Renault Laguna II, the car responsible for the image of old Renaults but also responsible for the reliability of modern cars. Renault Laguna II, is the hero we deserve but don’t need.
Launched around the same time as the Citroen C5 I, the Renault Laguna II was a car packed with technology and electronics, made by a manufacturer not known for quality electronics. In fact, the Renault Laguna II was such a poor car that you could put it up there with the old Fiats, somewhere in the “Wooden Trophy” category. Legend has it that when a Renault Laguna II rolled out of the factory it was already climbing on the platform on its way to repair shop. What’s more, in the boot of saloon cars (station wagons’ boot tends not to open) they used to put a tool kit and a beer cap that said: “Try again!”.
Now would be a good time to talk about the Renault Laguna II as a car, but the list of issues is long and I’ll keep things simple. Sure, the looks have aged better than some of my high school classmates and some of the engines are absolutely decent, but the main credit to the Laguna II is that it forced the French to put all their money into increasing reliability and so we have very reliable cars today like the Megane III, Clio III or even the Laguna III.
Renault Laguna II Engines
- 1.6 MPI of 110 and 117 horsepower – A relatively simple engine but dependent on decent quality petrol. I Also parts cost enough to make you think twice about this engine.
- 1.8 MPI of 120 horsepower – Things have been bad so far but are starting to get better. This classic, antique engine is just right in terms of reliability and performance. Throw in an LPG and you have one of the most reliable combinations possible for the Renault Laguna II.
- 2.0 MPI of F4R 135hp – The old F4R is a relatively decent engine in terms of reliability, but at least you know you can find parts anywhere. Occasionally it eats coil packs, oil, and gaskets and is emotionally unstable at idle.
- 2.0 F5R of 140 horsepower – You could say it’s a related engine to the 2.0 MPI, and you’d be wrong. I mention it because it was the first European engine with direct injection, practically an improved Mitsubishi GDI. Naturally, they used the old F4R and tried to adapt it. Problems with the high-pressure pump, pressure regulator, and EGR made this engine stop suddenly, no matter how fast you were going. After this experience, it wasn’t until 15 years later that Renault came up with another direct-injection petrol engine, the 115 horsepower 1.2 TCe from the Clio IV.
- 2.0 Turbo F4R of 163 and 170 horsepower – Same 2.0 MPI, just with an extra turbo for added flavor. An engine where maintenance costs are already irrelevant because you have a Renault Laguna II torpedo. Good luck finding one instead.
- 3.0 V6 of 204 horsepower – Same sporty engine found in the Clio V6 or Renault Espace, this coil packs and tax eater is already irrelevant in the world of economy and reason. But still, if you buy a Renault Laguna II you’re telling the whole world that you’re dedicated and that you’re going crazy all the way. Respect.
- 1.9 dCi of 92, 101, 105, 120, and 130 horsepower – A decent diesel with no noticeable problems that was also put in the Suzuki Grand Vitara 1.9 DDIS. The only notable problem is with the EGR which gets stuck on open and can cause serious damage if not treated in time. Notable issue for the 130 horsepower engine because it comes with a particle filter and doesn’t go well with short trips.
- 2.0 dCi M9R of 150 and 177 horsepower – Some M9R engines both 2.0 dCi and 1.9 dCi have a tendency to leak oil through the engine and possibly send your engine to the junkyard. Nothing to worry about. All in all, the 2.0 diesel M9R is a fine, reliable piece of art which became the backbone of mid-sized Renault-Nissan cars.
- 2.2 dCi of 150 horsepower – All the mechanical problems under the sun have piled up in Renault’s G9T 2.2 dCi. Intake valve, exhaust system, camshaft, EGR, turbine, injectors, and so on. Are you sure you want a Renault Laguna II 2.2 dCi?
Renault Laguna II General Issues
- As with the 2.2 dCi, all the electrical issues under the sun have been piled into the Renault Laguna II. Air conditioning, radio, electric windows, xenons, and the rest. Even the brake pedal has a tendency to fall off because it was glued on with melted plastic beer caps. The Renault Laguna II was a car with a lot of complex systems that depended on electrics made by Renault in the 2000s. I think you can see what a molotov cocktail came out of that combination.
- The automatic gearbox is a rare option because it was so good that Renault stopped production for a while. But there’s no concern, you can go with a manual gearbox that just has a tendency to get stuck in second gear.
- Petrol engines have ECU issues, because water seeps through the windshield drains and makes a mess of the car and wreaks havoc on your wallet.
- The shocks on the front are made of chewing gum and rubber and tend to break down every 100 yards. Particularly affected are diesel engines and 3.0 V6 petrols, engines with weight, issues, and power.
- But the French didn’t just use the cheese and pasta for the dampers, they also used them for the clutches used in diesel engines. With as many problems as the Renault Laguna II has, does a clutch and a flywheel really matter?
- Self-leveling xenons are prone to failure because, you guessed it, the electronics made by Renault in the 2000s didn’t shine, literally or figuratively.
- As with the Megane II, Renault decided for the Laguna that a classic key was too mainstream so they gave you a card instead. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that you have to constantly clean the card slot of dust, and if you lost the card you also lost 150$, the average cost of a card.
- For the station wagon “Sports Tourer” versions prepare because the boot sills are also made of chewed gum. As with the Ford Focus III, before buying the car check the boot for dampness.
- In France there are no small children and no child seats, so the ISOFIX system in the Renault Laguna II is just for show. It can’t accommodate a child seat so the baby will have to stand on the side of the road like the rest of us waiting for the tow car.
Renault Laguna II Verdict
A car with so many issues that it forced Renault to invest all its money in reliability. Is a Renault Laguna II worth it in 2022? The answer is yes if you go for a car with as few features as possible. Remember 3 words…wait, not that…Remember, on a Laguna II the more electrical components the more problems you will have. However, the Laguna II’s reputation has made the price drop like a sack of potatoes from the attic, the price is comparable to a Mondeo III, another car that people buy because it’s not VW. Many Renault Laguna II’s are priced at under 1000 euros, so if you get a decent model without too many features you got a decent deal.
Which engine do you recommend? Absolutely, undoubtedly the Budweiser, the 1.9 dCi diesel in any version. The only real problem is that the EGR gets stuck on open from time to time, but otherwise, it’s just another reliable diesel capable of billions of miles. Keep in mind that the 130 horsepower version also comes with a particle filter, which costs many times more than a Renault Laguna II.