Used Renault Laguna Hatchback 1994 - 2001 review

Category: Family car

The Renault Laguna is a comfortable tourer, but it's let down by patchy reliability

Renault Laguna Hatchback (94 - 01)
  • Renault Laguna Hatchback (94 - 01)
  • Renault Laguna Hatchback (94 - 01)
Used Renault Laguna Hatchback 1994 - 2001 review
Star rating

What's the used Renault Laguna hatchback like?

If you're after a car to set your pulse racing, then the Renault Laguna probably isn't for you. However, if you need a car that'll chew up a long journey with the minimum of hassle, then it's definitely worth a look.

It has a supple suspension that soaks up bumps with ease, while it contains wind and road noise better than most cars of this age and type. However, the smaller engines can be raucous if you work them hard, so choose carefully.


The Renault Laguna is a comfortable tourer, but it's let down by patchy reliability

  • The ride is comfortable and the interior is smart
  • It's not as much fun to drive as a Mondeo

The cabin is smart and solid, and there's space enough for five to travel in reasonable comfort. The seats are comfortable, and all but the basic RN model come with driver's seat height adjustment. Visibility, too, is very good.

The hatchback also provides an impressively big boot, making it a practical family car.

Ownership cost

What used Renault Laguna hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Renault Laguna hatchback?

All versions can be picked up for very little cash, even the posh ones with lots of toys.

Fuel economy figures are about what you'd expect for the class, although with most of the engines, you'll have to fill up slightly more often than a Mondeo owner. The most frugal petrol engine, the 1.6, will give you 37.7mpg, while the leanest 1.9 diesel engine gives a very handy 51.4mpg. The 3.0 V6 is by far and away the worst, with 25.7mpg.

Servicing costs are also on a par with what you'd pay for the equivalent Mondeo.

Our recommendations

Which used Renault Laguna hatchback should I buy?

If you're on a tight budget, we recommend the 1.8-litre 16v engine, which will give you 35.8mpg and decent performance. Beware though. Pre-1998 petrol cars have eight-valve engines, which are noticeably less punchy.

The 1.6 and 2.0 engines were also upgraded in 1998, but both the pre- and post-upgrade 1.6s feel weak. And, while the 2.0s are okay, the 16v is definitely the pick. You might be tempted by the powerful 3.0 V6 engine, but resist it - it simply doesn't suit the car.

Alternatively, you can find two diesels. The 1.9 is frugal but sluggish, while the 2.2 TD is much more responsive, and you'll still get around 40mpg. That's enough to make it our favourite engine from the range.

As for trim, second-rung RT trim is best - you'll get all the essential creature comforts such as air-con, a sunroof, electric front windows and a CD player. RT Sport models add alloy wheels.

RXE models get climate control, alloy wheels, a CD changer and electric rear windows, while Executive models add an alarm and leather seats.

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What alternatives should I consider to a used Renault Laguna hatchback?