Es­tate of grace keeps looks but fails to cut dash

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - ROAD TEST - Keith Ward

IN its lat­est form, Re­nault’s stylish Mé­gane Sport Tourer con­tin­ues to be among the best look­ing es­tate cars on the mar­ket, with ap­peal­ing prac­ti­cal fea­tures and up­dated en­gines.

A 15-strong range cov­ers three trim lev­els, two petrol en­gines of 110 or 115 bhp and three diesels of 110, 130 or 165 bhp in a price range of £17,080 to £23,295. Ba­sic items on all ver­sions in­clude air con, al­loys, elec­tric win­dows all round, heated door mir­rors, six airbags, two-way ad­justable and leather steer­ing wheel, Blue­tooth and USB con­nec­tions and front fogs.

Es­tate fea­tures in­clude chrome roof bars. The cargo deck ex­tends to 1,590mm, or well over five feet, as mea­sured by our tape, and is wider than aver­age in this class at 1,130mm, and comes with two handy side bins. It can be di­vided into two us­ing a semi-rigid par­ti­tion. The rear sill over which you lift your lug­gage is con­ve­niently just 550mm above ground.

Un­usu­ally, the back of the front pas­sen­ger seat can be dropped flat, to take long items of just over two and a half me­tres. With the split rear seats tipped and folded for­ward, there’s a stor­age area for the rolled-up lug­gage cover.

Tip­ping the seats does ex­pose some un­clothed body me­tal and leaves a step of 130mm or about five inches in the ex­tended boot floor.

In­cluded in a claimed 25 litres of stowage space around the com­fort­able cabin is a six-litre lid­ded box-cum-arm­rest be­tween the front seats and a nine-litre glovebox.

Be­ing longer than the Mé­gane Hatch by 26cm, the Tourer af­fords notably more knee room for rear-seat pas­sen­gers and is worth con­sid­er­ing on that count alone.

We drove the 115-bhp, 1.2-litre petrol in mid­dle­grade Dynamique Tom Tom trim, ex­pected to ap­peal to pri­vate buy­ers and listed at £19,125.

As in­di­cated, that gets you Re­nault’s Carmi­nat Tom Tom Live sat-nav, plus air con, cruise con­trol, au­to­mat­i­cally switched on head­lights and wipers, LED day­time run­ning lights and a lug­gage net.

Op­tional ex­tras fit­ted to the test car, in­clud­ing cli­mate con­trol as an up­grade from man­ual air con, lane de­par­ture warn­ing if you should doze and wan­der at the wheel, an au­to­matic elec­tric park­ing brake with hill-start, plus the ques­tion­able fa­cil­ity of au­to­matic dip­ping head­lights (they work too late), lifted the show­room price to £20,370.

The 1.2-litre engine with a Stop-Start fa­cil­ity is de­signed for econ­omy and tax-sav­ing clean emis­sions rather than cut­ting a dash.

The first Re­nault petrol unit to em­ploy di­rect fuel in­jec­tion and turbo charg­ing, it pulls well through a six-speed man­ual box and makes for pleas­ant mo­tor­ing, but the fig­ure of un­der 36mpg recorded by the on­board com­puter proved dis­ap­point­ingly short of the of­fi­cial com­bined rat­ing of over 53mpg.

GAL­LIC HEAD TURNER: The Re­nault Mé­gane Sport Tourer makes for pleas­ant mo­tor­ing.

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