From £15,920
Refined and economical diesel hatch with impressive new dual-clutch transmission

Our Verdict

Renault Megane
It's hard to make a case for any of the non-sporting Megane range

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

What is it?

The third generation of Renault’s Mégane is coming up to its third birthday, and it’s hardly controversial to say that during that time it hasn’t really set the new car market on fire.

This very mainstream five-door hatchback lacks the dramatic looks of the three-door, and it rolls on standard-issue MacPherson struts and a beam axle. Renault isn’t selling the car on the strength of its dynamic performance or looks, however. This Mégane has been endowed with some considerable practical strengths instead – not least a EuroNCAP crash test score of 37 points out of 37 and a comprehensive list of safety kit.

What's it like?

Inside, the interior is nicely sculpted, there’s lots of finely detailed switchgear and excellent, supportive seats.

However, the main reason for our return to the Mégane is the introduction of Renault’s all-new EDC dual-clutch transmission, mated to the familiar 1.5-litre diesel engine (a new version of the EDC will be needed to deal with the extra torque generated by the firm’s next-generation 1.6-litre diesel). The EDC works in the same way as established DSG gearboxes, with one clutch for odd-numbered ratios and one for evens. Renault claims a shift time of 290 milliseconds and combined fuel economy down 4.5mpg on that of the same engine with a manual ’box.

Despite our best efforts to catch out the EDC, it remained slick and smooth. It also worked well with this motor – something that can’t always be taken for granted in a small-capacity diesel. This engine is, by the way, pleasingly refined, flexible and most undiesel-like.

Should I buy one?

The main message, though, is that the new EDC drivetrain is impressive.

Renault Megane 1.5 DCI EDC

Price as tested with EDC: £19,995; Top speed: 118mph; 0-62mph: 11.7sec; Economy: 64.2mpg (combined); CO2: 114g/km; Kerb weight: 1215kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 1461cc, turbodiesel; Power: 109bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 177lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd dual-clutch auto

Join the debate

Comments
18

15 June 2011

You'll forgive me if I wait a couple of years to make sure it is as reliable as it should be....

Does this also mean we will be seeing this box in Nissans in the near future too?

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

15 June 2011

The main problem with reliability of manual gearbox diesels (apart from the diesel particulate filters) is that they have dual mass flywheels, that tend to break with expensive consequences. They are particularly prone to breaking if you set off at idle speed, as you would if inching forward in traffic. Of course, heavy urban users tend to avoid dmf's with a 'proper' torque convertor automatic. However, these dual clutch gearboxes do have a dual mass flywheel like their manual cousins, so may still have a problem with the dmf, particularly if their owner tries to creep them forward in traffic like a conventional auto in traffic....

Garages are quoting £1,500 plus to replace dmf's, which rather puts a 4-5mpg advantage into context!

15 June 2011

[quote Broughster]Garages are quoting £1,500 plus to replace dmf's, which rather puts a 4-5mpg advantage into context![/quote]

Strange is it not then that very few people in the UK choose to buy a petrol car of over 1200cc compared to sales of diesels.

jer

15 June 2011

[quote Broughster]Garages are quoting £1,500 plus to replace dmf's,[/quote]

I'm always amazed how importers make a killing on problems that are known weaknesses. Especially when out of warranty. Where problems become common place would'nt it be nice if they quietly reduced the price of parts to cost or thereabouts?

15 June 2011

Is there a manual mode contrary to the DSG?

15 June 2011

A true manual mode?

16 June 2011

[quote Autocar]and combined fuel economy down 4.5mpg on that of the same engine with a manual ’box[/quote] what's true, the statement above taken from the article, or the reverse which accompanies one of the photos. Is it economy or consumption?

 

 

16 June 2011

[quote Maxycat]Strange is it not then that very few people in the UK choose to buy a petrol car of over 1200cc compared to sales of diesels.[/quote]

No, that isn't strange at all. Consumers are trying to keep their tax bills down and diesel engines are the way to do it. What they aren't thinking about is raft of expensive repair bills 3-5 years down the line as all the expensive kit designed to get over the diesel engine's inherent flaws starts to break...(dual mass flywheels, turbos, intercoolers etc.)

16 June 2011

[quote Broughster] What they aren't thinking about is raft of expensive repair bills 3-5 years down the line as all the expensive kit designed to get over the diesel engine's inherent flaws starts to break...(dual mass flywheels, turbos, intercoolers etc.)[/quote]

Apart from dual mass flywheels many modern petrol cars have all the same expensive kit. No one has yet developed any means to get over the petrol engines inherent inefficiency compared to diesel so sales of diesel cars will continue to dominate sales in Europe with its ever higher fuel taxes.

16 June 2011

[quote Maxycat]Apart from dual mass flywheels many modern petrol cars have all the same expensive kit. No one has yet developed any means to get over the petrol engines inherent inefficiency compared to diesel so sales of diesel cars will continue to dominate sales in Europe with its ever higher fuel taxes.[/quote]

Sadly, I couldn't agree more. We are strapping more and more kit to smaller and smaller engines (whether petrol or diesel), the aim of which is for them to perform better in the government tests. All this leads to is customer disappointment as they find it so difficult to meet the combined cycle mpg and adding the likely burden of unreliability later on.

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