Looks great, feels classy. Worth a look, Volkswagen and Ford owners.
What is it?
The all-new, fourth-generation Renault Megane. And what a classy looking thing it is, too. Based on the same platform as the larger Espace and Talisman – big cars we don’t get in the UK – it benefits from all of their tech and much of their style. It’s certainly a great leap on from the current car.
There’ll only be five-door hatch and estate versions, with the coupes and cabrios of old dropped, as their target buyers have all moved to crossovers (such as the Renault Kadjar).
What is it like on the road?
In standard form, this feels like a French car of the old school, with a comfortable, composed ride and a handling balance not disposed to unnecessary sportiness. That’s not to say it’s dull, though; it’s simple and classy to drive, and a solid base for a future Renaultsport hot hatch version.
The launch engine line is simple, with an equal split of turbo petrol and diesels, while there’s a diesel-electric hybrid arriving in the near future. We like the sweet 1.2-litre TCe which, we suspect, will be more than enough for most. Of the diesels, the 128bhp 1.6 dCi appeals most, offering punchy performance and a claimed 70.6mpg, though a 108bhp 1.5 dCi offers a mildly dizzying 76.4mpg, twinned with meagre 96g/km CO2 emissions.
Want something less sensible? While we wait for a proper RS, a 202bhp GT comes with the curious addition of four-wheel-steering, just like you get on a 911 GT3. It works, though its artificial sharpness will feel at odds with a raw RS.
Layout, finish and space
This is where the new Renault Megane shines brightest. Tick plenty of options boxes and it can feel rather luxurious, with topmost versions getting a 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen (mounted in the same way as a Tesla Model S, you know…) that’s brighter and more eye-catching than rival systems, if not quite as slick. It houses all manner of functions, including a ton of active safety and parking tech, while behind the steering wheel lie bright and almost endlessly customisable TFT dials.
It’s all very smart and of decent quality within the Megane, and with a longer wheelbase than before, there’s plenty of room in the back and a 434-litre boot is among the best in class. It may look sporty and swoopy on the outside but Renault’s made sure practicality hasn’t suffered within.
Running costs and reliability
Group 1 Renault has gone keen on pricing, considering the generous kit levels; best value are the mid-range Dynamique Nav and GT Line Nav trims, although you have to spend a little more if you want the full glory of that Tesla-style infotainment screen. Running costs look strong – with high mpg and low CO2 figures – and Renault’s four-year warranty continues to impress, making this a comfy and classy alternative to the Golf and Focus norm. Yes, it deserves a place on your shortlist.
Article source: https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/renault/megane