Today’s shed of the week is a Jaguar S-Type 4.2 V8. No it’s not. This year, the S-Type has become the new Saab in terms of the frequency of its appearance in SOTW: three of them since March. It’s annoying that the fourth one would also have been the most interesting one from a gambler’s perspective if nothing else (jerky gearbox), but of course there’s nowt stopping you boogaloo-ing it on your webbing bowser. Do let us know if you end up buying it. You have special permission to tell us about it in the forum for this week’s actual Shed of the Week, which is a Renault Laguna III Coupe.
A what now? You might well ask. Plenty of Brits bought the Laguna when it first came out in the mid-1990s. It was comfy, capable and popular among the sales reps who (it seemed) were more or less the only users of our motorways back then. Ah yes, great days. The second-generation Laguna should have bounded on from that good start but Renault saddled it with a hopelessly ahead-of-its-time plastic card-based keyless ignition system. The reputational damage caused by owners forgetting they’d put the card in their back pockets plus the growing disinterest in saloon-type cars (even five-door ones) meant that the third-gen Laguna also served as the last-gen Laguna in the UK.
This in turn meant that the first Laguna Coupe, put on sale here in 2009 as an elegant alternative to the Laguna III hatch and estate, was also the last of its ilk. Three years after our year-one Coupe rolled off the line, production of all right-hand-drive Lagunae (bar the ones destined for Australia) was over and done with.
Left-hook Laguna Coupes carried on abroad until 2015 when they were quietly binned due to low demand, a sad end to a car designed by a mystery Renault man who, you might not be too surprised to learn, was an Aston Martin owner. Ex-Aston design head Ian Callum was very nice about the Coupe when he saw it at the Paris show in 2008.
This one isn’t the top-spec GT model, so it doesn’t have the 4Control four-wheel steering. Nor does it have the 235hp 3.0 V6 diesel, the 240hp 3.5 V6 petrol or the 205hp 2.0 turbo petrol. What it does have is the less exotic but also considerably less thirsty than all of the above 150hp 2.0 diesel, from which you can expect a 130mph top speed, a 0-62mph time in the low nines and fuel consumption in the forties, or high thirties at least.
Interestingly, if you’re a nerd, the 2007 Laguna III was the first vehicle to be put through Renault’s then-new Electro Magnetic Compatibility unit. As you all know, electromagnetic immunity focuses on a vehicle's capacity to resist electromagnetic interference from external sources and the mutual compatibility of onboard equipment.
Renault got into this stuff to help it develop its Fluence ZE, the company’s first EV. Sadly, in all the EMC excitement they forgot to give the Fluence ZE a real-world range of much more than 50 miles, but at least they had a go. That was fifteen years ago. Jaguar Land Rover has only recently sent out a press release trumpeting its new EMC system.
Anyway, getting away from magentism for a minute, the MOT history tells us that our shed has had a fair amount of normal suspension, tyre and brake work done over the last couple of years. The last test in September had one advisory for corroded rear springs. New ones can be picked up for as little as sixteen quid each. The next owner might want to look at a softer option though as some found the Coupe’s lowered and stiffened setup a little firm. That would explain the cabin squeaks and rattles that have also been associated with this model. Otherwise, most of the owner reviews have been very complimentary.
The cabin on this one looks like it’s been through the wars and the ad copy is a bit frantic, packing in every cliche and throwing in some retro pandemic references for good measure, but credit where it’s due, the vendors have been officially recognised for their customer service by two of the biggest car selling platforms in the UK this year and last, so it’s reasonable to think you’ll be well looked after by them when you call up to dazzle them with your Shed-supplied Laguna Coupe knowledge.
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