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Steering, suspension and ride comfort

The Megane does without independent rear suspension, as fitted to its best rivals. But Renault’s chassis engineers have done an impressive job, given the unprepossessing raw material they were given to work with. The spring settings are well judged and grip levels are a notch or two above what you’d expect. This is a car that will tackle a sweeping A-road with composure.

Just don’t expect to enjoy it. Renault has fitted an overly light electric steering system with little proper feel. The steering is accurate and sensibly geared, but anyone hoping for decent level of interaction between car and driver will be disappointed.

Renault’s chassis engineers have done an impressive job

The rear torsion beam creates problems for the ride, too. On most roads most of the time, the Megane actually rides with reasonable fluency. But venture onto B-roads and potholed city streets and the Megane is unable to soak up large inputs and there’s a restlessness that infects the cabin. That reflects less badly on the Sports Tourer, because of its likely intended use, but only marginally.

The coupé/cabrio does a good job of isolating body shimmer, but the car feels heavy, dulling the sensations, while the heavy roof affects the car’s balance when it’s stowed at the back of the car.

Two chassis configurations are offered with the Renaultsport Mégane: the softer, more comfort-oriented and more expensive (by virtue of more standard equipment) Sport model and the Cup. While the Sport is already 12.5 percent stiffer than the regular Mégane Coupé, the Cup goes further with thicker anti-roll bars, stiffer springs and the addition of a GKN mechanical limited-slip differential. Overall the Cup chassis is 15 percent stiffer than the Sport.

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This is where Renaultsport has made its name and where its products differ most from those of mainstream Renault. And it takes only the shortest introduction to realise that once again Renaultsport has effected a complete transformation in the way the Mégane drives. In steering accuracy and the general absence of slack the Renaultsport Mégane feels like an altogether more purposeful car.