Renault Introduces New Laguna

Renault previewed its new Laguna model to the press two days ago on June 4, not with a media showing, but in an unusual move, by sending out press packets that contained a press release and a total of 27 photos.

This is the third-generation Laguna, the first Laguna having been introduced in 1992 as a replacement for the Renault 21, with the second-generation car showing up in 2000. The Laguna has always been advertised as a family car by Renault, and it has increased in size in each successive iteration. To its credit, however, it should be noted that Renault has actually decreased the weight of the new Laguna while making it bigger, the first time Renault has ever been able to do that with any of its cars. Renault states that the Laguna is an average 33 pounds (15 kg) lighter across all three versions of the Laguna.

The three versions of the new Laguna offered by Renault are a sedan, a 5-door liftback (hatchback), and an estate (wagon). Renault describes the styling on all three bodystyles as fluid and dynamic, but all three designs look a bit bland to me. Where is that distinctive French styling? It all seems somewhat generic.

 


Previous Lagunas have been pilloried for their failings in fit and finish as well as their frequent mechanical breakdowns, and it is an open secret that Nissan has had considerable input in improving some of the engineering and the production processes of the new Laguna. Additionally, there are some obvious higher-quality contributions from Nissan regarding the mechanical components of the Laguna; things like the very quiet high-capacity air-conditioning unit from the American-specification Nissan sedans.

The engines available in the new Laguna range from a 110 hp DCi 1.5 liter in the bottom of the lineup, a 130 hp DCi 2.0 liter in the middle, and a 140 hp gas 2.0 liter at the top. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are available with each powerplant. Renault claims the smallest direct-injection diesel returns 55.4 mpg in combined city/highway driving, and that’s a combined number, not the highway number.

The Laguna competes against cars like the VW Passat, Audi A4, the BMW 3-Series, Honda Accord, and the like. The average sticker price is expected to be around 22,000 euros ($ 29, 570 USD). Although Renault would not comment on their sales projections, according to La Tribune, a French newspaper, Renault plans to sell approximately 170,000 units of the Laguna worldwide with 70,000 of those sales in their home country of France. Over 2.6 million Lagunas have been sold since 1992.

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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3 Comments

  1. It would be really great if Americans had the option to choose a Renault. Or a Peugeot or a Citroen. But French cars are not sold here, and it doesn’t look as if they will be anytime soon. And from Italy, we can’t buy an Alfa, Lancia or Fiat, either. This kind of sucks for us because there are some really nice, really attractive small cars available from these companies.

  2. Agreed, goggly. I was in Italy recently and rented the Alfa 156. What a nice car! I’d buy one if I could here in the States.

  3. Hey, I’d be a player for this Renault. I think it’s a good-looking car, I like it.

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