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Used Renault Megane review: 2010-2012

EXPERT RATING
6
It's fair to say Renault hasn't set thee world on fire since it returned to the local market in the 1990s.

It's fair to say Renault hasn't set thee world on fire since it returned to the local market in the 1990s. Rather, its out-there looks and over-the-top pricing has meant it has struggled to get any traction with Aussie buyers.

NEW

In 2010 the French brand changed its approach with a new simplified Megane range that was better looking, better equipped and substantially more affordable.

The new model was clearly still a European car with Euro looks, but it wasn't as challenging as the previous model and fitted in better with the existing motoring landscape.

The range was whittled down to two main models, the Dynamique entry model and the fully equipped Privilege, both five-door hatches, supplemented by the Cabriolet for sun-lovers and the three-door Sport hatch for thrill-seekers.

All were well equipped, with the Privilege boasting the longest list of features that included leather, sunroof, satnav and rear parking sensors.

The Megane's safety picture was five-star impressive with six airbags, auto wipers and headlights, electronic stability control, ABS braking, emergency braking, and rollover protection on the convertible.

A 2.0-litre premium-slurping four provided the motivation for the most part, but there was also the option of a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel. Sports fans were satisfied with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four fitted to the Sport hatch.

The automatic option was a six-step CVT transmission with a choice of a six-speed manual, except for the cabriolet, which only came with the CVT. On the road the regular Megane models were quiet and comfortable, and soaked up everything Australian roads could throw at it with aplomb.

NOW

We get few complaints about Renaults in general, and the Megane in particular, but that could be explained by the relatively low sales of the brand rather than a positive endorsement of the car.

Still, it's worth noting when you go shopping that Renault owners appear to be a contented lot. Nevertheless we have heard complaints from owners who have trouble resolving issues they have experienced.

With that in mind it's a good idea to visit a number of Renault dealers and get an idea of the service and back-up you might expect to get from them if you sign up to the brand.

At the same time you should consult as many independent Renault specialists as you can to get an unbiased opinion of the Megane, and the likelihood of what trouble you could possibly strike.

Independent service specialists are generally a good place to have your car serviced, they don't charge as much, they know the brand and any quirks in the cars, and they usually know where to buy the most affordable replacement parts when needed.

If you are like most of us, and prefer to drive an automatic it's worth spending some time at the wheel of a Megane to see if the CVT is to your liking. Because the essence of the CVT is to maintain the engine in a given speed range to maximise its efficiency it can sometimes be off-putting to drive. The engine can appear to be screaming its head off when in reality it's working as it should be. Remember also that Renault recommends you run the Megane on Premium unleaded.

SMITHY SAYS

Worth a look, and much better than previous models, but there are better buys around.

Renault Megane 2010-2012
Price new: $24,990 to $46,990
Engine: 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, 103 kW/195 Nm; 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel, 81 kW/240 Nm; 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbo, 184 kW/340 Nm.
Transmission: CVT auto, 6-speed manual, FWD
Economy: 8.2 L/100 km (2.0), 4.5 L/100 km (1.5 TD), 8.7 L/100 km (2.0T)
Body: 5-door hatch, 3-door hatch, convertible
Variants: Dynamique, Privilege, Sport
Safety: 5-star ANCAP

COMING UP

Do you own a Holden Captiva? If so tell us what you think of it by sending your comments to Graham Smith at grah.smith@bigpond.com or Carsguide, PO Box 4245, Sydney, NSW, 2010.
 

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2012 $5,700 $20,900
2011 $4,700 $18,810
2010 $4,100 $17,930

View all Renault Megane pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$7,990
Based on 5 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$5,990
Highest Price
$9,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Dynamique 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $9,500 – 14,300 2010 Renault Megane 2010 Dynamique Pricing and Specs
Exception 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $5,990 – 9,990 2010 Renault Megane 2010 Exception Pricing and Specs
Dynamique 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $4,100 – 6,710 2010 Renault Megane 2010 Dynamique Pricing and Specs
Privilege 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $5,200 – 8,030 2010 Renault Megane 2010 Privilege Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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