OILER TOILS

The re­vised Me­gane diesel strug­gles to meet the class’s ex­pec­ta­tions

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

Re­nault’s Me­gane hatch is in for a tough fight: its re­vised diesel strug­gles to meet the class’s ex­pec­ta­tions

TECH­NOL­OGY

The turbo diesel is a 1.5-litre di­rect-in­jec­tion job with a par­ti­cle fil­ter.

Pro­duc­ing just 81kw/ 240Nm, it falls far short of the class-lead­ing 2.0-litre diesels from Ford, Mazda and Holden, which ex­ceed 100kw and 350Nm.

The Re­nault makes up ground with a six-speed du­al­clutch au­to­mated man­ual gear­box, en­abling it to claim 4.5L/100km and 117g/km CO . The Me­gane also gets the flat credit-card-like key with smart lock­ing and key­less ig­ni­tion.

DE­SIGN

Gone are the an­gu­lar looks of the old car’s front and the rump is far less pro­nounced— think Shara­pova rather than Wil­liams— so it is a more at­trac­tive and co­he­sive look than pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions.

The cabin has an open feel about it, with the driver get­ting a dig­i­tal speedo.

The sound sys­tem con­trols — non the dash and the stalk be­hind the helm— take some get­ting used to.

Rear head­room is ad­e­quate but legroom isn’t.

SAFETY

It’s a five-star NCAP car (Re­nault was the first to gain that rank­ing many moons ago) and its safety pack­age is en­hanced by auto head­lights and wind­screen wipers.

DRIV­ING

The lit­tle Frog is be­hind the eight ball for out­puts and the lower kerb weight stops it from be­ing a slug.

Fuel econ­omy com­pen­sates to some ex­tent but live­lier diesel ri­vals can achieve sim­i­lar num­bers.

It’s a chuggy power plant and the cabin, though rea­son­ably well in­su­lated from it, is still not the qui­etest.

The chas­sis com­pro­mise be­tween ride and han­dling is pleas­ant and one of the bet­ter bal­anced set-ups in the seg­ment.

Cabin space is not abun­dant but boot space is good.

De­spite the bulk of its time be­ing spent on sub­ur­ban roads, it proved fru­gal with 7.0L/100km. Fill the 60-litre tank and 1000km on the open road is achiev­able.

Hatch mis­match: The seg­ment lead­ers have more pow­er­ful pack­ages than this Me­gane

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