RE­NAULT MEGANE GT

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Re­nault re­cently in­tro­duced their spiffy new Megane range and, not long af­ter the lo­cal launch, brought us a deep blue metal­lic Megane GT Sport. With two testers do­ing most of the driv­ing, we thought of draw­ing straws for the re­view but rather de­cided to com­bine our im­pres­sions in a neat his and hers re­view.

Looks and De­sign

Her: I love the new new look. Many of you will re­call that old boxy shaped Megane with the weird boot line. This one looks way more chic and, well, French… with flair and street cred. It’s a very de­sir­able look­ing car and I ab­so­lutely love the LED day­time run­ning lights like funky eye­brows and the swirling pat­tern de­sign of the mags. C’est mag­nifique!

Him: Sjoe, this is a good- look­ing hatch­back. The French seem to have a na­tional de­sign iden­tity as this re­minded me of the (also hand­some and blue) Peu­geot 308 GT we tested re­cently. The very clean lines, good pro­por­tions, cool de­tails and funky light clus­ters on either end make this car stand out.

Com­fort and Space

Her: Ini­tial thoughts as I wrig­gled into the snug sporty look bucket seats was that com­fort was on the poor side, but a week later I got used to it… although climb­ing out every time still pre­sented a prob­lem. Word of ad­vice to the ladies… you can­not wear a short skirt and clam­ber out grace­fully from this hatch.

Boot space is typ­i­cally gen­er­ous and from my view the back seats look ok for legroom, although I ad­mit­tedly didn’t give them a go.

Sus­pen­sion was as hard as ex­pected but fan­tas­tic for han­dling!

Him: Both are on par for today’s pre­mium hatch­backs. By that I mean four adults and a bit of lug­gage will be fine, Mom and Dad with three kids will be a push. The boot takes up to 434 liters and the rear seat backs fold over but don’t make a com­pletely flat sur­face.

As with its con­tem­po­raries, com­fort lev­els keep sink­ing due to big wheels and sporty seats. On the up­side, the front bucket seats of­fer su­perb sup­port and two-stage heat­ing. Most fur­ni­ture is cov­ered in Al­can­tara with blue stitch­ing. Blue trim i tems con­firm that this colour is only avail­able for Gt-line cars.

Toys and Fea­tures

Her: Ooh I LOVED the four con­trol - Re­nault added a 4-wheel steer­ing func­tion (but not a 4-wheel drive). What this ef­fec­tively means is that the Megane turns on a ticky. And is loads of fun for throw­ing around cor­ners. You’ll en­joy it the most on a left turn in the city or around a round-about…. It was like fool­ing around on a go-kart and def­i­nitely felt more like Mini than Megane! Thumbs up for fun for this one!

Af­ter ini­tial baf­fling mo­ments in try­ing a few fea­tures on the Mul­tisense sys­tem, I’ll ad­mit I found it rel­a­tively in­tu­itive… I still haven’t found the vol­ume knob though so you’ll be stuck mak­ing use of the hid­den con­trols be­hind the steer­ing wheel for vol­ume and skip­ping tracks.

An­other point worth men­tion­ing is that the Blue­tooth had a de­lay in start­ing when an­swer­ing calls, so ex­pect a mo­ment or two of con­fused ‘Allo, ‘ allo be­fore you can hold a con­ver­sa­tion.

Him: Sjoe, take two! Head­line act is Re­nault’s MULTI-SENSE sys­tem with an ipad- like ver­ti­cal touch- screen that of­fers ev­ery­thing your heart de­sires. From cus­tom­iz­a­ble am­bi­ent light­ing, ve­hi­cle set­tings, mul­ti­ple me­dia in­puts, apps, nav­i­ga­tion with live traf­fic and a Lindt choco­late dis­penser. OK, that last one’s a fib.

The main dial in the in­stru­ment clus­ter of­fers four dis­tinct lay­outs, some of which even in­clude power and turbo read-outs. This car’s on­board tech­nol­ogy feels su­per-mod­ern and ex­cit­ing although the learn­ing curve is quite steep. I don’t like the fin­ish of the “ipad” sur­round, nor the usual Re­nault cruise and au­dio re­mote con­trols.

En­gine and Gear­box

Her: Af­ter ini­tial dis­ap­point­ment on the gear­box shifts, I got used to it – its pad­dle shifts are great fun, the 1.6L en­gine revs like a dream and, pro­vided you’re not in a hurry when the car and gear­box is cold, shifts are pass­able. Would still pre­fer this in a man­ual though.

Him: Right now, this is the most pow­er­ful “new Megane” as the RS Cup­sport 275R Tro­phy Bull what­ever hasn’t ar­rived yet. The 1.6 tur­bopetrol en­gine kicks out 151kw or 280Nm but is only avail­able with a seven-speed dou­ble-clutch au­to­matic gear­box. You also get eee- nor­mous shift pad­dles be­hind the steer­ing wheel. Like other early DCT at­tempts from ri­val man­u­fac­tur­ers, this one’s quite slug­gish at low speeds. I have to half­floor the ac­cel­er­a­tor to re­verse out of my drive­way! Once on the move, shifts are quite smooth and pleas­ingly quick. At full power, it’s not quite DSG fast but still of­fers a high de­gree of con­trol and fun.

Power and Han­dling

Her: I found power de­liv­ery more than ad­e­quate and, as I al­ready men­tioned, the 4-con­trol was my favourite fea­ture… Pos­si­bly be­cause I spent most of my time rac­ing up and down town to meet­ings and er­rands and frankly, any­thing that im­proves on that com­mute gets my vote!

Him: Very im­pres­sive, our best 0-100 time was 6.95 sec­onds and the quar­ter mile fell in 15 sec­onds. Re­nault claims 230km/h top speed. Hard cor­ner­ing grip is on the dizzy lev­els of mod­ern au­to­mo­biles but the Megane’s party trick “4- Con­trol” ( four- wheel- steer­ing) is ac­tu­ally most no­tice­able while pot­ter­ing around town…

Price and Value

Her: I’m with him on value. Great car but I think it’s too pricey. How­ever, if you’re look­ing for some­thing with de­cent street cred, more space than you’d ex­pect, fun han­dling and packed with fea­tures, I’d say go for it!

Him: At N$452,900 the Megane GT is in the ball­park for medium-spicy hatch­backs... and it of­fers all that amaz­ing new tech­nol­ogy. How­ever – the pre­vi­ously- men­tioned Peu­geot 308 GT is 50 grand less with al­most iden­ti­cal power and sim­i­lar claimed con­sump­tion ( around 6L/ 100km) but with a big­ger boot and fuel tank. And it’s man­ual…

Text & Images Gal­imoto Me­dia gave us a new Me­gan GT to drive - we gave it a his ‘n hers re­view...

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