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I drive a reasonable number of miles in my work (around 3000/month) and have recently had the opportunity to sample several cars in this class. The Laguna has been my least favourite for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I have been driving this particular vehicle for around 5 months. It is a hire car, and I am unsure of the trim level - there are no other markings on the car other than 1.9dCi. It is an up to date model - 05 plate.
My main issue is comfort. I am just over 6ft & I find that the door handle is constantly rubbing my knee. This sounds minor, but when you are in a car for a couple of hours it becomes a huge annoyance. I have tried every adjustment but have yet to find a comfortable seating position. Also note that boot space is less than I expected.
Another area worth mentioning is the sun visor. When this is down, it manages to obliterate most of the windscreen. I have now developped the habit (as has my wife, who is much shorter) of crouching down in my seat or sitting especially upright to avoid the sun, as the visor is useless.
The vehicle has 15000 miles on the clock, around 13500 of these 'belonging' to me. The dash vibrates if the engine is outside of its' confort zone, and the passenger side electric window has ceased to function. The general feel is rather cheap and nasty - and that is in comparison to cars such as Vectra's and even the Skoda Octavia. I have had no other reliability problems.
I find the handling is very poor - this isn't a car to throw around corners! I ave also been fairly unimpressed with the economy (I noticed some of the other reviews complement the 1.9 engine on its' economy). I get an average of 47mpg. This is with 80% motorway driving. Perhaps if you stick to 60mph you will be happy. Other similar cars have averaged 54-60mpg on the same journies.
There are some quirky features in the cabin - push button to start/stop (quite nice), strange handbrake arrangement (not nice). There are also some poorly positioned switches, such as the hazard warning, which is easy to accidentally turn on. The dash is very plain, including the minimalist audio controls. The glove box is failry small. However, there is a large cenre consol unit with some usefull storage space - pity it restricts access to the lumber support lever on the drivers seat! There are 4 electric windows, which is always a nice feature (though I am down to 3, as mentioned earlier!).
I think the attractiveness of any car is very subjective. I liked the Laguna at first, but after owning it for a while I find it is difficult to spot in a large car park due to its' average appearance.
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