Renault Laguna: the beautiful story of the diamond sedan

Below the Safrane, which had a hard time overshadowing the R25, Renault launched the Laguna, a popular sedan which was even approached by Williams F1 in competition. Back to the first generation, by far the most successful.

In January 1994, after 8 years of success, Renault replaced the Renault 21 with an elegant 5-door saloon: the Laguna. The lines of the newcomer are inspired by the Safrane, with even more elegance, thanks in part to its smaller dimensions and a more elaborate style, which won the prize for the most beautiful car of the year in 1994.

A first for a Frenchwoman

The Laguna stands out for a very original dashboard with all the controls within easy reach, the extension of the dashboard in the front door panels with integration of the ventilation grilles in the doors. Its interior is a real asset compared to the classic interiors of the Citroën Xantia and Peugeot 406. The horn control is on the steering wheel (a first for a French car) and the hazard warning lights control accessible to passengers.

Unlike the Renault 21, which offered 4- and 5-door bodies, the Laguna was only manufactured with 5 doors, respecting the choice of customers who were abandoning the classic versions in this range of models.

Reliable but corrosive

For quality and reliability, in 1995, after one year of use, the SOFRES survey placed the Laguna in second position, just behind the Toyota Carina. However, a corrosion problem in the rear wheel arches and the side sills revealed itself late in the customer service and required a significant number of vehicles to be taken over, a problem eradicated at the end of 1995.

From phase 2, in 1998, the anti-corrosion treatment was further improved. Apart from the problems with the 1.9 dTi and 1.9 dCi diesel engines, the first Laguna of the name is a model known for its reliability, which will unfortunately not be the case for the following generations.

Long live sports!

In 1994, after a disappointing season with the 19, Renault entered the Laguna, prepared by the Williams team at the height of its glory (please!), in the British Touring Car Championship. No less than 33 victories will fall in six seasons, including total domination in 1997 with Alain Menu. Enough to bring the Laguna into the history of motorsport.

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