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.