Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

This Laguna feels completely different from previous models, with some of the design features and materials influenced by more upmarket cars. The seats and steering have a good range of adjustment and there are audio controls fitted to the steering column. It was disappointing to find that the buttons on the steering wheel of our test car, relating to cruise control and speed limiter functions, did not illuminate at night which can make their operation a tricky exercise at fumbling in the dark.

The rival Vauxhall Vectra has featured illuminated steering wheel buttons since 2002.

There’s a lot to talk about regarding Renault Laguna comfort levels. All are roomy enough for five adults and come with air conditioning and four electric windows. However, those in the rear may find it a little cramped and head and legroom are limited compared to other cars this size – most noticeably the Ford Mondeo. We noticed a touch of wind noise intrusion at 70mph, but occupants should enjoy a quiet life on board otherwise.

The ride is good on motorways but in town the Laguna is disappointing and doesn’t iron out potholes particularly well. On the plus side, driver’s seat lumbar support is fitted on all models.