The upgraded sat-nav and entertainment system was also compromised. The large colour sat-nav screen was easy to follow and the directions were clear, but selecting your destination wasn’t as easy. There was no full postcode entry, and many streets were unlisted, which meant I had to carry a map – utterly ridiculous.
Meanwhile, the optional Bose speakers and subwoofer provided great power and clarity, and while there were audio input sockets, there was no dedicated iPod integration. This meant I had to use the player in random mode, because it would have been illegal to control it while I was driving. In the end I relied solely on the six-CD multichanger. The car’s Bluetooth phone system worked faultlessly, however, making it easy and safe to use the phone while on the move.
The 12,000-mile service was soon upon me, so I booked the car back in to Renault London West for a while-you-wait service. I also mentioned that I could hear water sloshing around inside the car’s doors. The resulting investigation and work to rectify the problems stretched my time in the waiting room to more than four hours.
I did have questions about the car’s durability, as a number of squeaks and rattles appeared around the glovebox and gearlever. These really showed themselves in stop-start traffic, and weren’t helped by the car’s overly firm ride.
After covering around 22,000 miles in total, the Coupe is worth just £13,900, £5095 less than it was when I got it. It’s disappointing, but in line with our resale value prediction of 39% after three years and 36,000 miles from new.
So, did the Laguna deliver a winning blend of style and substance? Its distinctive design and rarity certainly make it a head-turner. I even noticed people slowing down on the motorway to get a better look at it. It coped with everyday life and proved reasonably practical for a two-door car, but the overly firm ride and the vague steering stopped me enjoying it more.
Still, I’m surprised it’s not more popular in the UK. I reckon there are fewer than 100 used examples for sale. It’s a shame, because with prices as low as they are, it’s a very flash used car for not a lot of cash.