Estate of grace keeps looks but fails to cut dash
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.