Renault Megane GT-Line Premium 2014 review
Chris Riley road tests and reviews the Renault Megane GT-Line Premium wagon with specs, fuel economy and verdict.
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With the launch of the new 308 small car late last year, Peugeot made an overdue return to form, stepping up from the second division to start kicking goals in the premier league.
The wagon is every bit as good as the hatch from a styling and handling viewpoint, with the added flexibility of its 605L cargo area. The extra room comes at a $3000 premium, but for many it will be a small price to pay for enhanced practicality.
As good as the new Pug is it takes on quite competent opposition and is priced at the top end of the small load-lugging market.
Those prepared to pay almost $35,000 (before on-road costs) for the base-model Allure wagon will have few complaints when comparing features with the opposition. Buyers on a budget will steer towards the rivals’ cheaper entry-level models.
Subdued sophistication is the 308’s hallmark. The exterior look is clean with a noticeable absence of unnecessary creases and contours on the bodywork. The uncluttered look continues on the inside with an Audi-esque (and yes, that’s a compliment) absence of dashboard dials and buttons.
Replacing conventional switchgear, its 9.7-inch touchscreen has digital controls for airconditioning, vehicle setup and phone pairing, leaving a volume control dial and five buttons as the only tactile elements on the dash.
Peugeot conforms with the latest trend of chrome highlights on the interior. The garnish looks and feels more restaurant class than fast food.
The small-diameter steering wheel feels great in the hands, but can obscure the head-up instrument cluster, which is aimed at minimising the time spent looking away from the road. The tacho spins anticlockwise, which is the only conspicuous French quirk.
The 308 wagon’s outward vision is first class. Those wanting blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure alerts must spend $38,393 for the Allure Premium, which also has adaptive cruise control.
A reversing camera and parking sensors front and rear take the stress out of inner-city parking and auto headlamps and wipers likewise save hassle.
The steering is nearly a match for the Volkswagen Golf with a level of precision and weight that the Europeans tend to do better than their Asian counterparts.
A minor glitch is the software controlling the six-speed automatic, which means it can be clunky kicking into second gear and is also prone to hesitate when the auto stop/start has re-engaged the engine.
Arterial roads and country lanes are where Peugeot’s return to form is most obvious. The wagon has a near-ideal balance of ride comfort and cornering prowess, let down only by the occasional kick from the torsion beam rear end if it encounters big mid-turn road ripples at decent speeds.
It isn’t enough to unsettle the wagon, or the rear occupants, but it can be felt.
The claimed fuel consumption of 6.5L/100km is a valid ballpark figure — Carsguide clocked 8.2L with some solid backroad runs and a cruise through Melbourne’s CBD. Drive it more conservatively and that figure should drop into the 7s.
This isn’t a GTi but the 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo does a decent impression of one, taking 8.8 secs for the 0-100km/h sprint.
The transmission’s sports mode forsakes the normal hunt for the highest gear for revs and the 308 will hang on to the red-line if the right boot is buried into the carpet.
Steering is a standout; letting drivers aim the Pug with every expectation it will follow the line regardless of road or weather conditions. Understeer ultimately pushes the front end wide in the corners, but the pace has to be frantic for that to occur.
The 308 shows Peugeot is back in the game and the wagon is the most sensible example in the range. It is priced and packaged as a top-tier mainstream model and deserves comparisons with the class-leading Golf.
The 308 Allure wagon is pretty well loaded, with front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, satnav, dual-zone aircon and auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
The Allure Premium for an extra $3704 adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, automated park assist and keyless entry/start.
Warranty is average but there’s five years of capped price servicing for a total of $2295. The Pug prefers 95 RON but is reasonably frugal — Carsguide got 9.4L/100km in city driving, not far off the official urban 8.8L.
|CC Allure Turbo||1.6L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$27,500 – 33,110||2015 Peugeot 308 2015 CC Allure Turbo Pricing and Specs|
|Access||1.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$9,990 – 11,950||2015 Peugeot 308 2015 Access Pricing and Specs|
|Active||1.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$10,900 – 15,999||2015 Peugeot 308 2015 Active Pricing and Specs|
|Allure||1.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$12,500 – 18,150||2015 Peugeot 308 2015 Allure Pricing and Specs|