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Renault Megane Reviews

Performance
Equipment
Handling
Economy
Comfort
Depreciation
Space
Insurance

Renault gives its third generation Megane the family face and sets to work on a number of other detail changes. Andy Enright reports.

The Megane has come good for Renault in its third generation guise. The latest model modernises the look and feel and offers the ingenious 1.2-litre TCe 130 petrol engine in combination with a twin-clutch gearbox. Quality improvements inside are a welcome touch too.

Ordinary family cars can no longer be ordinary. People want polish these days, a smarter feel and hi-tech features that make them feel pampered and premium. Which means that in the Focus-sized family hatchback segment, they may well find themselves looking at cars like this one, Renault's much improved third generation Megane. With the French maker's position as one of Europe's biggest car makers severely under threat and a slimmed-down range of conventional cars forced upon dealers by this brand's commitment to electric power, it's hard to over-state the importance of this car if you happen to run a showroom with the yellow-backed silver diamond above the door. Especially as it failed to make much of an impact on the market in the original MK3 guise we first saw in early 2009. But then, with underpinnings based on a second generation model dating back to 2002 and smart but unremarkable styling, there wasn't really much back then to set this car apart. Something Renault claims to have thoroughly addressed with the substantially enhanced model we have today. This car was already much improved under the skin thanks to a package of updates introduced back at the beginning of 2012. Now it looks much smarter, there are extra equipment options and petrol people have an intriguing TCe 130 unit to consider. The idea here is to build upon existing virtues like the spacious cabin and the comfortable ride. Will it all be enough to rejuvenate this French family hatchback's appeal amongst Focus folk? Let's find out.

It's hard to find too many who'll complain about the way a Renault Megane drives. On the face of it, the car seems wholly unexciting, with a conventional chassis, with struts up front and a torsion-beam rear end. There's not the independent rear suspension you'll get in a Focus or a Golf but Renault has been so clever in tuning the rear suspension that you'd actually never know. There's an elegance in designing simple things to work well and the Megane's suspension is a case in point. Engines? Well the range starts with the older 1.6-litre 110PS petrol unit but you'll probably prefer one of the diesels, now bearing 'Energy' badges to designate their supposed eco-friendliness. Most buyers choose the popular 110PS 1.5-litre dCi powerplant but there's also a 130PS 1.6-litre dCi diesel variant. Those are the usual options but also worth considering is the 1.2 TCe petrol engine, which also wears an 'Energy' badge. This unit might seem a tiddler but punches well above its weight with 115PS at the crank. Renault is also offering this engine in 130PS guise in conjunction with the EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) automatic transmission. The engineering department has re-tuned the engine by bringing in the turbo function faster and more frequently for enhanced performance. Performance junkies will know that the Megane Renaultsport 265 with its 2.0-litre 265PS petrol engine is the finest hot hatch sensible money buys. That doesn't look like changing anytime soon. All Megane models get standard anti lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, while stability control is now fitted as standard across the range.

There are any number of mid-life facelifts that only serve to ruin previously handsome cars, but this piece of design work actually does give the Megane a bit more presence and introduces some better quality parts. Megane Hatch, Coupe and Sport Tourer now feature a revised bumper, vent grilles and a hood bearing the enlarged Renault logo set against a gloss black background. Key models in the Megane family have also been revitalised by elliptical headlights and daytime running lights that stretch along the outer edges of the bumper. For the sportier models (the Megane RS and GT), the headlights also get gloss black eyelids, whilst the lower part of the front bumper is also different from regular models. The cabin has come in for a modest reworking, with better quality materials used. The interior now features a multi-directional joystick on the central console for browsing the Renault R-Link multimedia interface, which made its debut on the range in mid-2013. The Megane retains its coupe-like stance, thanks particularly to its short front and rear overhangs, a long 2.64m wheelbase, a steeply-raked roofline and a wide track. It certainly exudes a feeling of much higher quality than its predecessor, with close panel fits and windscreen wipers that are aesthetically concealed beneath the bonnet line.

The Megane range encompasses Coupes, Sport Tourers, Renaultsport versions and the familiar five door hatch. These hatch versions are priced in the £17,000 to £23,000 bracket which is about on par with most of its mainstream rivals but usefully undercuts vehicles like the Volkswagen Golf and, surprisingly, the Vauxhall Astra. There are four main trim levels - 'Expression+', 'Knight Edition', Dynamique TomTom and GT-Line TomTom. Most customers, whether they be private or business buyers, go for one of the diesel models and Renault is putting increased focus on the Stop & Start variants, as they offer improved economy and efficiency figures. That said, Renault, like many other brands, is finding that petrol engines are staging a comeback and the TCe 115 petrol unit looks a decent powerplant, with its downsized 1.2-litre capacity and light weight combining with a respectable power output. Equipment highlights include the Visio System which comprises a camera fixed to the windscreen behind the rear view mirror. It automatically switches from main to dipped-beam headlights and also controls a Lane departure warning system. To assist parking manoeuvres, a camera located at the rear provides a precise image of the vehicle's immediate surroundings and depicts its trajectory to help drivers adjust their line.

The good news with this latest Megane is that you don't automatically need to go for a diesel if you want decent fuel economy. Take the TCe 115 petrol engine as an example. Equipped with Stop & Start technology that cuts the engine at idle, it makes the sort of numbers that not so long ago would have been respectable turbodiesel figures. You'll manage a combined fuel economy figure in the region of 53mpg. Carbon dioxide emissions are down to 119g/km, while the car's range is in the region of 620 miles, which is again similar to the distances associated with diesel models. Prefer a diesel? The dCi 110 Stop & Start has proven very popular. This 1.5-litre unit records fuel consumption figures of 80.7 mpg and emits just 90g/km of carbon dioxide. The 1.6dCi 130 Stop & Start makes a hefty 320Nm of torque, yet still manages a combined-cycle fuel consumption of just 70.6 mpg, which is a 20 per cent saving compared to the old 1.9 dCi 130 engine. CO2 emissions stand at just 104g/km. Depreciation hasn't been a strong point of Renault medium range cars down the years but the latest Megane fights back with much improved residual figures. That's thanks in no small part to a much improved focus on reliability. Germany's ADAC placed it near the top of its class when it came to mechanical durability, ranking it as "good" or even "excellent" over the service period between 2007 and 2012.

If you're experiencing a little deja vu with the latest Renault Megane, you may not be the only one. This third generation Megane was introduced with a brief to improve quality and boost refinement. In 2012 it was revised again to improve efficiency and integrate some clever electronics. Now Renault is improving the car again. Of course, a cynic may well wonder why Renault couldn't get it right first time, but a more realistic view is that the company is not only reactive to customer feedback but also keen to invest money to further improve what was already a good car. The Megane now looks a bit more extrovert and feels a bit more expensive. The car's reliability should no longer be in question and there are no grumbles about the way it drives. Economy and emissions are top drawer, as is safety. What more could Renault do to fettle the Megane further? The company is certainly devoting attention and budget in the right areas. It's not a Golf, but it's close in talent if not in price. That should be enough to cement its success.

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Renault Mégane

Overview

The Mégane is a small family car from the Renault range and has been produced by the French manufacturer since 1995. Three generations of the Mégane have been produced over the years and all manner of body styles have been tried and tested. The hatchback style is the most common and the one that is easily recognisable, although there have been saloon, estate, coupé and convertibles produced over the years too.

The latest edition to the Mégane range is the 2008 model, the Mégane III. Available as a hatchback, coupé or an estate, it’s practical, sporty and conservative all in one.

Renault Mégane Key Points

The Renault Mégane is currently available in three styles: the Hatchback, Coupé and the Sport Tourer.

Hatchback

Available with diesel and petrol engines and five doors, this car is both stylish and practical and is great on any kind of road surface. Whether you plan to drive around town or zoom up and down he motorway, this car will see you through.

Coupé

The Mégane Coupé is considered the sportier of the models and with engine sizes ranging from 1.2 to 1.6, 3-door and 5-door options and the choice of a fitted TomTom feature, the possibilities are endless.

Sport Tourer

The Mégane Sport Tourer is a 5-door estate is available with engines varying from 1.2 to 2.0 litres, in petrol and diesel, manual and automatic. So, whatever your driving style, there’s sure to be a Sport Tourer for you.

Why Lease a Renault Mégane?

If a supermini is too small but a medium family car is just not you, then the Renault Mégane is the perfect solution. The Mégane fits into the ‘small family car’ category, it’s great value and fun to drive. This car really does have everything you could need and whatever’s not included as standard is probably included as an optional extra, so if you’re interested in a Renault Mégane lease, give us a call today. This car is only going to get cooler too, with a new model expected in 2016, we’re sure to have some great deals.

Reasons to Lease a Renault Mégane

 

  • Variety of body styles
  • 3 and 5-door available
  • Stylish

Conclusion

 

The Mégane range really does have everything you need from a car; a selection of body-styles, engine sizes and the practical choice between a 3 and 5-door means the Mégane is a car that suits everyone from the daily commuter to the mums and dads on the school run. If you’re after a great looking car that will see you through a few years, then the Mégane should most definitely be considered.