If there is one accusation you can never level at Renault it’s of being too conservative with its designs. Love them or loathe them the range is always cutting edge when it comes to form.
Remember the weird coupe the Avantime? Or how about the whacky executive saloon, the Vel Satis? Or even the last Megane which came complete with a bottom the size of J-Lo’s.
Oh no, you may not approve, but Renault always insists on ploughing its own furrow - even if that furrow ends in a darkened warehouse where they keep one of every sales flop for posterity.
Still you have to admire them for being tryers and the marketing hype is generally so good that it thoroughly convinces the media of the logic behind the design - even when it doesn’t sell.
This time Renault has decided to take a slightly different tack. In the latest Laguna the French manufacturer has created a coupe which from any angle is glorious to behold.
If the latest crop of French cars has decided to ape the Germans; the new Laguna has the flair and sensuous curves of something Italian and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.
Laguna is smooth, sexy and stylish; it’s beautifully proportioned with peerless lines. The front end snarls Ferrari with its deep mouth organ front grille, sleek bonnet and shapely lights.
From the side it is pure coupe, shaped by the wind tunnel, with grace and elegance and as simple as a curved line can be.
Then, from the rear, the coupe is muscular, macho, with a prominent step in the boot line making it look wide, road-hugging, aggressive. If it wasn’t for the badges you would never guess it was a Renault.
Inside’s not bad either. The GT come with leather sports seats and all the toys - satnav, blue tooth, Bose hi-fi, cruise. The dash is attractive and works well. There’s the obligatory joy stick mouse thingy on the central transmission tunnel that operates the various on board computers, phone and navigation.
The well upholstered interior then moves seamlessly up across a nice looking dashboard and clocks. No complaints there; it all looks special and also has the bonus of feeling well made and upmarket.
The rear seats are useable because they are well shaped and spacious. There’s not that much legroom - well it is a coupe after all – but the boot is large and accommodating. If you’ve got a baby then the car seat fits in easy enough and the pushchair is swallowed by the boot with room to spare.
GT also gets something called four wheel steering which makes the Coupe go round the bends rather well. It’s a strange feeling at first. Normally you can feel the resistance at the rear as the sticky sports tyres get dragged after the front. But this time the feeling is of being on rails.
At slow speeds it makes the Coupe more manoeuvrable and nimble. At higher velocities it all feels more controlled and confident. It also means there is less cabin roll making the ride more pleasant and less motion-sickly for all occupants.
There’s a choice of petrols and diesels. Test car came with an excellent 180hp diesel which is phenomenally smooth and powerful. It is a genuinely fast car by any standards; great at cruising, superb at overtaking; yet you don’t have to try too hard to achieve 40 miles per gallon.
There’s got to be a catch hasn’t there? Well it might just be that something that looks and drives this well should have a bigger price tag and sport a more prestigious badge - and that’s about it.
This time Renault has got it right by creating a coupe that looks attractive to everyone not just the quirky.
Model: Renault Laguna Coupe
Engine: 2.0 four cylinder turbo diesel
Drivetrain: six speed manual
Top speed: 137.8mph
Insurance group: 16E
Miles per gallon (combined): 43.4
CO2 (g/km): 172
Price: from £23,910.00Reuse content