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First Drive: Renault Mégane GT

Depending on the country, the Mégane will be available with 10 engine options

Depending on the country, the Mégane will be available with 10 engine options

Twenty years after its launch, Renault shows off the latest version of its hatchback the Renault  Mégane GT, due here in June writes Geraldine Herbert

What is it? Launched in 1995, the Renault Mégane found plenty of converts to its blend of quirky styling and comfort. And even when the “shakin’ that ass” second generation gave way to the somewhat bland third version, the hatchback continued to attract buyers and was the best selling car in Europe and Ireland in 2010

 

First impressions of the new Renault Mégane GT? The latest incarnation stands out with its dynamic styling and distinctive lighting signature at the front, while the rear lights use Edge Light technology to create a horizontal 3D-effect with a deep, red glow and is particularly eye-catching. The overall look is heavily influenced by the new Espace and the Talisman saloon – the new Laguna replacement – but unfortunately neither of these cars are going to appear in right-hand drive.

 

What about the styling? While a much more sophisticated offering than the Captur, Clio or Twingo, the new Mégane is instantly recognisable as part of the family and adopts the brand’s design DNA – including a large vertical Renault diamond, the French car maker’s new signature.

 

Opt for the GT version and get steering-wheel paddle shifters, a different front bumper, 18-inch aluminium wheels developed by Renault Sport and GT-Line badges that adorn the front wings and rear.

The GT features the unique-in-class 4Control all-wheel steering system

The GT features the unique-in-class 4Control all-wheel steering system

What about inside? The new model is longer, lower and wider than the outgoing car and, as a result, has more interior space. Passengers in particular, benefit from a 2cm increase in rear knee space and the boot volume is a very generous 434 litres. Highest-spec models get an 8.7in touch screen that can be operated just like a smartphone or tablet and includes voice recognition for the navigation, telephone, apps and radio and is linked to larger loudspeakers.

 

And on the road?  The GT bridges the gap between the regular Mégane and the RS models and on the road it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Along with seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission you’ll get the super-fast 4Control four-wheel steering, twin exhausts, upgraded suspension and a launch control feature. It is a little on the firm side but you can switch between comfort, neutral and sport so it’s easy to find a suitable setting. While it’s not hardcore sporty, it is powerful and smooth with more than enough zip to put a smile on your face.

How Much? Renualt’s Mégane will go on sale from July with a starting price of €19,490

How Safe? Reassuringly, the Mégane has just been awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP and safety systems include Adaptive Cruise Control; Active Emergency Braking; Lane Departure, Blind Spot and Safe Distance warnings.

What about my options: Details of engines, trim levels and pricing are in the box below and  a Grand Mégane will follow the arrival of the hatch in October.

 

3 words to describe the Renault Mégane GT? Chic;  Sporty; Safe

 

All New Mégane MRRP Expression Dynamique Nav Dynamique S Nav GT Line Nav GT Nav
TCe 130 €19,490
dCi 110 €21,490 €23,990 €25,290 €25,990
dCi 110 EDC €23,190 €25,690 €26,990 €27,690
dCi 130 €26,490 €27,190
TCe 205 EDC €30,690

 

For more information check out Renault.ie , the Renault Ireland facebook page, or follow them on twitter

 

Geraldine Herbert

4th January, 2016

 

 

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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