offers MP3 compatibility and goes to show that the number of speakers don’t necessarily correlate to the quality of the audio system.
Although it has a tractor-like noise at idle, once you’re inside the cabin and moving it’s smooth sailing.
Behind the wheel the Laguna rewards the driver with impressive acceleration on tap and little lag between throttle application and torque delivery. The six-speed automatic transmission always manages to select the correct gear and shifts through gears smoothly and effectively.
The fuel efficient turbo-diesel engine returns an official combined fuel consumption of 7.1L/100km, easily replicated during the road test.
I must admit, I wasn’t expecting much from the Renault Laguna Estate. It went above and beyond the standard for a sub $50,000 family vehicle. The standard features, attention to quality and exceptional ride and handling make the Renault Laguna Estate a gem for families after an alternative, fuel efficient transporter.
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