One of the best looking, yet most underrated cars on the market today is the Renault Laguna Coupé. That’s the version of the Laguna that isn’t boring and screaming for a make-over completely new generation. Oh, that’s right, since late 2011 Renault isn’t selling the car in the UK anymore.
It’s one of the many models – probably at least half their European line-up – Renault has taken out of dealerships throughout the country. All part of a cost-cutting exercise to get the French carmaker to write black figures again. Apparently, you weren’t buying it, nor the normal Laguna, nor the Espace, Kangoo, Modus or Wind.
For the bulk of those models I can understand this. The normal Laguna isn’t an ugly car at all. It actually looks quite fresh, but compare it to competition from Ford, Vauxhall and even Citroen and strangely enough it looks quite small town, especially when you get it in pale green. Looks a bit like it’s for people with a caravan. Renault must have known this, because in 2008 they offered the market an alternative, mostly aimed at those of their potential customers without kids or an empty nest: the two-door Laguna Coupé. Along came two brand new V6 engines, a diesel and a petrol, pumping out 235 and 240 horses worth of power respectively. Nothing excessive, but quite enough for such a distinguished looking car.
Whether people that buy a big Renault just don’t want to go fast or whether environmental surcharges on these motorisations turned the car into a money drain I’m not sure, but in late 2011 the V6 engines went exit. Renault, having tried pulling new customers into the car at the high end of the spectrum, must now think they might have better luck on the other end. They’ve just announced the coming of a 1.5L dCi diesel doing a “whopping” 110 horses.
What a way to under-equip such a fantastic and fast looking car! Then again, customers were grossly under-appreciating it and it wasn’t particularly fast to change owners. Such a pity. Anyway, thankfully Brits won’t know the pain of getting stuck behind one that is trying to overtake a lorry.