A big step forward over the 1.9, but up against some top-class opposition.

What’s new?There’s an all-new Euro 4-compliant 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine with a variable-vane turbocharger and super-efficient piezo-electric injectors which give finer control over the amount of fuel used, plus exhaust gas recirculation for lower emissions. Also new is the six-speed gearbox.What’s it like? Uncharacteristically clatter-free, for a diesel, though you won’t mistake it for a petrol unit. Even from cold the engine feels smooth and relatively happy to rev. It becomes more raucous as you extend it, but still provides useful oomph past the 4000rpm power peak all the way to 5000rpm. Maximum torque of 251lb ft is available from 2000rpm. The new gearbox is well-matched to the engine, with reasonably close ratios and a long, economical sixth.Should I buy one?Maybe. The Laguna is both likeable and capable, but if you want a diesel family car for around £19,000 there’s a lot of choice. For example, the £19,100 Honda Accord 2.2 i-CDTi, the £18,800 Ford Mondeo 2.2 TDCi or the £18,145 Toyota Avensis 2.2 D-4D. It’s worth the extra over Renault’s own Laguna 1.9-litre dCi 130 (£17,925 in Dynamique trim), which is noisier and slower, but the one to wait for could be the 173bhp version of the new engine, due next year.Rory Lumsdon

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka