The bid is designed to win sales and take business from rivals including Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Peugeot.
Although the new superclean 90bhp 1.9 dCi version of the Laguna is £200 dearer than the higher-powered 100bhp dCi model, the more powerful engine actually produces fewer emissions and uses less fuel.
But a spokesman argued it was still a major step forward. He said: 'We're trying to cater for the company car driver who wants to pay the very least in tax. Even though the 151g/km emissions figure places the new 90bhp dCi higher than the 100bhp version, the driver should be £200 better off each year with the removal of the 3% benefit-in-kind tax supplement placed on non-Euro IV diesels.
'The key factor is whether companies will pay the extra cost up front to allow employees to enjoy lower tax bills.'
Available only in Authentique and Expression trim levels at £15,625 and £15,690 respectively, the new hatchback has a six-speed gearbox. It reaches 62mph from rest in 14.0 secs, has a top speed of 114mph and economy figures of 50.4mpg combined.
Also introduced is a new Laguna GT, which replaces the Dynamique Techno and is available only with petrol engines sized at more than 2.0 litres and the 1.9 dCi 120 and 2.2 dCi 150 turbo-diesel units. It comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation, climate control, cruise control and part leather upholstery.
Detail changes across the Laguna range include passenger seat height adjustment on the Authentique, automatic headlights, rain sensitive wipers and cruise control for the Expression.
Dynamique trim models gain climate control and cruise control and Privilege versions gain automatic headlights, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels and part-leather upholstery. OTR prices range from £14,925 to £24,015.