What is it?

This is Renault’s C-segment contender, the third generation Megane hatcback.

No surprises so far, but we drive it here fitted for the first time with the TCe 130 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. We’ve already sampled the 128bhp, 140lb ft unit in the new Grand Scenic, where it impressed us with its effective, efficient combination of performance and economy.

It should fare even better in the smaller, lighter Megane.

What’s it like?

Talking purely in terms of the new engine, it’s really rather good.

Renault claims that the downsized, 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol motor has the power of a 1.8-litre engine and the torque of a 2.0-litre. As bold as those claims might sound, in practice it’s a refined, brisk and lively performer, and surprisingly flexible, too.

Useful torque isn’t an attribute one would historically associate with smaller capacity petrol engines, but that’s progress for you. Around town it’s particularly lively, and on the open road is a satisfying engine to get the best out of. And all this comes with a combined economy figure of 43.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 156g/km.

The rest of the Megane is now familiar territory. The Megane handles well and the ride is mostly good, although somewhere shy of the class leaders and their fully independent rear suspension set-ups.

The steering, however, will split opinion. Some will like its feather-lightness; those looking for a more involving drive will bemoan the lack of feel and communication on offer.

In upper-middle class Dynamique trim the cabin is comfortable and well-equipped, with a decent driving position and largely well-executed controls.

Our test car was also fitted with the new TomTom-developed integrated sat-nav system, which is being rolled out as an option across Renault’s range. At £450 it’s more than £1000 cheaper than the integrated system that was previously an option in the Megane. A bargain.

Should I buy one?

Possibly. In a class led by the Focus and Golf, anything less than exemplary can appear somewhat mediocre, but the frugal, sparky TCe motor injects a playful edge into the Megane package.

Whether that’s enough to tempt buyers away from the dynamically superior Ford or VW is arguable, but this smaller petrol-engined option has raised the Megane’s game.

Tim Dickson

Join the debate

Comments
20

Re: Renault Megane 1.4 TCe

4 years 22 weeks ago

I don't think even 1 out of 10 compact hatch buyers would notice any difference in handling between this Renault and Focus/Golf. They may be superior in this regard, but it seems this Megane handles safely and generally well enough for a typical driver.

Re: Renault Megane 1.4 TCe

4 years 22 weeks ago

£18,635! For a Renault! 'Needlessly overpriced'! Once I've spent the next four years on the Renault configurator i'm sure I can make a pig ugly Megane cost £120k! Zut Alors! Proves once again, if you put a diamond badge on a turd moronic punters will queue up!

more power, more efficient engine, more room, same prize:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/CarReviews/RoadTestsData/Vauxhall-Astra-1.4T-SRi/244394/

Use your loaf peeps, save you dough on this needlessly ovepriced munter and get yourself into a bargain X1!

Re: Renault Megane 1.4 TCe

4 years 22 weeks ago

t.w.a.t.effort wrote:
£18,635! For a Renault! 'Needlessly overpriced'! Once I've spent the next four years on the Renault configurator i'm sure I can make a pig ugly Megane cost £120k! Zut Alors! Proves once again, if you put a diamond badge on a turd moronic punters will queue up!

If you go for top spec, most, no nearly all, won't. Also, this model in Dynamique trim (or even TomTom) will more likely be rolling off the forecourt for £15k new.

Re: Renault Megane 1.4 TCe

4 years 22 weeks ago

The Ugliest car ever created , built like a Trabant . Who would buy one ? a rip off at 15k

Re: Renault Megane 1.4 TCe

4 years 22 weeks ago

why would you buy this car over a Golf, A3, 1 series, Leon, Mazda 3, Merc CLC, etc etc ? i SEE NO reason why any one would by this over some of the rivals mentioned above. And it looks weird to !

Re: Renault Megane 1.4 TCe

4 years 22 weeks ago

It's keeping a few car hacks in a job.

Re: Renault Megane 1.4 TCe

4 years 22 weeks ago

moe360 wrote:
why would you buy this car over a Golf, A3, 1 series, Leon, Mazda 3, Merc CLC, etc etc ? i SEE NO reason why any one would by this over some of the rivals mentioned above. And it looks weird to !

Golf - a 9yr old design, A3 likewise, 1 series is out of this price point, Leon again see Golfa3, CLC is not a family hatch, also out of pricepoint.

there seems to be a lot of unfounded prejudices about the latest Megane, probably by people who are basing it on Renault's reputation in 80s/90s. the latest Megane is incredibly well made with possibly the highest quality interiors in its class. It doesn't have the Golf or A3's back breaking ride and can be pressed hard over long distances which the Leon can't. For most families, the ride/handling, price/spec is pretty much what the want and need.

All in all, it's a very accomplished car.

Re: Renault Megane 1.4 TCe

4 years 22 weeks ago

Including the VAT Increase you are looking at £19k as tested for something that looks like a sillborn 90's concept car..

£19k for a 128bhp Renault megane? Is this a joke? Before all the Renault apologists start posting comments like "it will leave the showroom 5k off " this car is aimed at company car drivers which goes by list price plus any accessories.

Re: Renault Megane 1.4 TCe

4 years 22 weeks ago

Mart_J wrote:
the latest Megane is incredibly well made with possibly the highest quality interiors in its class. It doesn't have the Golf or A3's back breaking ride

From your post I can tell that you haven't been anywhere near the latest Golf. The Megane doesn't come close, although I will admit that it isn't as bad as others have said. Unless you want to sit in the back, in which case you'd better leave your legs at home.

Re: Renault Megane 1.4 TCe

4 years 22 weeks ago

I am going to stand up for Renault here. I have had two, one dating from the mid-nineties. I am not going to pretend the first one was especially well built but it was bloody bullet proof. Put up with a new driver's abuse, including hitting a kerb at 30 (something I was hugely embarrassed about but, hey, you live and learn). When I got a bit older I bought a 52 reg Clio and that WAS pretty well built. Brilliantly designed for the city with plastic wings and nice big plastic rubbing strips and mechanically exemplary. Neither car was exciting to look at but the latter drove really well.

Looks are obviously subjective, and I am not convinced by this Megane, but on the other hand it is a breathof fresh air in an increasingly staid market. I am pretty bored of bland hatchbacks with big bumpers to protect people who walk in the road. I also think Renault should be commended for their advances in usable, greener engines. The 1.2 TCE in the Clio is mint and they are leading the way is small capacity, turbocharged engines, even if others are catching up. Add in that they are pretty advanced with the 'leccy cars and I think it is unfair to be so prejudiced based on outdated opinions of 70's/80's rotboxes.

I am not a Renault employee or their biggest fan but I do respect their forward-thinking and ability to be 'different.'

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Our Verdict

The Renault Megane looks bland, and it's not that good to drive either

Driven this week