PRICE The previous generation started at $41,990 in 2010 and crept up to $43,990 by the end of 2016. The range starts at $44,990 plus on-roads for manual. Twin-clutch auto is available for the first time, from $47,490.
TECH A large tablet-style touchscreen and fancy digital instrument display give the cabin a lift. Super-bright LED headlights make it easy to spot corners at night. Front, rear and side sensors and rear-view camera mean you’re less likely to scratch the rims.
PERFORMANCE Despite the smaller 1.8litre turbo (previously 2.0) — and a heavier body — Renault says the new Megane is slightly quicker. Claimed 0-100km/h time for the auto is 5.8 seconds, quick for a frontdrive car. We clocked 6.2 seconds in the auto and 6.0 in the manual.
DRIVING There is rear-wheel steering (up to 2.7 degrees) in certain modes. Trick new suspension is described as “a shock absorber within a shock absorber” to iron out the worst bumps. Auto gets launch control and paddle-shifters. Mechanical limited-slip differential was previously standard, now it’s part of a $1490 option pack.
DESIGN It’s longer, wider and lower than the previous model — and the Megane hatch on which it’s based. Purists will lament the loss of the three-door body but the five-door will broaden appeal. Front and rear fenders are wider than the donor hatch, hence the muscular stance and bigger footprint.