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Renault Megane 2014 Review

The Megane, in hatch and wagon, has a composed, surefooted feel, tracks well and revels in twisty conditions.

A bigger range, lower prices, plus the addition of a sporty wagon last year, has given Renault extra impetus in its drive to give the Megane more space in the crowded small car market. Their launch of the latest Megane eight months ago saw a new entry model, priced at $20,990, but the magnets are likely to be the models in the new GT- Line, which have better handling via a Renault Sport chassis and suspension set-up, plus some interior enhancements.

The revitalised range also expanded the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet from one spec level to three, and presented a very limited high-performance model, the GT 220 Sport Wagon. Build quality is better too. Production of all but the Coupe-Cabrio, which remains French-made, has now been moved from Turkey to more advanced facilities in Spain.

PRICE

Megane Hatch comes in Expression, GT-Line and Privilege trim with prices ranging from $20,990 to $32,490. GT-Line and Privilege also have a turbo-diesel variant at a $2500 premium and transmissions are a CVT in petrol models and EDC, a Getrag dual-clutch auto, in the diesels. The wagons start from $26,490 for the Dynamique and the GT-Line models from $27,990. Coupe-Cabriolets range from $36,990 to $43,990 and the fiery Megane GT 220 Sport Wagon is $36,990. Premium packs are also available.

STYLING / FEATURES

Changes are subtle, but the chic Megane has always had the panache to make it a stand-out on the road or in the carpark. There are new interior trims across the range as are indicators with highway mode, and an air quality sensor, which monitors the air entering the cabin and activates the recycling mode when necessary.

High spec models get the `Visio' system, combining lane departure warning and automatic high-beam headlights, the latter switching to low beam when oncoming traffic is detected. The GT-Line has a honeycomb grille and a Renault Sport-inspired interior with sports seats and the height- and reach-adjustable steering wheel is trimmed in full-grain leather.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS

The engines are the competent carry-overs from last year and comprise a 103kW/195Nm four-cylinder 2.0 litre petrol engine or a 1.5 litre 81kW/240Nm turbo-diesel. This diesel hatch uses only 4.4 litres/100km and the wagon 4.7 litres/100km. Green too: CO2 emissions are 110g/km. The petrol engine is also efficient, drinking 7.8 litres/100km, with CO2 emissions of 181g/km.

The big news is the underbody of the GT-Line, which has had Renault Sport magic breathed on it, resulting in a lower centre of gravity, a firmer, more confident ride and a smile on the driver's face.

SAFETY

Not only a five-star Euro NCAP rating, but the organisation's highest rating: 37 out of 37.  All the electronic bits, plus a bunch of airbags. As good as it gets.

ON THE ROAD

The Megane, in hatch and wagon, has a composed, surefooted feel, tracks well and revels in twisty conditions. We drove a diesel hatch and a petrol wagon on a wide range of different surfaces before going for a blast in a GT 220 Sport Wagon. The diesel would be the pick. Its lusty 1.5 motor feels bigger than it is, gives great acceleration and has a wide spread of torque. Also, its auto box is one of the quickest and best in the business.

The petrol motor and CVT in the bigger and heavier wagon worked pretty well, but lacked the punch of the diesel. The GT 220 Sport Wagon is something else. It's a model built for people who find the Megane RS 265 a bit too much of a handful, but still appreciate (much) better than usual performance and handling. It would be a great everyday car too.

VERDICT

A good car made better, especially in handling-advanced GT-Line trim. The entry model is solid value and the handsome wagon is a welcome addition to a market largely devoid of such vehicles. Tres bon!

Renault Megane

Price: $26,490-$33,990
Warranty: 5 years/unlimited km
Resale: N/A
Capped price service: Yes
Service intervals: 12 months/15,000km
Safety: 5 stars,  6 airbags, ABS, TC, ESC
Engines: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder, 103kW/195Nm; 1.5-litre turbodiesel 4-cylinder, 81kW/240Nm
Transmissions: CVT (petrol), dual-clutch auto (diesel), FWD
Thirst: 7.8L/100km, 181g/km CO2 (petrol hatch); 7.9L/100km 182g/km CO2 (petrol wagon); 4.4L/100km, 115g/km CO2 (diesel hatch); 4.7L/100km, 122g/km CO2 (diesel wagon)
Dimensions: Hatch: 4.32m (L), 1.81m (W), 1.47m (H); wagon: 4.57m (L), 1.8m (W), 1.49m (H)
Weight: 1391-1394kg (hatch); 1446-1457kg (wagon)
Spare: Full-size

Pricing guides

$15,990
Based on 33 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$11,995
Highest Price
$25,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $13,200 – 19,140 2014 Renault Megane 2014 (base) Pricing and Specs
CC Floride LE 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $16,000 – 22,220 2014 Renault Megane 2014 CC Floride LE Pricing and Specs
Dynamique 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $14,400 – 20,240 2014 Renault Megane 2014 Dynamique Pricing and Specs
Dynamique Summer Edition 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $13,600 – 19,690 2014 Renault Megane 2014 Dynamique Summer Edition Pricing and Specs