Is the very stylish fourth generation Renault Megane good enough to steal sales from Ford and VW asks Suzanne Keane
What is it? The Megane is back with an all new look, in keeping with Renault’s new signature styling and this 4th generation model is hoping to build on the success of its predecessors.
Styling? Lower than the previous version with a longer wheelbase the new Megane also has the widest track in its class. With the 18” wheels on the GT Line spec it really is an eye-catcher especially with the distinctive front and rear lights turned on to highlight the GT Line bumpers, chrome exhaust tailpipe and the honeycomb diffuser. The model tested was a GT Line with optional California 18” wheels (€500) and Iron Blue paintwork (€640).
Under the Bonnet? There are 2 petrol engines available, 1.2l (130bhp) or the GT version in 1.6l (205bhp) which can do 0-100kmph in just 7.1 seconds and has a top speed of over 230kmph. Our test car was a 110bhp 1.5 dCi diesel which is available in both manual or automatic. There is also a 1.6L dCi unit with 130bhp on the market.
What about inside? Inside the cabin there’s a 7” colour instrument display, R-Link 2 connectivity system and multisense technology for personalising the driving experience. Seats are comfortable and the cabin lighting really adds to the sport feel. 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.
On the Road? When I tested this engine at the Irish launch I found its responsiveness quite disappointing but roll on a few months and with an extra 3,000 km on the clock the difference is noticeable! The Megane is a fun car to drive and with sports mode selected the stiffer suspension will keep your inner “girl-racer” happy. However, I did find the rear end can feel a little unsettled on sharp bends.
And Safety? The Megane has a 5-star Euro NCAP rating and safety systems include Adaptive Cruise Control; Active Emergency Braking; Lane Departure, Blind Spot and Safe Distance warnings.
Will it break the bank? The Megane starts at €19,490 for a 1.2 petrol Expression model rising to €30,690 for a 205bhp GT Nav version. The model tested was a GT Line which (with options) will cost €27,130. Road tax on this 1.5dCi 110bhp diesel is just €180/year and on paper it will do 3.7l/100km.
Verdict? The new Megane is certainly a funky and spacious hatchback and the GT Line spec gives it a really sporty look – the perfect compromise between practicality and styling!
Why you’ll buy one? Styling; Economy; Stance
Why you won’t? Why settle for a GT Line when the GT should be hitting our shores soon!
Opel Astra – priced from €20,695
Ford Focus – priced from €20,295
Honda Civic – priced from €21,895
Nissan Qashqai – priced from €24,995
Volkswagen Golf – priced from €20,225
Peugeot 308 – priced from €19,365
Renault Megane 1.5 DCI 110 GT Line
Engine: 1461cc, 110bhp@4000rpm, 260Nm/1750 rpm
Max speed: 188km/h
0-100 kph: 11.3 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 96g/km (€180 road tax)
Model price range: €19,490 (Test Car €27,130)
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 star
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 3.7 l/100km, 76.3mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 384 litres
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
For more information check out Renault.ie , the Renault Ireland facebook page, or follow them on twitter
20th October, 2016