Renault Megane hatchback
Price £17,570 - £23,250
- Good value for money
- Comfortable to drive
- Excellent build quality
- Plain styling
- Cramped rear seats
- Less fun to drive than rivals
At a glance
"The Renault Megane is a decent all-round family car, offering style, quality and reliability in equal measure."
If you’re looking for a family hatchback, there's no question that you’re well catered for. The Renault Megane hatchback is just one car to choose from out of a myriad of competitors, where the Ford Focus, SEAT Leon and Volkswagen Golf have the segment licked.
The Megane does fall a little behind some of the competition, simply because it's getting on a bit. Even though a recent facelift brought some styling tweaks and a refreshed trim range, the Megane isn’t the most exciting car to drive and suffers from a lack of passenger space inside. An all-new Megane is likely to arrive in 2016.
This review is strictly for the five-door hatchback Megane. Renault offers the Megane as a sportier three-door coupe, a convertible, an estate and a seriously impressive high-performance Renaultsport edition.
Two petrol and two diesel engines populate the engine choices. The basic diesel makes the best case, since a claimed 79mpg is possible and it escapes road tax. Even the slightly lacklustre 12.1-second 0-62mph time (when equipped with the manual gearbox) can be overlooked because of the engine's impressive economy.
The smallest petrol engine – the 1.2-litre – offers a better compromise of performance and efficiency; a 10.9 second 0-62mph time is coupled with 53.3mpg and a £30 road tax bill. The small petrol is faster and smoother than the diesel, and the model itself is cheaper. It's a better bet for those who don’t do a lot of miles per year or tend to do more local journeys.
In contrast, the ‘warm’ Renault Megane GT 220 accelerates from 0-62mpg in just 7.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 149mph. It's not as hardcore as the Renaultsport Megane, but features a Renaultsport-tuned chassis and a lot of equipment. It doesn’t feel as inferior as you might think and represents good value compared to the full-fat Renaultsport model.
Trim levels start from basic Expression+ and move on to Dynamique Nav, Limited Nav, GT Line Nav and GT Nav. As the names may suggest, all but the basic Expression+ models are treated to satellite navigation as standard. Even so, all models feature air conditioning, cruise control, electric mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity and alloy wheels.
The Megane was awarded four out of five stars, which isn’t exactly great considering most of its rivals achieved the full five-star rating with ease. Six airbags and stability control do come as standard, though. The facelift also showed Renault's continuing efforts to improve reliability and build quality, reflected from owners feedback. It's also worth mentioning that Renault is one of the few manufacturers to provide a four-year warranty, rather than the standard three.
All engines offer strong performance and economy, but the diesels really shineAll engines offer strong performance and economy, but the diesels offered with the Renault Megane really shine
The Renault Megane has decent handling and is pretty comfortable
The Megane is comfortable to drive, but space in the back is a little cramped The Renault Megane is comfortable to drive and standard equipment is impressive
The Renault Megane's practicality isn’t up to the standards of the Honda Civic and Skoda Octavia
Despite all the updates, the Renault Megane isn't as safe as it used to be