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.