Renault today announced full UK pricing and specification for its eagerly-awaited New Laguna range, the flagship car for the company’s three-year growth plan, Renault Commitment 2009. Prices start at £15,990 and in some cases, are more than £500 less than the outgoing range.

With a target of being in the top three of its segment for both product and service quality, New Laguna has high standards to live up to. To do so, as the emblem of Renault’s continued pursuit of quality, the newcomer boasts a high-quality interior, impressive driving dynamics and offers complete peace of mind for its customers.

Quality is the first undertaking of Renault’s Commitment 2009 plan. New Laguna was engineered and will be manufactured with a level of quality never reached to date by Renault. This is why New Laguna will include, as standard across the range, a three-year, 100,000 mile warranty.

With several of its key rivals, including the new Ford Mondeo, set firmly in its sights, New Laguna is priced competitively in the upper-medium class.

In spite of the overall gains in quality and specification, the Hatch models are an average of £300 less than their current Laguna II equivalents. For example, the likely best-seller, Hatch Dynamique 2.0 dCi 150, costs just £18,400, £470 less than the current model.

Many of the engine and transmission options are available across the whole New Laguna range, allowing customers to choose their trim level easily in line with their preferred fuel type, economy and emissions needs. The only differences to this are that the 1.5 dCi 110 engine and 2.0 dCi 130 engines are available in Expression and Dynamique, while the 2.0 dCi 150 Auto FAP and 2.0 16V 170 Auto are reserved for Dynamique models and above. Further engines are likely to be added in 2008.

Six-speed gearboxes are standard across the range, for both the automatic and manual versions.

In keeping with New Laguna’s aims to be in the top three for product and service quality, standard equipment levels are high for both the Hatch and Sport Tourer.

Core features on the entry-level Expression for both bodystyles includes: 16″ alloy wheels, 60W CD-RDS radio with fingertip remote control, air conditioning, alarm (Category 1), body coloured bumpers, door mirrors and handles, driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, electric windows all-round, electrically heated door mirrors, keyless car with Renault Card and leather steering wheel.

Moving up the range, Dynamique trim adds a sporty edge to proceedings with chrome cabin detailing and figure-hugging front sports seats in charcoal cloth and part leather upholstery with lumbar adjustment. Completing the added comfort and style features for what is expected to be the best-selling version of New Laguna, are a leather steering wheel with flat bottom section, cruise control, front fog lamps, speed limiter and chrome window surrounds which add elegant lines to the car’s already svelte exterior.

A new model for the Laguna range, replacing the former Privilège, is Dynamique S, which emphasises the car’s sporting air even further. On the outside, 17″ Spider alloy wheels set the tone for the interior which boasts leather and alcantara electrically adjustable and heated sports seats, and aluminium dashboard and interior inserts. Elsewhere in the cabin, life on board and general ease-of-use is also made even more serene with the addition of an automatic parking brake, automatic headlamps and windscreen wipers and climate control.

Completing the New Laguna range is the elegant Initiale trim level. Pale wood trim and beige full leather upholstery abound in its luxuriously-appointed cabin, packed with technology. Among its hi-tech features are a 120W single CD-radio with MP3 CD reader and Bluetooth™ satellite navigation with full colour screen.

Inside, the top-of-the-range model also benefits from: electrically heated front seats with memory, electrochrome rear view mirror, integrated sunblinds in the rear side and tailgate window (Hatch), rear central armrest with storage and two cupholders, rear reading lights and Renault Hands Free keycard. On the outside, Initiale versions will be distinguishable by their electrically heated and folding door mirrors, front and rear parking sensors and bi-xenon directional headlamps. Metallic paint also comes as standard.

In addition to being one of the most refined cars in its class, New Laguna is also designed to be one of the safest. Its extensive list of active and passive safety features includes: ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), Brake Assist, six airbags (front thorax, front lateral and curtain) and R.A.I.D. (Renault Anti-Intruder Device which automatically locks all the car doors when travelling over 5mph). Notably, ESP with ASR traction control also comes as standard.

Ordering for the stylish New Laguna Sport Tourer opens in September and shares the same four trim levels and equipment levels. However, two additions are its innovative ‘Super-fold’ system and roof bars.

The new Super-fold system enables the rear seats to fold down simply by pulling a small lever concealed in the rear hatch or by the rear seats, thereby giving a cavernous and completely flat load area of 1,593 litres right up to the rear of the front seats. The roof bars are standard across the range and vary in colour according to trim level. Several other features for added convenience on the load-lugger are bag hooks in the boot and an opening tailgate window (standard on Initiale and £200 option for other versions).

With its rakish roofline and muscular stance, the new estate is expected to take a significant share of New Laguna sales, and as such, has been priced accordingly, with the current price difference between Hatch and Sport Tourer models cut by £150 to £950.

Designed to be affordable to run as well as buy, dCi-engined New Laguna models feature a new OCS (Oil Control System) which lengthens service intervals by monitoring the oil usage depending on driver demands and road conditions. Its engines also offer an excellent blend of high fuel economy and low emissions, with both 2.0 dCi engines offering 46.3mpg on a combined cycle. The new 1.5 dCi 110 meanwhile is even more impressive, with 53.3mpg achievable.

Rounding off the low costs of ownership are the insurance groups for New Laguna which includes 8E for all 1.5 dCi 110 models and 9E for Expression 2.0 dCi 130.

New Laguna already has impressive core equipment levels, however, an extensive list of individual options and several new Option Packs will ensure that customers can tailor the car to their exact specification. Among the items are:

* Stylish 18″ Mille Miles alloy wheels (£500)
* Bluetooth™ hands-free phone kit (£400)
* Bluetooth™ satellite navigation with full colour screen and 120W single CD-RDS radio with MP3 CD reader (£975)
* Bluetooth™ 3D satellite navigation with full colour screen and 200W dash-mounted 6 CD-changer/radio MP3 (£1,750)
* Climate control and automatic headlamps and windscreen wipers (£400)
* Electric panoramic sunroof (£500)
* Front and rear parking sensors (£300)
* Heat reflecting windscreen (£50)
* Laminated rear side windows (£250)
* Leather and alcantara electrically adjustable heated sports seats (£800)
* Metallic paint (£360)
* Multi-functional TunePoint (£175)
* Rear thorax airbags (£250)
* Tyre pressure monitor (£250)
* Video screens in the rear of the front headrests for watching DVDs or connecting a games console (£1,750)

New Laguna is also available with three new Options Packs: ‘Comfort’ (£500, Dynamique only), ‘Comfort Plus’ (£600 Expression only) and ‘S’ (£900 Dynamique only).

The first of these, Comfort, offers several items of equipment to make life on board simpler and more pleasurable, such as:

* Aluminium effect centre console
* Automatic headlamps and windscreen wipers
* Automatic parking brake
* Climate control
* Illuminated vanity mirror (passenger side)

Comfort Pack Plus, designed for Expression models, benefits from several of the items above, with some two additional features which will no doubt prove beneficial for those covering long distances:

Automatic headlamps and windscreen wipers

* Climate control
* Cruise control with speed limiter
* Front fog lamps
* Illuminated vanity mirror (passenger side)

Lastly, ‘S’ includes:

* 17″ Spider alloy wheels
* Hands Free Renault Card
* Leather/Alcantara electrically adjustable heated sports seats

New Laguna is available to order now in Hatch guise and from mid-September for Sport Tourer. Hatch models appear in showrooms from 19 October, with Sport Tourer versions to follow in January 2008.