Understated, effortless performance is the GT’s bag. And it does it rather well. Its reworked 2-litre turbo Mégane motor (less power, more refinement) is the smooth, silent type, but it gains speed at a useful rate. It’s cross-country pace that sets this Laguna apart, though.
And this is largely thanks to its Active Drive four-wheel-steering system. As David Vivian reported when he drove the car in Corsica (issue 118), the Laguna is transformed – far more agile and precise. UK roads are a bit more open than those of Corsica, but the benefits are still clear.
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The rear wheels assist turn-in, so a little lock goes a long way. Trouble is, the eager nose merely heightens the steering’s superficial feedback, and while the 4ws is great on the way in to corners, it’s far less helpful on the way out, where the excitable (and non-switch-off-able) stability control is quick to administer an electronic wrist-slapping.
Up to that point the GT does grip hard, but the overall impression is of an efficient car rather than an engaging one.