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Renault Laguna 2.0 dCi Tourer

06/12/2006
Taste is a strange thing, and it's not confined to just what goes on in your mouth. Personally I think the latest Renault Laguna two-litre dCi is a very tasteful car, and I have a particular attraction to the interior wood inlays on the dashboard and steering wheel.

The long light wooden strip with small dark inlays stretching across the central console, which I first saw in the much-missed right hand drive Vel Satis, is to me a delight. The upper third of the steering wheel is also of the same wood and along with a lot of tactile soft leather I feel it adds a touch of sophistication to what would otherwise be a pretty dull and average family saloon.

So I was taken aback when on more than one occasion, I picked up a passenger in my Initiale test car and their first reaction to the interior was, "oh, I don't like that," with the very same wooden trim being the target of their nose-up-turning.

Fortunately, Renault can cope with varying tastes which is why it offers an Expression version, which with dark grey metal dashboard insert and cloth seats is "comfortable", and a Privilege which is "refined" with a satin chrome dash insert.

So it's all a question of taste and Renault is happy to offer what takes your fancy. But actually, what the car looks like inside or out for that matter is the least important bit about it.

The particular test car I had was a Tourer, or estate car as the rest of us know it, but under the bonnet was the latest two-litre dCi diesel engine, created by engineers at Renault-Nissan and which replaces the former 2.2 dCi. It has all the latest diesel engine technology developments to make it one of the most powerful, economic and clean power units around.

It introduces a number of important engineering upgrades to make the most of the injector capabilities coupled with great improvements in acoustics to improve the all-round experience and helping you forget that this could possibly be a diesel. The engine made its debut in the Laguna and will be rolled out in various versions throughout the Renault range.

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Renault Laguna 2.0 dCi Tourer
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