Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally, I got saddled with my first Laguna (2.0 RXE) when the rep who had it before me left and the lease ran out on my Mazda 323F. I knew from day one that I was going to hate it... I was wrong.
It had its faults, not least of which was only having electric front windows. Prior to the days of air-con (which this car didn't have) I loved blasting down the motorway with the sunroof and back windows open, and the Mazda had let me do that. But the Laguna had plenty of toys, including the voice and the trip computer. It was very comfortable and I learned to like it. In fact I liked it a lot.
Then when it came time to replace it, the usual argument took place. My boss wanted to downgrade me to a roller-skate as usual. My best game plan was that I already had a 2.0 RXE and I wanted another one like it. They'd made some improvements (including four electric windows, now that I didn't need them because there was climate too) and I'd got used to the comfort of the car, which from my experience exceeded even a certain propellor-badged rival, even if the 'quality' was only skin deep.
The same this time around, although they'd stopped making the RXE and the Privilege seemed to be the nearest equivalent. I tried to put in the squeeze for an Initiale, but ended up with the Priv + sat-nav.
And finally, I was going to make a change, but the only thing that caught my fancy was the 407 Exec. Even then it wasn't perfect: I prefer a hatchback as a good compromise of security and versatility, and was a bit miffed at having to go for the estate version (I considered the saloon but quickly rejected it.) It is also inferior to the Renault in other respects, not least of which is interior storage. But it does have looks to die for which, let's face it, the 'facelifted' Laguna doesn't. But the Pug wasn't going to happen, thanks to the ludicrous lease costs, and dropping down to the SE Lux pack meant losing too much. I could have a Laguna 1.9dCi with a much better spec for well within my budget, so I went for it.
And while it may not be a deal-clincher, I do still like to have a tilt and slide sunroof, even with climate control. It's surprising how difficult they are to come by as factory spec these days.
Currently in Horatio's garage:
2010 Laguna III Initiale.