Megane on a higher plane
Clutch automatic transmission combines the comfort of an automatic and responsiveness of a manual gearbox.
Zen driver and front passenger enjoy the benefit of adaptive and lateral pelvis and chest-level airbags, while front and rear curtain airbags are also included.
Active safety features include electronic stability control, ABS anti-lock braking, emergency brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution and hill start assist.
The higher-spec Intens model of- fers standard Multi-Sense personalised driver modes and interior ambience LED lighting with five settings to match the mood.
The first thing to be said about the Megane sedan is how quiet the engine is at idle — silent almost, requiring a quick look at the tacho to see if it’s even running. Even under hard driving the engine manages to keep the noise down.
That’s not the only pleasant surprise. A hands-free card has the doors unlocking and locking automatically, while the boot lid opens via a kick motion under the rear bumper or by a button on the card.
This opens up an expansive 503 litres of boot space, which with the 60:40 split rear bench seat folded frees up to 987 litres of loading space over almost 2m in length.
The seating is said to suit five adults, but four would be more comfortable on a longer journey. Leg room in the rear is good, while head room is surprisingly satisfactory considering the roof’s slope.
As mentioned, the turbocharged technology of the engine errs on the side of economy rather than out-and-out performance, the Megane moving off the mark at a somewhat steady pace.
We are told the best time to 100km/h comes up in 10.9 seconds.
Our test car recorded fuel consumption of 6.5 litres per 100km on a mix of urban and highway driving.
While the word Zen implies a spiritual nature to the new Renault Megane sedan, practicality and fuel economy are the mainstays of the eponymous model. Price-wise, this base variant is in the upper reaches of a highly competitive market, which could hold it back.
The emphasised horizontal rear light treatment almost meets in the middle.