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It works brilliantly in almost every situation, and then every now and again is an absolute dog.
Its weak point tends to be when you decide to apply the handbrake but change your mind. For example if you stop at lights and put the handbrake on, but the lights change sooner than you thought and you want to welly it away. The problem is that the handbrake won't release until it's finished fully engaging, and while it engages in about a second, this really can still catch you out.
Where it really, truly is a pain is when trying to make a right turn with oncoming traffic on a junction with a bit of a hill start. With a conventional handbrake, you can just keep the release button pressed in and hold the car with the position of the lever. With this thing, you have to engage it fully, then try to set off when you see a gap, realise it's grabbing (see previous paragraph) and miss your chance. In some cases, you get to repeat this several times, until the lights change and you actually get a chance to turn.
On the plus side, the Laguna handbrake doesn't need to be reset by the dealer if you use the emergency release. Apparently it sorts itself out the next time the system is powered up and the electronic brake is activated.
Edit: Just to add... The control for the handbrake is positioned below and to the right of the steering column, where the optional voice synthesizer / built-in mobile hands-free speaker used to live on the earlier design. You grab hold of it and pull (it has just under an inch of travel) to activate, and it springs back in when you let go. The mechanism itself is electrically operated, and you can hear the motor operating from outside the car (or even from inside with the windows open.)
Currently in Horatio's garage:
2010 Laguna III Initiale.
Last edited by Horatio; 15th February 2006 at 09:51 PM.