Com­fort­able hatch­back still ticks the boxes

LONG-TERM FLEET/ This past month has been par­tic­u­larly busy for our Re­nault GT, writes Ler­ato Matebese

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

ou will have read in a pre­vi­ous is­sue of Mo­tor News about the forth­com­ing froth-at-the­mouth Re­nault Me­gane RS, which looks promis­ing as it will be made avail­able only in five­door form.

It essen­tially builds on the es­sen­tials of the Me­gane GT,

We have spent con­sid­er­able time be­hind the wheel of our team’s long-term Me­gane GT and things are still tick­ing over quite nicely. We have also found a way of cir­cum­vent­ing the hor­ren­dous lurch­ing of the gear­box dur­ing peak-hour, first-gear lug­ging sit­u­a­tions.

The trick is to get the wheels rolling and then come off the throt­tle once the en­gine starts tick­ing over the 1,200r/min mark, in­stead of any throt­tle in­puts. The re­sult is the ve­hi­cle main­tains the mo­men­tum of those rel­a­tively slow speeds and all you have to do is con­trol your brak­ing. It might not be an ideal sit­u­a­tion but it cer­tainly makes for a much more pleas­ant drive un­der these con­di­tions.

I truly hope Re­nault will look into fac­tor­ing a crawl­ing first gear into the trans­mis­sion to rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion.

Out­side of that ano­maly, the gear­box is now feel­ing even more well-oiled, while our fuel con­sump­tion hov­ers at 8.1l/100km.

While the GT-Line vari­ant, which fits just be­low our GT model, missed its spot as a fi­nal­ist in the 2018 Wes­bank/South African Guild of Motoring Jour­nal­ists Car of the Year com­pe­ti­tion, I have come across a few of these mod­els over the past weeks dur­ing my trav­els.

It re­mains a great pack­age, which ed­i­tor Mark Smyth deemed to be on a par with the peren­nial Volk­swa­gen Golf on some as­pects in his 2016 road test. In all fair­ness, the Me­gane con­tin­ues to be the sur­prise pack­age in the seg­ment and you need only go into a Re­nault deal­er­ship to have, at the very least, a closer look at the prod­uct.

I par­tic­u­larly like the un­con­ven­tional cabin lay­out, par­tic­u­larly the tablet-like in­fo­tain­ment screen, which has be­come more in­tu­itive to use in re­cent weeks due, I guess, to fa­mil­iar­ity.

Stor­age nooks and cran­nies are suf­fi­cient col­lec­tively, how­ever the glove box stor­age is slightly com­pro­mised. It is rather nar­row, which means my and my wife’s wal­lets can­not co­habit that space. As a re­sult, I pre­fer us­ing the cen­tre con­sole for my bits and bobs.

De­spite con­tin­u­ing to put on the mileage, the ve­hi­cle re­mains me­chan­i­cally sound. See­ing the fuel con­sump­tion tum­bling down ever so slightly is also quite as­sur­ing that the en­gine has bro­ken in nicely over the pre­vi­ous months.

As a daily, easy-to-drive and com­fort­able hatch­back, the Me­gane GT con­tin­ues to tick all the boxes.

Left: The Me­gane GT is a wellde­signed prod­uct of­fer­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent to the Ger­man ri­vals. We have be­come more fa­mil­iar with the tablet-like in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, be­low left.

The GT will lose its spot at the top of the Me­gane line-up when the new RS ar­rives in SA.

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