Fourth generation revamp boosts Renault’s legendary hatch
WHAT’S NEW? Renault’s new Megane hatchback has been effectively redesigned from the ground up for this, its fourth-generation model.
It comes with a four-year warranty, six trim levels, a beautiful touchscreen infotainment system and some lively, yet efficient, new engines.
The new Megane complements existing sister models in an increasingly strong product range that shows Renault really has rediscovered its mojo.
Cars like the Kajar, Captur, Twingo and the Renaultsport range are amongst the strongest offerings in their segments.
There’s more to come in the next 12 months, including a new Scenic, a revamped Clio and a completely redesigned Koleos 4x4 which will overwrite the memory of its rather unloved predecessor.
LOOKS AND IMAGE This fourth-generation car banishes any doubts about Renault’s ability to revive the Megane: it’s a thoroughly modern, efficient hi-tech car. And it’s a looker, too.
My test model, provided by Charles Hurst Renault in Belfast, was a black Dynamic S version with a dci 130 engine.
In truth, it’s a seriously good car, one that’s difficult to criticise in any depth. Stylish, jammed with technology and as good to drive as it is to look at.
Renault’s designers have sculpted a fine-looking beast. It’s well-defined body creases, a sharp-looking front and handsome rear end all combine into a lovely whole.
It’s 25mm lower than the previous model, 28mm longer and up to 47mm wider — lending it a much more sporting look than before.
BEHIND THE WHEEL It’s sharp to drive as well as to look at: the steering is light and responsive, the gearing nicely balanced and the ride taut without being tight.
The 130 engine delivers enough punch for pretty much all occasions and on the motorway it cruises beautifully.
Efficiency levels have been greatly improved, with the most efficient Megane delivering 76mpg (official figure) and 96g/km of CO2. KIT AND TECHNOLOGY Inside the cabin you’ll immediately notice the upgrade: not just the fancy new quality materials or the increased space. The Renault R Link 2 infotainment system transforms the dash into the hub of the car.
Renault has invested a lot of time, money and brainpower in the R Link system and it shows. Basically, it’s like having an ipad embedded on your dashboard.
The touch-based operation is smooth and clear, the sat-nav is one of the best I’ve experienced, phone connectivity is first class and the sound system particularly good.
The rest of the technology is flawless. I’d particularly recommend the Blind Spot Assist, which alerts you by way of an orange light in either wing mirror when a neighbouring vehicle enters your blind spot. Simple but effective — and potentially a life-saver.
Regarding those trim levels, even entry level models are very well equipped. The roll call of standard kit is admirably long and includes ABS brakes, electronic stability control, hill start assist and six airbags.
Expression+ trim adds further goodies such as the 7-inch TFT instrument panel and a 4 x 20 watt DAB radio. Trade up to Dynamique Nav trim for the R-link multimedia system including satellite navigation with live traffic updates.
Dynamique S Nav will bring 17inch diamond-cut alloys and a rear parking camera to the party, plus an 8.7-inch version of that infotainment system. Signature Nav adds 18-inch diamond-cut alloys and black leather upholstery. There’s also a sporty GTLine spec.
The new car adds some extra load space over the old model, although there’s quite a large lip to the boot.
WHO WOULD BUY ONE?
Overall, this is an admirable relaunch. Expect a Sport Tourer estate to follow soon and that Renaultsport version next year. This is a flexible car that will suit a range of users, from individuals to families and business users.
Prices range from £16,600 for an Expression+ TCE 130 model to £25,500 for a GT Nav 205 Auto EDC. The Renault Megane range is also available from £194.95 plus vat per month on Renault Business Finance Contract Hire. • THE all-new Renault Megane is available from Charles Hurst (www. charleshurstgroup.com) and other Renault dealers.
The new look to the Renault Megane makes it as aesthetically pleasing as it is to drive
The Renault Megane’s new dashboard has plenty of useful gadgets for the driver, as well as lots to keep passengers entertained