Time to familiarise ourselves with what’s set to be the most popular Laguna in the range, the 150PS 2.0-litre diesel.

With a billion Euros spent on R&D and numerous quality initiatives you would hope the new Laguna would be a vast improvement over the old and, unsurprisingly, it is. Our test cars were rattle-free, and beautifully built – fine examples of Renault’s new era of quality.

We’ll reserve judgement on ride quality until we hit UK roads, but overall the Laguna has commendable refinement, though lacking the Ford Mondeo’s more involving drive.

Meanwhile, when it comes to costs the Laguna loses by just £5 to the equivalent ‘Zetec’ spec Mondeo on P11D, and misses out again on residuals, with the Ford narrowly better by 0.8%. And on cost per mile the Mondeo wins, with a one penny per mile victory. Looks like the Mondeo will hold onto its class crown for a little longer.

Verdict: Looks, costs and drive favour Mondeo, but Laguna’s quality and refinement will win new fans.