The nitty-gritty

* Tested for 12 months * More than 20,000 miles * Was it love or hate, find out here...

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What Car? Staff
27 Oct 2009 16:26 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Generally, the car was pleasant to be in. The switches were sensibly laid out and clearly labelled, including the big control dial for the electric sunroof.

Another welcome touch was the location of the front passenger airbag deactivation switch, which was at the driver's end of the dashboard rather than in the glovebox. No key was needed to switch it a bonus, because I kept changing it back and forth, depending on whether my baby or an adult sat there.

The sat-nav system was user-friendly, too, featuring a joystick and large buttons on the console between the front seats.

The Laguna wasn't quite as economical to run as I'd expected, with an average of 36.7mpg over 5mpg under the official figure. This wasn't the only extra cost: I didn't expect to open my purse when I had repairs made to the interior trim under warranty.

The dealer did replace the loose plastic panels on the rear of the front seats, but no courtesy car was provided, so I had to pay 23 a day for a hire car. When the job ran to two days, the dealer did, to its credit, offer to pay for the second day, but still left me out of pocket.

The car's auto-locking system also started to fail intermittently. Knowing how long such faults can take to pin down, I was loath to take the car in and pay for a hire car while Renault tried to reproduce the problem, so I just lived with it.

These problems were disappointing, because the GT's cabin was actually very smart and felt solid, with the cheap-feeling plastics out of view. Also, they distracted from what the Laguna otherwise gave us: the easy life.

The GT is no longer part of the Laguna Sport Tourer line-up, but the luxurious Initiale takes its place. It has more kit, but doesn't have sports seats or such a firm ride which can only be a good thing.

What Car? verdict:
Practical mile-eater, but ride and build could be better