The luxury of ride quality – Renault 25

The old school French luxury car died off years ago really, despite rather determined attempts from many manufacturers to keep it going. See the Renault Laguna, Peugeot 607, Citroen C6, but then see the Peugeot 508 and the – oh, where are the others – and you’ll notice that the character is fading. Which is a shame, because great French ride comfort is a real luxury. I’ve yet to drive one of these Advanced Comfort Citroens yet, and hope to soon, but in the meantime I thought I’d reflect on one of the best riding cars I’ve experienced so far.

The Renault 25. Its seats are soft, spongy and springy – describing the three things they’re made of I suppose, but by no means perfect. Sculpted for style more than ergonomics, their proportions feel a little off after an hour of cruising, but they are still comfortable. Pretty wide, too, but then again so is the car.

You can properly lounge out, sprawling arms and legs to various degrees without losing arm, thigh, shoulder rest options. Particularly with the Monaco’s leather-everywhere interior, this is the kind of car a passenger could comfortably nap in. The driver only has to contend with the easy steering and flick of the gear lever. The pedals are light and delicate too.

The most relaxing thing though is the ride quality, because it is so spongy soft that the Renault just glides over the road. It’s best at speed because you really get that sensation of the wheels moving up and down but the cabin staying level and isolated. There’s something strangely pleasing about the smooth movement forwards with everything passing by in an unfelt blur.

You sit surprisingly low and this makes a difference too. Somehow, being closer to the road puts you at ease, even if you don’t want to feel it directly. The Renault’s width adds to that effect of the car sitting low and securely on the road. It’s reassuring.

All of this makes a long journey in the big Renault such a nice experience. Tarmac blurs underneath and gets soaked up somewhere in the suspension, the car gently bobs up and down over the occasional undulation, your passengers probably nodding off and you sinking into the seat. Lounging and watching the world go by.

Photography: Gregory Evans @automotiveevans

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