New 2016 Renault Megane: prices, specs and on sale date

All-new hatchback also shows off strong new design and Renaultsport-inspired 'GT' spec

Full details of the all-new Renault Megane family hatchback have been revealed. Orders for the mid-sized family hatchback and it will be up against rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, SEAT Leon and new Vauxhall Astra when it arrives in July. Prices for the new car start at £16,600 for an entry-level Expression+ model, rising to £25,500 for the top-of-the-range sporty GT Nav version.

Design-wise, the new Megane has adopted a much bolder look than before, while it’ll feature more efficient engines and have a greater focus on technology. The GT model will have a 202bhp petrol engine and four-wheel steering, while there are also plans for a diesel hybrid in 2017.

It’s based on the same mechanical platform as the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar crossovers, as well as the Nissan Pulsar hatchback.

New Renault Megane styling

It's distinctively styled, with the familiar large Renault diamond logo dominating the grille. There are also styling cues from high-performance Renaults like the Clio RS hot hatchback, such as the low front bumper and chrome details around the windows.

Like the Renault Talisman – a family saloon that’ll be sold on the continent, but not in the UK – the Megane features C-shaped daytime running lights around the headlights.

At the rear, there are LED clusters that cut almost all the way across the back of the car, only interrupted by the Renault badge on the tailgate. According to Renault, this increases the perceived width of the car.

This generation of Megane is bigger than its predecessor, too. It’s 65mm longer and the wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) has been increased by 28mm, which should result in a considerable increase in interior space. It’s also wider, which should improve cornering stability and interior shoulder room.

The range-topping GT model will be available from launch. It features larger front air intakes and a black mesh grille at the front, rather than the standard chrome one. Other styling additions include trapezoidal exhaust pipes integrated with the rear bumper and unique 18-inch alloy wheels. Completing the sporty look is a rear roof spoiler.

Interior, specs, safety and technology

Renault has simplified the dashboard layout of the new Megane by fitting a large portrait-orientated central touchscreen (like those in the Volvo XC90 and Tesla Model S), which the company claims this is a class first. It controls the R-LINK 2 infotainment system, working in the same way as an iPad or other tablet with pinch-and-zoom functionality for the sat-nav maps.

One of the key facets of the new Megane is a greater focus on technology and quality. Gone are the traditional instrument dials, replaced by a TFT screen, while you’ll also be able to specify a head-up display. Renault will offer a BOSE stereo, as well as adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, traffic-sign recognition, automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring. High-spec versions of the will be available with a Napa leather-trimmed steering wheel and chrome detailing around the cabin.

There are six trim levels to choose from – Expression+, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav, Signature Nav, GT-Line Nav and GT Nav. All models get Bluetooth, USB connectivity, a 12-volt power supply and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, as well as LED daytime running lights, DAB radio and tinted windows. All models above the entry-level benefit from satellite navigation and the new R-Link 2 infotainment system, controlled from an 8.2-inch portrait orientated touchscreen in the centre console. Top-of-the-range GT Nav models meanwhile, get all the same equipment as GT-Line, but adds some sporty extras from the engineers at Renaultsport, including suspension tweaks and the most powerful engine in the range.

It’s not, however, the full-blown Renaultsport version, which will arrive later on, as that will get even more power, a unique bodykit and more extensive suspension and chassis tweaks.

You’ll have to choose from six trim levels for your Renault Megane. Entry-level Expression + models come reasonably well-equipped, with Bluetooth, DAB radio, USB connectivity, LED daytime running lights and tinted windows. Move up to Dynamique Nav and you get sat-nav (as the name suggests) and the new R-Link 2 infotainment system, that’s controlled from the new portrait-orientated 8.2-inch touchscreen in the dash. These models also add dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, keyless entry, selectable driving modes and an upgraded stereo.

Further up the range, Dynamique S Nav is the first trim to come with the new portrait-orientated 8.7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, while you also get 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and extra tint for the rear windows and the tailgate glass. Signature Nav models add18-inch alloy wheels, full LED headlights and full leather upholstery.

At the sportier end of the range, sit the GT-Line Nav and GT Nav models. The former gets a sportier look, including gaping air intakes and a honeycomb mesh grille, dark metal 17 or 18-inch alloys and a rear diffuser with matching door mirror caps. Inside, you get sports seats upholstered in cloth or Alcantara, as well as GT-Line badging and a sportier steering wheel. Lastly, GT Nav models have been fettled by Renaultsport engineers and gets sporty additions like four-wheel steering, a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that will do multiple down-changes if you hold the downshift paddle, as well as a launch control function. This last version is also only available with the 202bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and is the fastest model in the range until the full-blown Renaultsport version arrives.

In terms of safety, the Megane should be on par with its rivals, too. Euro NCAP has awarded it the full five stars - in line with the majority of its rivals - and it comes with plenty of safety kit as standard. As well as the obligatory traction and stability control systems, it gets a plethora of airbags, ISOFIX child car seat mounting points in the rear and seatbelt reminders for all occupants.

Engines and performance

Six engines – three diesels and three petrols – will be available at launch, with a seventh (also a diesel) arriving in 2016. The three diesels produce 90, 110 and 130bhp, with the 110bhp version likely to be the biggest seller. Renault says this version will emit 86g/km of CO2, making it tax free and very tempting as a company car.

The three petrols produce 99, 128 and 202bhp, with the latter being exclusive to the GT model, which also gets a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Renault’s 4Control four-wheel steering system. The company claims this ensures “precise, dynamic handling on twisty roads, with total stability at higher speeds” and that “in emergencies, [it] provides reassuring, lightning-fast responses.”

As well as these systems, the GT has launch-control and a function that allows the dual-clutch gearbox to change down several gears at once.

It’s likely that 2017 will see the introduction of a ‘Hybrid Assist’ diesel version. There’s no official numbers available for this system, but Renault is said to be targeting 94mpg and 76g/km of CO2.

A high-performance Renaultsport version hasn’t been confirmed, but is likely to make an appearance in due course to take on rivals such as the Ford Focus ST, Vauxhall Astra VXR and Honda Civic Type R.

Price and release date

The new Renault Megane hatchback is available to order now, with prices starting at £16,600 for the entry-level Expression+ model. This rises to £18,100 for a Dynamique Nav example, £19,100 for the cheapest Dynamique S Nav model and £20,600 for a Signature Nav version. GT-Line Nav models start at £19,600, while the range-topping GT Nav version begins at £25,500. First deliveries are expected to start in July 2016.

For more on the Renault range, including all versions of the outgoing Renault Megane, visit Carbuyer's reviews page.

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