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New models - Renault - Laguna

Renault adds 2.0 Laguna

Entry level: The 2.0-litre Renault Laguna will only be available in one specification, called Expression.

Renault heads under $40,000 with a new four-cylinder Laguna

28 Aug 2002

RENAULT will launch a 2.0-litre four-cylinder version of its mid-size Laguna prestige hatchback on September 1 which takes the nameplate under $40,000 - albeit by just $10.

The five-speed manual version of the 2.0 Laguna will retail for $39,990, while the four-speed "Proactive" automatic version is $41,990.

The 2.0 is the only version of Laguna with a manual gearbox, as all the V6 models come with an auto.

Initially the 2.0 will be sold only as what Renault calls a Saloon - or as we would know it, a five-door hatchback. An Estate version goes on sale in the new year.

The 16-valve engine develops 99kW at 5500rpm and 191Nm at 3750rpm, and is a very close relation of 2.0-litre the already on-sale in Australia in the Scenic compact people-mover.

The 2.0 Laguna lines up closely against its French arch-rival the Peugeot 406 ST sedan, which is slightly cheaper at $39,630 (m) and $41,360 (a).

The other French contender, the Citroen C5 hatchback, is more expensive at $41,990 (m) and $43,990 (a).

Available in just one specification level - Expression - the Laguna 2.0 includes keyless card entry and start-up, CD audio, velour upholstery, leather steering wheel and gear selector, Xenon headlights with washers, alloy wheels and dual-zone climate control. Cruise control and a speed limiter system are also standard on automatics.

The Laguna is also strong on safety equipment with frontal airbags, side and head curtain airbags and seatbelts with pretensioners, including two for the driver.

Laguna is also the first car to score five stars in the tough Euro NCAP indepedent crash tests, although that was a left-hand drive 1.8-litre model. Controversially, Renault Australia broke a long-standing local car industry agreement to advertise that result.

Renault Australia is officially forecasting only 20-25 sales per month for the 2.0 Laguna, compared to around 75 for the V6 range. However, the company is also quietly saying it could well turn the tables on the V6 and become the top-seller.

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