Renault Megane coupe
Price £18,250 - £28,930
- Excellent build quality
- Quick Renaultsport version
- Small rear windows
- Not as practical as rivals
- Confusing specifications
At a glance
"The Renault Megane coupe is a sporty three-door hatch that has an improving reputation for quality and reliability."
The Renault Megane coupe has the same name as the five-door Renault Megane and they share a lot of parts, but that's where the similarities end. The coupe is a rival for the likes of the Volkswagen Scirocco, Hyundai Veloster and SEAT Leon SC. so it's sleeker and sportier than the more practical five-door.
Both cars have the same dashboard layout, as well offering undeniably improved interior quality compared to Renaults of old, which raises the coupe's game. The Renault Megane coupe comes in three main specifications – entry-level Expression+, mid-spec Dynamique TomTom and top-of-the-range GT Line. There have been a handful of special editions, including the Renault Megane coupe Knight Edition, while a 2012 update added some extra features to bring the car up to date, including daytime running lights and new black trim.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Mid-range diesel engines offer best mix of pace and economy
The Megane Coupe’s 90bhp 1.5-litre dCi diesel fitted with stop-start technology is the most efficient engine on offer, returning a claimed 80.7mpg and emitting only 90g/km of CO2, so road tax is free. Every engine in the range is pretty economical, but we’d suggest you avoid the basic 1.6-litre petrol engine, which only returns 40.9mpg and emits 159g/km, so it'll cost you £175 a year to tax. Everything else easily clears 50mpg and emits less than 125g/km of CO2, so you won't pay a fortune to run any Megane Coupe. You also get Renault’s excellent 4+ after-sales package, which includes fours years of servicing, breakdown assistance, warranty and financing.
Engines, drive & performance
Sharp handling backs up coupe's sporty looks
The Megane Coupe has sportier suspension than the standard five-door car, so while it's less forgiving on rough roads, handling and steering are better then for the standard car. The smaller engines on offer – the 1.5-litre dCi 86 diesel and 1.6-litre VVT 100 petrol – feel underpowered and slow, but the remaining engines in the range are powerful enough to make the Megane a nippy performer. It’s not as much fun to drive as a dedicated sports coupe like the Subaru BRZ, but if you’re really interested in speed, you’re better off looking at the Renaultsport Megane 265 performance model, which is one of the most exciting cars to drive at any price.
Interior & comfort
The coupe transmits bumps and vibrations inside the car
The Megane Coupe is generally quite comfortable to ride in – but you do feel more jolts and vibrations than in the standard five-door hatchback thanks to a stiffer suspension set-up. Wind, tyre and engine noise are all kept to a minimum, however, even at motorway speeds.
But the back seats are pretty cramped due to the coupe’s sleek lines, and the small rear windows don't let much light in. This leaves the interior feeling a bit dark and claustrophobic.
On the plus side, the front seats are spacious, with a decent driving position, good visibility and the pedals, steering wheel and seat all offering comprehensive adjustment.
Practicality & boot space
Boot space is reasonable, but difficult to access thanks to a narrow opening
The Renault Megane coupe has nearly 30 litres of boot space less than the standard car, offering 344 litres in total. This expands to a reasonable 991 litres when you lower the standard split-folding rear seats, although they are a bit fiddly to operate.
The other problem is that the Megane Coupe's boot space isn't as useful as the five-door's, because the hatchback opening is too narrow and there's a high load lip that makes it hard to lift heavy items into the boot. Anyone sitting in the back will find things a bit cramped, while there isn't much storage space inside the car, either.
It’s not that the Megane Coupe is impractical – it's just that it's no better in this respect than any other three-door coupe. If practicality is at all important to you and you simply have to have a Megane, we’d recommend the five-door hatchback.
Reliability & safety
The Megane jumped up the Driver Power 2013 rankings
The good news for anyone thinking about buying a Megane Coupe is that Renault’s poor repuation for reliability is rapdily becoming a thing of the past. It was one of the most improved performers in the Driver Power 2013 customer satisfaction survey, climbing six places up the manufacturer rankings to 21st place. That’s still in the bottom third of the table, but it's a good start.
This improvement is thanks in large part to the Megane, which feels like a quality product from the moment you climb inside. In fact, the Megane has pulled off the rare feat falling down, then climbing back up the Driver Power list of top 100 cars – moving from 31st in 2012 to 20th in 2013.
Safety has always been one of Renault’s biggest selling points, and the Megane hatchback was originally awarded the maximum five-star safety rating in Euro NCAP crash tests. Since then, however, it's been downgraded to three stars, as Euro NCAP felt the car didn't warn the driver sufficiently if the rear-seat passengers weren't wearing their seatbelts. The testing body said that with improvements to this system, the Megane could score four stars.
Standard safety equipment includes front, side and curtain airbags, electronic stability control and selt belt pre-tensioners. Renault has made safety a priority for many years now, so you can rest assured that the Megane Coupe will protect you if you're involved in an accident.
Price, value for money & options
Coupe costs more than the five-door, but should hold its value better
Most car manufacturers charge you more money for more doors – but not Renault. The French brand has decided to make the three-door coupe version of the Megane more expensive than the five-door, which is a bit cheeky, considering that it’s not any better than the standard car.
However, the coupe will likely enjoy stronger resale values on the UK used-car market – especially if it's a high-performance Renaultsport model. All Megane Coupes are well equipped with a range of accessories, including air-conditioning as standard. TomTom models also have integrated sat nav, which is easy to use and handy if you get lost.