Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Renault Laguna coupe - Final Report
15 January 2010
|P11D price:|| £21,400|
|Key rival:|| Peugeot 407 Coupe|
There's been a whole load of noise recently from Renault about how it's improving the quality and reliability of its cars, and the Laguna Coupe, while interesting, disappointing and pleasing in a whole number of ways, is certainly testament to the fact that quality and reliability are now not the big concerns for the French brand.
On the surface is where the Laguna is at its best. It's certainly a good-looking machine that has hints of Aston Martin, especially at the rear , while the interior quality, like the rest of the Laguna range, is a huge step up from what had gone before. The dashboard materials are specifically impressive , and illustrate that Renault is pouring effort into this area.
Unfortunately, delving a bit deeper reveals some flaws. While it couldn't be expected to match the likes of BMW's significantly more expensive 3-series coupe in driving terms, the Laguna seems to be caught between two ideologies. It's neither particularly fun to drive, nor the comfortable long-distance GT cruiser, thanks to a harsh ride quality that thumps over bumps and crevices rather than absorbing them, which gets a little tedious on motorway journeys. The audio and navigation  system is also unnecessarily awkward and unfriendly, although I did it a disservice by not discovering how to take off the 'amount of feet to junction' distance calculation. Closer inspection of the menu system would have revealed various settings that would have solved the gripe, so apologies to Renault on that score. The criticism of lacking postcode entry is valid, though, but Renault is solving that with the cheaper TomTom system making its way across the firm's model range.
Brand prestige is also against the car. Although Renault is acquiring a growing and justified reputation for good sporting cars, the Laguna hasn't the badge cachet to pull off a coupe variant. It's a shame there wasn't a separate badge Renault could use to get around this problem and give the car its own identity to increase appeal.
The Laguna Coupe has only gone up in price by £40 in the time we've had it, unlike other volume brands such as Ford that have increased pricing several times this year. And Renault has introduced the TomTom version of the Laguna Coupe at under £20,000, which is good value for the pretty model.
For a coupe, the Laguna is fairly practical, with plenty of boot space and above average rear space for adults. The fuel consumption figures we managed in our 5500-mile custodial tenure were disappointing, with a failure to break the 40mpg average fuel economy despite the official combined figure sitting at 47.1mpg. The best we achieved, on a trip from London up to Darlington, was 46.6mpg.
Our car was faultless and on several levels appealing, not least being well-specced for the price, although premium items such as cruise control were an odd omission from the standard kit list. It's just a shame the substance maybe isn't quite there behind the obvious and attractive style.
|Renault Laguna coupe 2.0 dCi 150|
|Claimed combined consumption||47.1mpg|
|Our average consumption||39.4mpg|
|Model price range||£19,995-£29,550|
|CO2 (tax) ||157g/km (22%)|
|BIK 20/40% per month||£79/£157|
|Boot space||423 litres|
|Why we’re running it||Can Renault match style |
with substance and bring
glamour to Laguna?
|Positive||Looks, P11D, space |
(for a coupe)
|Negative||Unsettled ride, |