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Renault takes occupant safety very seriously, and even the humble Clio has a five star NCAP rating. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Laguna Coupe also achieved the full five stars, scoring 36 out of a maximum 37 points for occupant safety.
There are eight airbags positioned around the cabin to ensure that passengers are protected no matter what the angle of impact. In the case of a head-on collision, there are two dual-volume airbags that will deploy with differing degrees of form and volume depending on where the driver's seat is positioned.
Both rear seats feature ISOFIX anchoring points, so even if you have a couple of kids you shouldn't have trouble fitting them in. It's also surprisingly spacious for children in the rear - my three year old daughter was very comfortable for well over an hour, although she did fall asleep for much of that time.
The Laguna Coupe also features key-free entry and start, and if you haven't used such a system, you really don't know what you're missing. My Clio 197 uses the same system, and it really does make life so much easier.
The flat key-card sports all the buttons you'd expect to see - lock, unlock, boot release and even a button to turn the lights on - but you shouldn't really need to use any of them. The idea is that you keep the key-card in your pocket, and as long as you have it with you when you attempt to open the door, the car will unlock. Once inside, it's just a case of putting your foot on the brake and pressing the Start/Stop button to fire up the engine.
There's also a button on the door handle which will lock the car, although I was surprised to find that only the driver's door handle was equipped with a lock button. This meant that when I took my daughter out of the passenger side of the car I then had to walk around to the driver's side to lock it. That was until I realised that the Laguna will lock itself as soon as it detects you walking away with the key-card in your pocket!
You also don't have to worry about remembering to put the handbrake on, because this car doesn't have one. Renault has equipped the Laguna Coupe with an electronic parking brake, which can be engaged or disengaged at the touch of a button in the centre console.
However, you don't even need to remember to engage or disengage the parking brake. When you put the car into Drive or Reverse and touch the accelerator, the parking brake automatically disengages. Likewise, when you put the car into Park and switch the engine off, the parking brake automatically engages.
The test car also came with electrically folding mirrors, and front and rear parking sensors. The sensors provide audible indication of how close you are to obstacles, but there's no visual indication of distance. The audible alerts are also pretty generous, so even when the beeps become solid, there's still a reasonable amount of space.
Of course there's also a Thatcham Category 1 alarm and engine immobiliser as standard, all of which works in conjunction with the key-free system.
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