This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Renault Laguna Hatchback (07-12) review.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

The lower-end engines aren't quite up to the job of powering what is a relatively heavy car - the 1.6 is strained, and you need to push the 1.8. Consequently, both smaller units were dropped in 2005. Skip forward to the 2.0 petrol and life is much easier. A 2.0-litre turbo unit is offered for stronger performance and an even higher tuned turbo unit is offered in the sporty GT model.

A 3.0-litre V6 offers more relaxed performance but it's likely to appeal to a rather limited market. The diesel units are impressive, with sizes ranging through 1.9 and 2.2-litres in a variety of outputs. 2.0-litre capacity units were added to the range in 2005 and a 175bhp model joined the line-up in 2006 offering the most powerful 2.0-litre diesel engine currently in production.

Laguna loses out here to the sporty, dynamic rivals like Mondeo and the new Mazda6, but although it's no sports car, it is a confident, competent drive, handling corners with great stability. The suspension set-up provides a comfortable ride for passengers, absorbing uneven road surfaces well, and road noise is not a major concern, either. For those who prefer a sportier set-up, the GT models have uprated suspension and lower ride heights.