Car looks amazing, 2001 Laguna 2 in dark grey with 17" alloys on low profile sports tyres. My neighbours were sneaking out to look at it and I have received many compliments - my nan started crying when she saw it, cos she said it was so beautiful!
The handling is simply superb, the grip never lets you down, and although some ride comfort is sacrificed due to the big wheels and thin tyres, the car's suspension is so well set-up and the interior seats are so comfortable you will barely notice; I would recommend any driving enthusiast to try low profile sports tyres as they definitely improve the driving experience.
On the other hand, from a reliability viewpoint, the Laguna is terrible. It really is as bad as you've heard.
I recently called trading standards about this car, as I am looking to get my money back. To say I have previously owned FOUR different 406s, three of which had over 100,000 miles on the clock, and never once wanted my money back, this is a really poor showing from the Laguna, which is still in a practically brand new condition - better than most of the 406s were, yet they just kept going and were so entertaining to drive.
The 1.8 engine is underpowered and can barely get up hills with passengers - this is bad news in Sheffield, which gets its name from the seven massive hills it is built around - and I'm only getting 29mpg on short journeys. The car cannot get up hills in the rain; not enough power in 2nd gear, 3rd gear is too high and 1st gear wheelspins - car seems to hit a rev limiter at 5200rpm, despite redlining at 6500.
Insurance is cheap, but tax is about 33% more than my dad's 2.0 407 HDi 136, which is vastly more powerful and does 8 more mpg, despite being 150kg heavier than the Laguna! When will manufacturers stop putting little engines in big cars? I can only imagine how bad the 1.6 must be!
The car is packed with tons of technology. The keycards and start button are cool at first until the cards start to play up, which costs £140 for a new keycard -- I had someone fix it over EBay for £20, and although the remote buttons now work, the keycard now only starts the engine 50% of the time, so I need to use one card to unlock the car and another to start the engine!
Be advised you cannot realistically lock (or unlock) the car without a functioning keycard!
Honestly, it's been such a disaster in the last 3-4 months and has not only put me off Renaults, it's put me off French cars altogether.
I was saving for a 407 HDi, but sod it, I'm going to buy a Honda and finally own a car that I know will bring me safely home.
Avoid the Renault Laguna 2 at all costs, especially the 1.8.