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Renault Megane GT 220 2013 review

EXPERT RATING
8

Renault is determined to be a big player amongst a host of European marques currently being imported to Australia. The French maker used to be huge in this country, building cars here for many years, and would like to return to its days of being a mainstream player downunder.

Using the time honoured method of increasing sales, Renault Australia has cut prices on its biggest selling model, the Megane. It has greatly expanded the number of models on offer and, best of all, has introduced a high-performance station wagon.

RANGE AND PRICES

The Megane GT 220 Sport wagon is a slightly detuned version of one of our favourite high-performance cars - the Megane RS 265 coupe. While the 265 is a semi-track model for the very serious driver, the 220 is aimed at the person looking for a family transport with a healthy dose of driving excitement.

By the way the numbers 265 and 220 refer to the peak output of the engines in horsepower. The French, who invented the metric system, don’t use it when measuring power outputs of engines, preferring to use the imperial units of horsepower. May we cynically suggest that’s because 265 and 220 are bigger number than 195 and 162 (the power in kilowatts for the powerplants)?

Renault Megane wagon is sold in Dynamique level specification with 16-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, roof rails, and rear parking sensors. It can be ordered with a petrol or diesel engine, but only with an automatic transmission in Australia.

The Megane CC (Coupe-Cabriolet) with its folding hard-top is now offered in three models, previously there was just a single, rather expensive, one. In a new entry level specification the Megane CC begins at just $36,990, making it bargain priced in its class.

For those looking for more, there’s a Renault Sport designed GT-Line as a package on the Megane hatch, station wagon and Coupe-Cabriolet. This has a sportier front bumper design, a honeycomb grill and boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights. Megane GT-Line is available in a signature Malta Blue colour, sometimes called French racing blue. Inside, the GT-Line Megane has sport seats and steering wheel.

There’s also a standard wagon with good load carrying capacity. As well as back seats that fold flat, the front passenger seat can also fold flat. With the front seat down there’s a load length of 2550 mm.

Renault Megane hatch comes in a new entry level specification, Expression. This has a recommended retail price of just $20,990 with a manual gearbox. Interestingly, the Megane Expression automatic has an rrp of $22,990 which is the same price as the outgoing manual model.

DRIVE IMPRESSIONS

We spent a great couple of hours driving the GT 220 wagon in the hills behind Brisbane and were impressed by the engine responding with a minimum of lag, the endless torque provided once it was on song and the overall handling and ride package. As it’s less fierce than the Megane 265 coupe the wagon will make a competent daily driver.

The GT-Line has harder suspension than the standard models. We found this to be rather firm, and created quite a bit of tyre noise on the rough and ready Aussie backroads we used on some sections of our drive program. So it might be best to try it for yourself before falling in love with the appearance changes.

VERDICT

A fully imported European machine for the price of an Asian car? That’s likely to spark a lot of buyer interest in the new and expanded Renault Megane range.

Pricing guides

$13,943
Based on 66 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$6,999
Highest Price
$20,900

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $11,600 – 16,940 2013 Renault Megane 2013 (base) Pricing and Specs
CC Floride LE 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $14,400 – 20,350 2013 Renault Megane 2013 CC Floride LE Pricing and Specs
Dynamique 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $12,488 – 12,990 2013 Renault Megane 2013 Dynamique Pricing and Specs
Dynamique Summer Edition 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $11,600 – 17,050 2013 Renault Megane 2013 Dynamique Summer Edition Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$6,999

Lowest price, based on 66 car listings in the last 6 months

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