WHAT’S NEW

Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring - - FIRST DRIVE -

PRICE

This time last year the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion Me­gane wagon was a $28,000 propo­si­tion be­fore on-road costs; now prices start at $30,490 drive­away. The sedan’s pre­de­ces­sor, the unloved Flu­ence, started at $25,000; the Me­gane four-door kicks off at $29,990 on the road.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion in the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion gives way to a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. Ac­tive driv­ing aids have been added as stan­dard or in a $700 pack, depend­ing on vari­ant.

PER­FOR­MANCE

Un­der the bon­net in place of the pre­vi­ous 2.0-litre (103kW/195Nm), the 1.2-litre turbo de­liv­ers 97kW/203Nm. Fuel con­sump­tion down by about 1.5L/100km.

DRIV­ING

The sup­ple ride puts the sedan and wagon firmly into the re­laxed tourer cat­e­gory. Reg­u­lar road rip­ples are ab­sorbed with ease while larger ruts can be felt with­out jolt­ing those in­side the cabin. Both cars ac­cel­er­ate smoothly, if un­spec­tac­u­larly.

DE­SIGN

Bet­ter plas­tics and a smarter in­te­rior look have been bor­rowed from the Me­gane hatch. Sedan and wagon give rear passengers much more legroom courtesy of a stretched wheel­base. The slop­ing roof on the sedan may be an is­sue for 180cm-plus passengers.

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