What is it?
This is the coupé cabriolet version of the current incarnation of Renault's Mégane hatch. Specifically, it's the top-spec GT, in diesel form, with Renault's 158bhp, 280lb dCi engine under the bonnet.
It's not the first time we've driven a Mégane CC; the 1.4 TCE Dynamique variant has been subjected to a full Autocar road test, and we have driven the open-top GT dCi before, too, but this is our first opportunity to sample it on the UK's roads.
What's it like?
All of our previous road test conclusions regarding the 1.4 TCE CC still stand: it's a pretty refined car overall with surprisingly little roof-up wind noise, and it has a half-decent ride on smoother roads. However, it's aesthetically challenged at the rear and the ride and dynamics suffer on bumpy and broken surfaces, and particularly so when the car is under even the slightest lateral load. It also suffers a disconcertingly soft brake pedal action, has huge, heavy doors, and overall it lacks any significant driver involvement.
That's not to say the GT diesel can't be an enjoyable drive, but it's not exactly an engaging one. The motor is smooth and torquey, if a little raucous and gravelly sounding, especially around town. It makes a pleasant enough motorway cruiser, though, at which times the Renault should return mpg figures in the high 30s to low 40s. This drops significantly around town, however, in no small part due to the extra weight of the folding roof.
In GT trim the Mégane comes with 18in alloys which, surprisingly, don't seem to harm the ride too adversely. What they do, however, is transmit a significant amount more road noise into the cabin.
And of course you can drive it with the roof down, which is the CC's USP. And that in itself is a function which the car performs well provided you're happy with the inevitable loss of boot and rear passenger space.
Should I buy one?
If your sole goal is to be driving a French-built coupé cabriolet then the Mégane is admirably fit for purpose. In GT diesel guise, however, the Mégane CC isn't a cheap car and it’s hard to recommend over a VW Eos. The Renault's engine is a fine performer and there are nice touches to the GT's interior (although as a roofless coupé it could do with heated seats as standard, not a £305 option) but there are too many aesthetic and dynamic compromises to swallow before justifying the purchase price.