What is it?
This is the new Renault Laguna Coupe 2.0 DCi, a cheaper alternative to the V6-powered 3.0 DCi.
If you thought Renault might pitch the Laguna Coupe as a bit of an alternative choice, something different to the norm, think again – the company assures us that the Coupe fancies its chances against the BMW 320d coupe.
The Laguna Coupe is shorter than its hatch and estate sisters, although its track is wider. Our test car came with a 178bhp 2.0-litre diesel with a six-speed manual, in GT trim. This means a better spec and, significantly, four-wheel steering.
What’s it like?
Equipment levels are high and the interior looks and feels good. The Laguna Coupe is airier than its German rivals, with plastics that are lighter in colour (fine) and lighter to the touch (not so good).
Against the premium Germans it feels a bit high-street audio versus serious hi-fi. It’s spacious in the front, but the revised dimensions make it snug in the back and the cute boot shape limits space.
To drive? It’s certainly fast enough. The diesel engine’s soundtrack is a bit whooshy, but it’s driveable and quick. Renault claims 0-62mph in 8.5 sec and it feels easily that fast.
Major driving controls are on the light side, however. That makes the Laguna coupe an easy car to drive, but not always a very engaging one.
The steering, particularly, is very direct and light. Then there’s the four-wheel steer. The rear wheels turn against the fronts during low speed and hard cornering, which makes the Coupe feel very agile - it can corner at some speed.
There’s no great finesse, though. And the steering’s directness and the rear wheels’ variable-steer means it’s not always intuitive.
Should I buy one?
As a break from the norm, the Laguna Coupe is intriguing; there’s certainly a place for it. Whether that place is beating a 3-series coupe to a spot on your driveway is debatable, however.