Took the a shiny new Renault Laguna home the other night, the first time I'd driven it in the UK. As custodian of Autocar's Mondeo I was keen to see how the big French barge would compare - and to see if I’d made the right choice of wheels for the next year.
I shouldn't have worried. Although there's lots to like about the Laguna, including what's probably the best-quality interior ever installed in a French car, it's in the field adjacent to the Mondeo's ballpark when it comes to dynamic performance.
Indeed, 130 miles in the Renault gave me a fascinating perspective on just how good the Mondy is at dealing with the travails of the British motorway. The Laguna bounces and heaves over ridges that the Ford doesn't even notice, the springy-feeling steering is under-geared and the control interface feels over-complicated and confused next to the Mondeo's clear, easy-to-use touch screen.
I remember when the previous Laguna came out (just after the last gen Mondeo was introduced), Renault put out an ill-advised press release boasting that the Ford would enjoy "the shortest honeymoon in history." Wasn't true then, isn't true now.