Laguna I & Laguna II

Duel of titans

      There is always one jewel to be found in every model line of any producers. Such a jewel differs from the other cars by its performance, equipment and many other characteristics. In Renault Laguna line the 3-litre version equipped by 6-cylinder V engine plays this role. We are going to inform you in this short test about the changes Laguna assed since the beggining of its production in 1994. There were two cars for testing - one produced in 1996, the other one in 1998.Ilona Machalkova

      As we already mentioned on our pages, there were already a few changes made on Laguna V6. The first one in 1997, when the car got more powerful engine, the second one in 1998, when Laguna passed - as any modern lady - a "facelift". Both cars differ on the first sight by little details on its design. The lights were changed - currently FF (free form) type with transparent cover is in use. The mask is different as well as the front bumper and spoiler. From the back sight it is similar - new lights, a bumper of different design. Another little design changes were made in the interior - most of them on the instrument board, which is now equipped by modified "clock". The middle console was changed as well - in the previous version the armerst was integrated in the driverīs seat , in the new version it is firmly integrated in the armature between the seats. Headrests are of a different shape in order to provide passengers with better safety in case of an impact. Two side airbags integrated in the front seats are a real novelty. As you can see, a few design changes were made on Laguna, however, it kept its original "personality".

laguna I laguna II

      Let us have a look on chassis first - something, what both Lagunas share. There were almost no changes made on it and it is still provides the car with riding comfort hardly comparable with any other car in the middle class, where Laguna belongs. Also because of its chassis Laguna won the test of middle class cars, prepared by well-known magazine Auto Bild in the years 1994 and 1998. Laguna defeated such cars like VW Passat, Audit A4, Nissan Primera, Opel Vectra, Peugeot 406, Ford Mondeo, Volvo S40 and other members of this class everyone keeps his eye on. A perfect suspension, which combines comfort and safety, allows Laguna to overcome all the danger on the road. It overcomes easily longitudinal and transverse road bumps without any uncomfortable feelings caused by swinging or shaking. The result of softer suspension is a slight inclination of the car in curves. However, the car follows exactly the track to the limits of adhesion - then it becomes a bit understeering. In any case, it is easy to correct this inborn Laguna characteristics by a correction of a steering wheel and throttle. Brakes are the only Lagunaīs weak spot. With its performance over 140 kW (194 Hp) the car would deserve brakes of a bigger diameter, better dimesed for its almost 2 tons weight. On one hand, they are "sharp" and exact and normal use of them is without problems. When you want to use the full range of their dynamic characteristics, there is not noticeable reduction of the braking power. However, the brake discs become warm and deform and due to this fact you notice strong vibration of the steering wheel. We think this characteristics does not suit Laguna very well.

laguna I laguna II

      As it was already mentioned, new Laguna, or if you want - Laguna of the second generation - was given a new engine, which has replaced the almost legendary PRV. The new one has 17 kW higher performance and 35 Nm higher torque, which is also disponable 800 rounds sooner ( forcomparation of both engines see Engine section) Such changes make you sure we do not talk about twins, more likely about relatives from two different generations. The difference between both engines is really like a difference between a day and night. The older of these two motors has an output of 123 kW and torque 232 Nm / 480 rpm, in other words its power guarants very good dynamic characteristics. It sprints from 0 to 100 kph in 8,4 seconds too - and this certainly is a time hardly overcome by another car. There is also another ability which catches you up - outstanding quietness. Concstructors reduced the noise so much, that even electromobile would not be ashamed by such "noise" heard in the interior. Placement of the engine wascertainly one of the reasons of this quietness. Oil resonators were used as well as complicated exhaust system with blind branch, which absorbs the resonation of exhaust gas. I can say without a blush havenīt sit in a quieter car of this class. On the other hand, new generation engine is outstanding by flexibility in any regime of engine speed. From the moment the tachometer arm jumps over 2, the engine shows enormous vivacit stopped only by top speed governor. New Laguna makes 1 - 100 kmp in 7,7 seconds - many sportive cars would not be ashamed by such time. In any case, it is also not possible to say the new engine is noisy. I even think many drivers would be pleased by cultivated humming of a strong six-cylinder engine, changing in a muffled resound of hooves of thoroughbred when you throttle.

Both cars underpass traditional comparative test, where they have to pass the same way in same conditions. We were pleased by the results - make your own opinion:

Consumption of fuel during the test   
Laguna I Laguna II
urban cycle
36 Km/h
10.7 l/100 Km 10.6 l/100 Km
extra urban cycle
(respecting the rules
50, 90, 130 Km/h)
75,8 Km/h
8.5 l/100 Km 8.7 l/100 Km
sportive ride
98,5 Km/h
11.7 l/100 Km 12.3 l/Km


At the end there is a duty to determine a winner of this duel:
(max 5, min. 1 points)
Laguna I Laguna II
bodywork (design) 4,5 5
riding characteristics 4 4
brakes 3 3
engine 4 5
gearbox 4 4
consumption 3 3
luggage department 4 4
interior, control elements 5 5
price 3 3
total 34,5 36

(text &foto Renault Club)