The month of July sees the introduction of a simplified range for Laguna plus an extensive list of equipment upgrades. Attention has focused on the best-selling versions and all the inherent strengths of the range continue to feature, from useful technology to driving pleasure, comfort and safety. As is the case with the rest of the Renault range, the trim levels have been broken down into Authentique, Expression, Dynamique, Initiale and GT versions, while the Carminat and PrivilÃ¨ge Carminat versions take on flagship status. The choice of engine options has been revised, including the 1.9 dCi unit with particulate filter which now boasts 5 additional horsepower that take it to 130hp. A leader in terms of performance and driveability, the 2.0 dCi ensures undeniable driving pleasure at the wheel of Laguna and continues to stand out as the benchmark in its segment. Price changes have been kept to a minimum and order books are already open for sales in September 2006.
New names for the Laguna range
The month of July has seen the Laguna range evolve with a view to bringing it in line with the rest of the Renault range. The Pack Authentique, Confort Expression and Confort Dynamique versions have been replaced respectively by the Authentique, Expression and Dynamique trim levels, while the former Luxe Dynamique and Luxe Privilège versions have both been dropped. Following their success, the Confort Carminat and Luxe Carminat limited editions have been incorporated into the range and are now known as Carminat and Privilège Carminat. Dark charcoal interior trims are standard across the range, while the Initiale version highlights its top-of-the-range status thanks its extremely comprehensive equipment list and the optional availability of light beige trim and upholstery. The GT version, which features a specific chassis and China Red upholstery with over-stitching, rounds out the Laguna range.
Equipment upgrades and refined features
The Laguna Hatchback and Sport Tourer range has so much to offer and comes with a revised list of equipment for even more useful technology. From the entry-level Authentique version, all Lagunas feature electric rear windows and satin-finish alloy roof bars (Sport Tourer). The 2nd generation of Carminat Navigation System with 4x30W Radio-CD player with MP3 playback and eight loudspeakers is standard from the Carminat version upward, representing a saving to the customer of €1,000 compared with the Expression trim level. The benchmark Carminat Navigation and Communication System complete with voice synthesis, seven-inch panoramic screen, Bluetooth® telephone controls and 6-CD player with MP3 playback is standard equipment from the Privilège Carminat and Initiale versions upward and represents €950 of free equipment compared with the former Carminat version. A wooden-finish steering wheel is now standard for the Initiale version, while Laguna GT has been upgraded to include a 4x30W Cabasse Tronic Radio-CD with MP3 playback and eight loudspeakers.
Driving pleasure, comfort and safety
The range of available engines has also evolved. The 2.0 16V 135hp petrol engine with Proactive automatic transmission previously available for the Expression and Carminat versions can now be ordered from the Dynamique trim level (its place has been taken by the 2.0 Turbo in the case of the Privilège Carminat and Initiale versions). Changes to French finance legislation with regard to clean vehicles makes the 1.9 dCi diesel engine with particulate filter a particularly attractive proposition. Its power output has been increased by 5hp to 130hp (96kW) and delivers even punchier acceleration performance (a 1,000m standing start time of 31.1 seconds, an improvement of 0.4s) with no increase in fuel consumption (5.9 litres/100km, combined cycle). The Laguna range is now available with the 2.0 dCi diesel engine, a leader in terms of performance, driving pleasure and quiet running. Laguna 2.0 dCi 150hp features running costs that are amongst the lowest of the market and combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.8 litres/100km (equivalent to 154g of CO2/km). In its 175hp trim, the engine is equipped with a particulate filter on the Privilège Carminat, Initiale and GT versions, making Laguna the ultimate compromise in terms of performance (0-100kph in less than 8.5 seconds), driving pleasure (360Nm from as low as 1,750rpm), fuel consumption (5 litres/100km, extra-urban cycle) and comfort. In addition to the availability of parking brake assist from the Expression trim level upward, Laguna is the only vehicle on the market to propose a host of safety features - ESP, tyre pressure monitoring system, cruise control with speed limiter, six airbags, etc. - as standard equipment from the entry level.
Prices have increased by between 1.5 and 2.5%. Laguna Hatchback prices range from 26375$ (Authentique 1.6 16V) to 45400$ (Initiale 3.0 V6 210hp/152hp). Add 1265$ for the equivalent Laguna Sport Tourer. Laguna’s warranty can be extended to three years and 60,000km (from 510$).