The fourth generation Mégane range looks great, it really does. As you may know I’m a fan of Laurens van den Acker – the man in charge of the crayons at Renault these days. He is styling some remarkable machines that should have no right to turn heads but they do. Mégane is a bread and butter machine that today looks great! The five door features a smartly styled exterior and an impressive looking dash that looks the part but is a little less impressive when you have to interact with it.
The Grand Coupé may have a ridiculous name but the saloon is far better looking than the Fluence it replaces. The Mégane Sport Tourer estate is my favourite version (from€20,490).
The Tourer’s charm is that it is versatile without being too large. Renault Ireland has priced Mégane very well to attract buyers away from the usual suspects like Golf, Focus, Auris, cee’d, Astra, i30 etc. with prices starting at €19,490 (hatch).
I’ve tested extensively the entire range but will concentrate on the Grand Coupé (or GC) and see how it stacks up. Set in the GC’s eyeline are big players like Corolla and Octavia and in styling terms the Renault shines through. Saloon car buyers tend to be more conservative and this is why Octavia and Corolla aren’t too flashy but both smart and conservative in appearance. The GC sits on a longer wheelbase than the hatch (2,669mm) at 2,711mm and this frees up rear legroom – something that is lacking badly in the hatchback. The boot is good for the classs at 503 litres. Like all Méganes the dash has been simplified and the interior is smooth and flush. The main dash element is a new touch touch screen display and the R Link 2 connectivity it features. It looks the part but is fiddly to use – especially on the move. If you’ve farmers fingers forget about fine tuning the many functions you can interact with.
The Mégane range is available in a number of grades depending on the model: Expression, Dynamic Nav, Dynamic S Nav and Signature are the four GC grades. The hatch and tourer get Expression, Dynamic Nav, Dynamic S Nav, GT Nav and GT-Line Nav versions are available in the hatch . Diesel and petrol power is available in the range but the GC gets just diesel power with a choice of a 110hp or 130hp dCi engines. A low emission hybrid assist diesel-electric version (circa 76g/CO2) is being built too. Renault’s ‘Multi-Sense’ technology allows drivers choose from 5 modes: Neutral, Eco, Comfort, Sport of Perso. Depending on specification, a head up display is available, as are many of the newer driving aids including auto parking and foot-kick opening boot.
On the road Mégane is comfortable but my test car’s suspesion squeeked at the front on speed bumps. The ride is soft and in no way sporty. The seats are big and comfy and with the 130hp dCi that has 320nm of torque progress is swift and economical too. 4L/100km (70mpg) is the average fuel consumption quoted with the 110hp managing 3.7 (76mpg). The cabin is not overly quiet but again there is a lot of cabin for sounds to reflect off and the GC is not marketed as a premium machine.
The Mégane has been with us for 20 years and sold over 6.5 million units. Overall the latest Mégane range looks the business – and that’s Mégane in a nutshell. It is a hard ask for the rest of the experience to be as impressive as its styling and it isn’t. Mégane GC prices start from €21,990, my range topping Signature test car with its €1,000 sunroof option cost €28,290.