Renault Megane 2004 review
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The company this week introduced a tempter that should lift Renault's profile from nowhere to somewhere especially in the light of four other recent arrivals.
The Megane Coupe Cabriolet completes six hectic weeks for Renault that saw the arrival of Master and (impressive) Kangoo vans and the high performance Megane and Clio sports models.
Megane Coupe Cabriolet is a gorgeous thing with a stunning Karmann-designed and manufactured all- glass retractable roof thrown in for good measure. It gives an all season driving experience with the roof up or down, something no other car offers at present.
Like retractable tin-top convertibles, the Megane's two piece roof is electrically operated and folds into the boot.
Neat and tidy.
The process takes a scant 22 seconds so sudden downpour syndrome can almost be avoided.
Worried about the glass roof?
There's no need because it's arguably tougher than steel and also knocks out 95 per cent of UV radiation. A dappled sunshade is provided for extra sun protection.
The chassis is similar to Megane sedan and hatch with reinforcements in critical areas such as the windscreen and underfloor areas. It weighs about 150kg more but rides on a longer wheelbase. There are other chassis/dynamic adjustments throughout the car.
The powertrain is a lift from Megane hatch – a 98kW, twin cam, 2.0-litre, petrol four cylinder driving through a six speed manual 'box or four speed automatic.
There are plenty of goodies inside the Coupe Cabriolet as befits its asking price of $47,990, $2200 more for the auto.
And it rates as the safest car in a frontal collision as tested by European NCAP which gives it five stars. Safety equipment includes six air bags and ABS.
An optional LX pack ($1290 adds 17in wheels and a six CD stacker).
Though pitched as a four seater, precious little rear seat legroom precludes adults from travelling in the back. The boot is generous with the roof up, less so when folded. A full size spare is included.
The auto version tested proved impressive indeed, better than expected.
It has a strong chassis and excellent engine response. There are no torque holes to fall into and the powertrain works smoothly and efficiently particularly kickdown.
We drove (in the wet) with the roof on and off and it feels rock solid in both modes. The car's shape deflects light rain completely overhead and even allows a cap to be worn without worrying losing it.
There's absolutely no windscreen shake and no rattles, groans or frequency vibrations that can plague this type of car.
The ride/handling package is sporty with firmish suspension, electric power steering and (over) sensitive brakes.
The car's fun to cruise in and you can turn up the wick and treat it like a sports car.
Pretty well no luxuries have been left out and the interior looks modern and plush except for a quibble with some plastic surfaces.
Distinctive rear styling pleases but the generic Megane front could do with a lift such as dual element headlights to differentiate the Coupe Cabriolet from Megane hatch.
This car has plenty of competition and is priced right on the money for the segment. It looks a million bucks and has the added advantage of that all glass roof.
Range and Specs
|Dynamique||2.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO||$4,600 – 7,370||2004 Renault Megane 2004 Dynamique Pricing and Specs|
|Dynamique LX||2.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO||$4,700 – 7,590||2004 Renault Megane 2004 Dynamique LX Pricing and Specs|
|Expression||1.6L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO||$4,000 – 6,490||2004 Renault Megane 2004 Expression Pricing and Specs|
|Privilege||1.6L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO||$4,200 – 6,820||2004 Renault Megane 2004 Privilege Pricing and Specs|