Rear seat space isn’t bad assuming you’re not too tall. Leg room isn’t bad at all for the class, but head room is limited by that lowered roof line. As for the front, there’s ample room and the seats are nice and comfy. Although we liked the return of velour, the faux leather felt very plasticky. Our test car came with Renault’s 8.7in portrait orientated touchscreen infotainment system. It certainly has plenty of functionality but we found the menus to be more confusing than they needed to be with many icons that were too small to hit accurately.
As for quality, there’s plenty of soft-touch plastic and of course the luxuriant feel of velour beneath you. The trouble is that there’s an awful lot of unattractive satin finish plastic, especially around the infotainment screen that makes the interior feel a bit cheap overall.
On the road, the Mégane’s suspension setup seems totally at odds with the Sport bit of its name. The springs feel soft, and on smooth but undulating surfaces, this means a relaxed feel that makes the pronounced body roll acceptable. Of course, the UK isn’t known for its high-quality road network – once on a roughly surfaced road, things quickly fall apart. Even on relatively small 17in wheels, the suspension just can’t cope with sudden shocks. At best, you hear the suspension thumping over the obstacle but most of the time you’ll feel it as well, shattering any calm there may have been.
It’s no fun either; the steering is too light in Comfort and Neutral modes, although, to be fair, the weighting isn’t bad in Sport mode. The trouble is that even with the nose ploughing on, that weighting doesn’t change. There is literally no feedback at all.
You’d best get used to understeer, too. Non-switchable stability control is quick to get involved and as subtle as a kick in the trousers. If there is fun to be had, we didn’t find it. As for the engine, it’s no ball of fire but it isn’t hard to achieve more than 50mpg if you drive very carefully. It’s also impressively refined for a small four-pot diesel.
Should I buy one?
If style sells to you, then you might be tempted by the Mégane Sport Tourer. It looks distinctive and as a 1.5 dCi has the benefit of a refined diesel engine that is capable of excellent economy and has carbon emissions of under 100g/km. That’s very tempting for a business user.
Still, we wouldn’t recommend you buy one before its more rounded estate rivals. An Octavia is available for similar money, will depreciate less, is better to drive and far more spacious. Yes, the new nose is stylistically challenged but it’s a far better car.
2017 Renault Mégane Sport Tourer Dynamique S dCi 110
Location West Sussex; On sale Now; Price £22,350; Engine 4cyl, 1461cc, diesel; Power 108bhp at 4000rpm Torque 192lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox Six-speed manual; Kerb weight 1387kg; 0-62mph 11.3secs; Top speed 116mph Economy 76.4mpg CO2/tax band 96g/km, 21%; Rivals Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer 1.6CDTi 110, Skoda Octavia Estate 1.6 TDI