First DriveFacelifted range-topping Mégane features revised styling and tweaked chassis, but ergonomic flaws and a substantial price tag dent its overall appeal
First DriveFacelifted Megane remains a hard sell, but makes a refreshingly sporty fleet car
What is it?
This is the new Megane Coupe 2.0 TCe and, on the face of it, it’s a car that ticks all the right boxes.
Looks are important for any coupe and, while aesthetics are subjective, there’s no denying that the low, wide Renault Megane Coupe 2.0 TCe is striking. Under the bonnet is a 178bhp 2.0-litre motor with a twin-scroll turbocharger, an evolved, detuned version of the engine from the previous-generation R26 hot hatch.
And because this is a coupe and not a rakish family hatch, you can forgive the three-door Megane its cramped rear seats and poor visibility.
What’s it like?
Once you get beyond the looks and specification, the Renault Megane Coupe 2.0 TCe is not that brilliant.
The first disappointment is the cabin. The overall look and feel is fine; the problem is in niggling details. The digital speed read-out is a good idea, but is brashly executed. And the starter button is on the passenger side of the centre console on right-hand drive models – you have an awkward stretch around the gear lever to reach it. These are small details, but they are frustrating.
On the road the new engine is eager; with the turbo kicking in at 1200rpm and the full 222lb ft of torque available at 2250rpm, it ought to be. But the surging low-rev performance tails off further up the rev range, so the Renault Megane Coupe 2.0 TCe doesn’t quite live up to its low-rev promise.
The Megane Coupe handles reasonably well; it corners with plenty of grip and little body roll, and is eager to change direction. The only real black mark is a ride that, although better than a Laguna Coupe’s, never settles properly or smoothes out short-frequency undulations.
So should I buy one?
We can’t really recommend it. It’s not that the Renault Megane Coupe is a bad car. It does most things well, but it excels in no areas and annoys in a couple. Our advice? If you want a three-door coupe, spend a couple of grand more and go for a VW Scirocco.