Megane turns on the style
THE fourth generation Renault Megane took to the UK roads in July and I’ve just been sampling a pair of the newcomers.
It’s 20 years since the first Megane appeared and the latest version bears little resemblance to that offering.
And that’s good news for buyers because these Megane models are stunning – inside and out with lots of new technology adding to the package.
There’s a 25-strong version line-up with six trim levels – Expression+, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav, Signature Nav, GT-Line Nav and GT Nav.
On-the-road prices start from £16,600 and you get a high spec, with entry-level models’ equipment including cruise control, active emergency braking and lane departure warning.
There’s also two-way adjustable steering column, height adjustable driver and passenger seat, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic electronic parking brake, LED daytime running lamps, tinted windows, 7-inch TFT instru-ment panel with digital speedometer, all-round elec-tric windows, leather steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio with fingertip controls.
First up for me was a Dynamique S Nav dCi 110 with its Flame Red colour enhancing the hatchback’s new sparkling looks.
The smart, bright interior in this model featured an 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen R-Link multimedia system that was simple to operate and a 7-inch digital speedometer screen.
There’s a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines with the test car powered by a gutsy 110bhp 1.5-litre diesel unit.
It was fairly quick off the blocks, taking 11.3 seconds to reach 62mph moving up through a slick six-speed manual gearbox.
And with a top speed of 116mph, this model cruised quietly and smoothly at maximum motorway speeds.
Handling was good in town and on some winding roads where the engine had plenty of mid-range acceleration when moving up and down the gears.
Priced at £20,400, this model was one you got to like the more and more you were behind the wheel.
I liked the hands-free key card with push button start and buyers will be impressed by the super fuel economy figures – 76.4mpg combined, 68.9mpg urban and 80.7mpg extra urban.
And there was also plenty of head, elbow and legroom for front and rear seat passengers.
If something a bit more sporting appeals to you then the second test car wouldn’t disappoint.
This was a top-of-the-range £25,500 GT Nav and it really stood out in the car park.
It’s a real sporty looker with its wider lower air intake with honeycomb pattern mesh flanked by lateral scoops, front and rear body-coloured GT bumpers, twin exhausts and 18-inch diamond cut Daytona alloy wheels.
Step inside and the sporting theme continues with features including Renault Sport chrome door sill plates and super comfortable sport seats.
The test car also came with an Alcantara Pack + – spectacular two-tone blue and grey Alcantara upholstery at £1,200.
Under the bonnet of this model is a 205bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine and it didn’t disappoint.
The power came through a super seven-speed automatic box and this model burst into life with a zero to 62mph time of 7.2 seconds.
Boosting a top speed of 143mph, the GT Nav raced up through the gears to maximum legal speeds.
It was just as happy trundling about town in normal mode but was a different performer when switched to sport.
It brought a louder engine growl and was much more dynamic.
There was a super surge of power when I was cruising in seventh gear and pushed hard on the accelerator – with the transmission instantly dropping down to fourth gear.
And a four-wheel steer 4Control system further en-hanced handling.
At speeds of less than 50mph the front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions by up to 2.7 degrees at the back.
Above this speed, the rear wheels turn in the same direction for extra stability when cornering.
This model supplied super fun diving, especially on some winding roads, and is also capable of some impressive fuel economy figures.
I wouldn’t imagine I got anywhere close to these but they are 47.1mpg combined, 57.7mpg extra urban and 36.2mpg urban.
And if you want something even faster then a twin-turbo GT Nav version is on its way next year.
A Hybrid Assist – 1.5-litre diesel with electric assistance – is also due in 2017.