Renault Laguna Coupe 3.0 V6 dCi (2008) CAR review, video

Published:22 October 2008

Renault Laguna Coupe 3.0 V6 dCi (2008) CAR review, video
  • At a glance
  • 3 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5

By Guy Bird

Contributor, cultural curator, design commentator

By Guy Bird

Contributor, cultural curator, design commentator

London motor show video

The Renault Laguna Coupe is the best-looking car the recently ‘design-troubled’ French brand has produced for years. That might not be such an achievement given Renault’s current line-up, but nonetheless, the new four-seater coupe is a very positive addition to a market that demands beauty above all else. By comparison the Peugeot 407 Coupe seems plain ugly and even the BMW 3-series Coupe average.

Has Renault design got its mojo back?

‘Yes’ on the evidence of the stunning Laguna Coupe, but ‘no’ on first acquaintance with the depressing new five-door Megane. Still, the Laguna Coupe – prefaced by the superb 2004 Fluence concept car – is genuinely beautiful; up close and out on the road.

Starting from the edge of the fairly deep front air intake, a gentle line rises over the front wheelarch to form a subtle but clearly defined side character line that dips downward slightly after the door to flare out the shoulder line, then sweeps gracefully round to meet the car’s extended rear lip before finally swooping back over the roof of the car and back down the bonnet.

Sorry to wax lyrical, but bar a few tiny details at the front around the lights, there’s really not a jarring line in sight on the new Laguna Coupe.

What about inside? How’s the quality and can anyone fit in?

The inside is nearly as good – and, yes, you can even fit four people in. At launch we were spoiled by top-spec GT cars with well bolstered, ribbed leather seats and a similarly clad steering wheel and door trims but nonetheless fit and finish feels genuinely ‘prestige’.

Four six-footers can slide in with relative ease and rear head and knee room is good for its class. Fold-flat rear seats activated by ‘easy-pull’ handles in the boot – borrowed from the Sport Tourer – give the coupe some real flexibility when the occasional practical manoeuvre is required.

Scroll down the page to the embedded player to view Renault's unedited footage of Laguna Coupe

Click ‘Next’ to find out what the new Renault Coupe is like on the road  

London motor show video 

How does the new Renault Laguna Coupe drive?

If you weren’t expecting as direct a driving experience as a BMW 3-series Coupe – and surely you weren’t – the Laguna Coupe really should meet most customer expectations, and then some.

Only two V6 autos were available at this early stage – a 240bhp 3.5 V6 petrol and 235bhp 3.0 V6 dCi diesel teamed up with a six-speed automatic ’box with manual shifting possible via the gearstick (no paddles, though).

Both engines are very smooth and refined, the all-new diesel especially so for an oil-burner. It’s quiet and proffers plenty of shove in a smooth power delivery.

Petrol or diesel? Which would you go for?

The Laguna Coupe is this diesels first application but it will find its way into a bunch of models from sister-brand Infiniti (and Nissan) in 2009. The diesel’s 39.2mpg (vs 28.2mpg for the petrol) and 192g/km (vs 238g/km) with only a £500 premium make the diesel the better bet all-round.

GT spec also means you get Renault’s all-wheel steering system ‘4Control’ which helps improve low-speed manoeuvrability, reduces cornering body roll and increases steering precision. It’s still no sports car, but the Laguna Coupe is enjoyable to drive, with good brakes and a decent ride bar the odd bump catching it out.

When and how much?

The new Laguna Coupe arrives in the UK on 2 January 2008, initially with two petrols, a 205bhp 2.0 Turbo and 240bhp 3.5 V6, and two diesels – the expected top-selling 150bhp 2.0 dCi and a 180bhp 2.0 dCi.

The range-topping 235bhp 3.0 V6 dCi follows very closely at the end of the same month. Prices range from £20,995 to £27,995.

Verdict


At last! A Renault we can get excited about! After a string of so-so models, the Laguna Coupe is a fine effort from La Regie. Style, panache, a decent drive and fair running figures. This car deserves to succeed.

Scroll down the page to the embedded player to view Renault's unedited footage of Laguna Coupe

Would you buy a Renault Laguna Coupe over a BMW 3-series Coupe? Click 'Add your comment' below and have your say   

Specs

Price when new: £27,995
On sale in the UK: March 2009
Engine: 2993cc 6-cyl turbodiesel, 235bhp @3750rpm, 332lb ft @1500rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Performance: 7.3secs 0-62mph, 151mph, 39.2mpg, 192g/km
Weight / material: 1630kg/steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4643/1812/1398

Rivals

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Photo Gallery

  • Renault Laguna Coupe GT 3.0 V6 dCi (2008) CAR review
  • Renault Laguna Coupe GT 3.0 V6 dCi (2008) CAR review
  • Renault Laguna Coupe GT 3.0 V6 dCi (2008) CAR review
  • Renault Laguna Coupe GT 3.0 V6 dCi (2008) CAR review
  • Renault Laguna Coupe GT 3.0 V6 dCi (2008) CAR review

By Guy Bird

Contributor, cultural curator, design commentator

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