Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Laguna Ready to Take on BMW; Motoring World

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Laguna Ready to Take on BMW; Motoring World

Article excerpt

Byline: By STEWART SMITH

RENAULT has returned to the big coupe market with the head-turning Laguna Coupe which goes on sale in the UK in January.

And the French manufacturer is making no bones about its ambition to put a dent in its competitors' offerings in this sector of the market, even targeting BMW's big-selling 3 Series three-door.

Ambitious, maybe, but if stylish good looks are high on prospective buyers' lists then it could tempt some away from their present brand.

First seen as a concept car at Frankfurt Motor Show in 2007, the finished product isn't far removed, which in itself is unusual.

The new Laguna Coupe has sexy, sleek lines and an aggressive sporty look designed to appeal to middle management males looking for a motor with style and charisma.

Around 40% of UK sales will be to the company driver looking for something that stands out from the crowd.

Based on the existing Laguna platform, the coupe's styling is eye-catching, especially from the rear which has more than a hint of Aston Martin about it.

Fluid lines up front taper down to an aggressive wide grille and attractive headlight cluster which houses the powerful bi-xenon lamps.

Rear lights, employing LED technology, are of an unusual design, spreading across the coupe's flanks and on to the boot lid.

The sporty styling at the rear is continued with twin exhaust pipes at each corner.

Interior design follows the smooth, clean concept of the outside with an uncluttered dashboard and simple switchgear. Seating is comfortable and all-round vision is good.

Entry into the back seats is made easy with front seats sliding well forward. But, as in all low-slung coupes, back seat headroom for six-footers isn't the best.

On the road the two versions I drove were excellent. …

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