Renault Laguna Coupe

Tom Tom dCi 150

AS a naive young boy with a fascination for cars I often wondered why more ‘run of the mill' manufacturers couldn't make something that on the surface looked as classy as a Rolls-Royce or an Aston Martin but cost an awful lot less.

My reckoning was that if they did everyone would want to buy one.

It might have taken a few decades for my idea to come to fruition but that is exactly what Renault have managed with the Laguna Coupe.

Here is a car whose stunning good looks ensure it stands out for miles.

Among the comments I received while driving it were: "What a great looking car" and: "What is it? Is it an Aston Martin?"

Okay, so the Aston Martin thing might be taking it just a step too far though there's no doubting that from certain angles the Laguna Coupe does have a certain similarity.

Its styling also reminds me of some of the Pininfarina jobs done on more ‘ordinary' cars in the 1960s - classy, elegant and chic.

To be honest, I'm surprised they aren't more plentiful on our roads, particularly as the 2.0-litre Tom Tom dCi 150 model I tested will cost you just under £20,000.

This car had a few little extras which raised the price to almost £21,000 but being able to turn out a car like this for under that critical £20,000 ceiling is quite a feat by Renault - and that's before you start talking discounts.

So, looks apart, what does the Laguna Coupe have going for it?

For starters it also boasts quite a bit of interior space, meaning you can have those stylish Grant Tourer looks while also having a practical everyday family motor.

It might not be quite as spacious as the saloon on which it is based but is still roomy enough and has a decent sized boot too.

Perhaps my only real criticism would be that the interior of the car doesn't quite match its stylish exterior.

Not that there's anything wrong with it. The fascia and trim looks perfectly good in a Laguna Saloon - better than most in fact - but given the Coupe's classy profile it just looks kind of ‘ordinary'.

Also, for a car that looks like a sporting thoroughbred my test car has more pedestrian performance than first impressions might suggest. To be fair this 150bhp version is the entry level model - hence managing that sub 20 grand price tag.

If you like those looks but want to get a bit more in the way of performance and are prepared to fork out a little bit more then both a 3.5-litre petrol V6 or a 3.0-litre diesel V6 - both of which have Renault's 4Control system rather than front wheel drive - represent tempting options.

There's a little bit of diesel lag from a standing start but once it gets going the engine has enough power and punch to please while still managing to be impressively economical.

Its handling is decent rather than overtly dynamic but there's little to find fault with - and any shortcomings are more than compensated for by a ride that's exceptionally comfortable.



Renault Laguna Coupe Tom Tom dCi 150

Price: £20,835

Mechanical: 150bhp, 1,995cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 131mph

0-62mph: 9.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 47.1

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions: 157g/km

Bik rating: 22%

Warranty:  3yrs/ 100,000 miles


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