Revvy petrol V6 doesn't suit Laguna Coupe's relaxed demeanour

What is it?

This is the top petrol variant of the new Renault Laguna Coupe GT 3.5 V6, powered by a 237bhp 3.5-litre V6 courtesy of Nissan. Unlike lower-powered Renault Laguna Coupes the V6 is only available in GT spec, meaning there is no escaping Renault’s four-wheel steering. The V6 is also automatic only.

What’s it like?

If you’ve driven the Nissan 350Z you’ll know that the 3.5-litre V6 is big on character but isn’t the smoothest engine. For use in the Renault Laguna Coupe GT 3.5 V6 it has been downtuned quite significantly (the 350Z produces 309bhp, which we guess would be a touch too much for the front-driven Laguna Coupe to handle) and this helps considerably with refinement.

Even with its reduced output the V6 provides the Renault Laguna Coupe with as much performance as it needs – given the limitations of the chassis (there is grip and agility but little finesse) we would question the need to go any faster.

What the combination of engine, gearbox and throttle mapping fails to achieve is a nicely balanced level of performance; the engine is either barely above idle, or revs over-enthusiastically. A coupe should be able to be driven briskly but effortlessly, and in the Laguna doing so just doesn’t come naturally.

Unfortunately, there is more bad news with the ride, in that the 3.5-litre V6 (or at least the particular example we tried) rides even more poorly than other Laguna Coupes. At town speeds it crashes through potholes and at a motorway cruise there is a constant fidget. And in this case wheel size is not to blame; the 18-inch alloys are the same size as on every other GT-spec model.

Should I buy one?

The only reason we can think of for choosing the Laguna Coupe 3.5 V6 is if you’re desperate for a petrol-engined automatic, and even then we would urge you to think twice. In real-world driving the 2.0-litre dCi180 is barely any slower, and if you’re set on big-capacity punch we recommend that you wait for the forthcoming Laguna Coupe 3.0 V6 dCi.

Jamie Corstorphine

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Comments
5

10 January 2009

Does this make the full range of Laguna Coupe's that you've now tested?

It comes across as a magazine that really wants to like this car and has tried every model to find one it actually likes. I am guessing, you haven't been successful.

On a positive note though, I'd like to see more full range tests of various cars.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

12 January 2009

The 3-litre diesel seems to be the pick of the range, especially as it's as powerful as the 3.5 petrol. Shame they can't do a version with the full-fat 300+ bhp V6 and four-wheel drive as well as four-wheel steering ...

12 January 2009

Change the record Jamie, maybe you should let someone else drive the Coupe, you clearly have little good to say about the car but having driven the 2.0t and the 3.5 V6 I actually dont agree with your comments....I drove a Scirocco this morning and that left me cold, its dull inside and out and nothing special to drive. I have no reason to defend the Laguna but to be fair unless you can blat it round a track who really cares if there are sharper handling cars ? BMW interiors look bland and ugly in most of the range and certainly in the cheaper models but hell they have 50/50 weight distribution so they must be great. I don't understand you motoring press types, maybe, just maybe there are enough potential customers for Renault with the coupe who want a stylish, comfortable relaxing coupe with enough power to entertain in the real World without being too concerned whether the steering is as sharp as a BM or the tech is as advanced as a Lexus or with all the kit, as expensive as an Audi. You views are subjective but overly dissmissive of all but the established faves.

13 January 2009

I really like the new Laguna saloon and coupe version too. The car is safe, comfortable sporty looking, when I saw the it on the net first I was not impressed, then when we were in France I saw a truck full of them. I was impressed i thought it looked cool. and different and even made it on to my to ten of French cars. I have onlyonce ever seen a Renault coupe car that was at a vintage rally in Dublin a couple of years ago. So myself and my dad went down to see the new Laguna coupe and Megane. The car was great only proplem was the rear view is terrible and I am quite tall so that could be a problem. There is 6 different models the ranging from €36,590 for the 1998 cc 2.0 dCi 150 to €61,450 for the 2997 cc 3.0 dCi 235 GT. the car is stronge and safe with 6 airbag etc. If I was to get one i would definitely get the reverse parking aid

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