This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Renault Laguna Hatchback (07-12) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

There’s a willing 1.6 16-valve unit from May ’98. Basic unit was originally 1.8 8v, a competent unit that was replaced by the 1.8 16v. The 2.0 is more responsive, and the latest 2.0 16-valve version offers more flexibility. 3.0 V6 gives excellent acceleration and relaxed cruising. The 1.9 dTi direct injection turbo-diesel is a lively, responsive unit, although refinement is not its strong point.

The latest 1.9 dCi common rail turbo-diesel is both more powerful and smoother. The 2.2 dT offers performance that equals the 2.0 petrol cars. The old 85bhp 2.2D non-turbo unit is plodding but frugal.

The pleasingly-supple ride comes at the expense of the handling – there’s too much bodyroll when it’s thrown through corners, steering is not very accurate and the gearchange can be a bit notchy.