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