Renault Megane Sport Tourer estate
Price £17,750 - £24,245
- Handsome looks
- High-quality interior
- Comfortable to drive
- Poor resale values
- GT version isn't sporty
- Lower-powered engines struggle
At a glance
"The Renault Megane Sport Tourer isn’t overly sporty. This is an estate that prioritises practicality and comfort."
The Renault Megane Sport Tourer is an affordable, practical family estate car. It's not quite as sporty as its name suggests, but it looks attractive and offers a comfortable driving experience with the added space of an estate. It easily rivals the likes of the Volkswagen Golf estate and Ford Focus estate for luggage room. Light yet accurate steering means it drives nicely enough, but a smooth ride on rough roads its its real trump card.
The range of engines has been reduced in recent years to six options, with various manual and automatic gearbox combinations. The diesel engines are the best choice, as all bar the cheapest 1.5-litre dCi 86 model offering plenty of power, even with a boot full of luggage.
The Megane Sport Tourer comes in three specifications – entry-level Expression+, mid-range Dynamique TomTom and top-of-the-range GT Line TomTom. The GT Line models look smart and are more fun to drive, but their firmer suspension somewhat spoils their appeal as a comfortable family car.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Diesels offer best mix of performance and low costs
One word – diesel. The dCi 110 diesel (equipped with stop-start technology to further boost fuel economy) offers the lowest running costs in the Megane estate range, returning an excellent 81mpg and emitting only 90g/km of CO2 – which makes it exempt from road tax. In comparison, the 110bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine can only manage 41mpg. Servicing and insurance costs should also be reasonably affordable, so the Megane Sport Tourer genuinely offers a good combination of style, comfort and affordability.
Engines, drive & performance
Handling doesn't live up to Sport Tourer name
The Sport Tourer name is a bit a misleading, as the Megane estate is actually a comfortable cruiser rather than a peppy performance model. The sportier GT Line model offers a bit more power, but also has firmer suspension.
When driven at high speeds, the Megane isn’t as controlled as many of its rivals, and winding, undulating roads prove particularly taxing. It does have light steering and a smooth, easy-to-use gearbox, while the engines are generally powerful and quiet, too. You should avoid the cheapest 1.5-litre dCi diesel and 1.6-litre petrol engines, especially if you intend to use your Megane as a real workhorse, as they're simply not powerful enough for dealing with a fully loaded family car.
Interior & comfort
The Megane is one of the most comfortable estates
It's not be the most fun car to drive, but the Megane estate is easily one of the most comfortable small family cars you can buy right now. There’s loads of leg and headroom (front and back), while the seats are soft and supportive, too. The GT Line model has sports seats that are designed to keep you more firmly in place on twisty roads. Generally, interior comfort is as excellent, as is the ride. Wind, road and engine noise are kept to a minimum, making this a very relaxing car indeed.
Practicality & boot space
False boot floor boosts practicality
With the back seats in place, the Megane Sport Tourer offers 524 litres of boot space. A secure storage compartment hidden away under a false boot floor is ideal for storing valuables out of sight of prying eyes. If you fold the rear seats flat, the boot capacity expands to 1,567 litres, which is about on par with the Ford Focus and VW Golf estates, but not as much as the frankly enormous 2,149 litres offered by the class-leading Peugeot 308 SW. Inside, rear-seat passengers have lots of space, with plenty of leg, shoulder and headroom for three adults. There are also lots of storage cubbies and cup-holders dotted around the cabin.
Reliability & safety
Renault's reputation isn't great
Renault has had a poor reputation for quality and reliability in recent years, but it was one of the most improved manufacturers in the Driver Power 2013 customer satisfaction survey. It rose six places in the manufacturer rankings to place 21st overall, beating Citroen and Ford in the process. In line with this improvement, the current Megane is something of a revelation. It's dropped from its original fifth place in the 2010 poll, but it actually climbed back up 11 places to rank 20th in 2013. This kind of improvement is rare in Driver Power.
Although the Megane Sport Tourer hasn't been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, the Megane hatchback has. It originally scored a full five-star rating, but has since been downgraded to just three stars – among the lowest for cars of this type. The car was heavily criticised for its rear seatbelt warning system, but Euro NCAP said that with improvements to the technology, the car could score four stars.
The Megane Sport Tourer is fitted with a full set of airbags, electronic stability control and ISOFIX child-seat mounts as standard across the range.
Price, value for money & options
Dynamique TomTom models are well equipped
The whole Megane estate range is well equipped, with even the cheapest Expression+ spec offering a reasonable amount of kit. All cars have air-conditioning and a Bluetooth phone connection, and if you fork out a little extra cash on a Dynamique TomTom version, you get lots more luxuries, including automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, cruise control, LED daytime running lights and sat nav. The Sport Tourer is similarly priced to a VW Golf estate and Peugeot 308 SW, but you may find a Skoda Octavia estate offers better value for money. Plus, the Renault’s resale values on the used market aren't great.