An interesting take on a luxury coupe, though we'd stick to diesel power
23 December 2008

What is it?

This is the Renault Laguna coupe 2.0 GT, a turbocharged petrol version of Renault’s large coupe.

What’s it like?

Other than the gaping grille, The Renault Laguna coupe 2.0 GT is a good-looking car. The rear haunches in particular have more than a touch of Aston Martin DB9 about them. And it’s a pleasant enough place to sit, the dash a mixture of clean design and good materials.

So it’s a real shame the drive just doesn’t match the sophisticated static appeal. We could point to individual items such as the unsettled ride or the remote-feeling steering, but overall what the Renault Laguna coupe lacks is finesse.

But what of the engine? With 205bhp and 221lbft the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol motor is not short on outright performance, but only if you’re prepared to pedal it along hard. Where it can’t match the excellent 178bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel is in making smooth, measured progress; the sort of driving congruent with a luxury coupe.

Now I may be on my own with this, because I know some of my colleagues are fans, but I just don’t get on with the fancy four-wheel steering. I’ll happily accept the argument that it helps to improve safety in emergency situations, and the extra manoeuvrability at low speeds is useful.

But when I’m not having an accident or doing three-point turns, I’d prefer a steering set-up with more feel and more natural weighting, even if does mean I have to do a bit of extra arm twirling.

Should I buy one?

Don’t go for it unless you’re sold on petrol. The diesel version is a much better bet.

Jamie Corstorphine

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