Renault Megane RS hatchback - Interior & comfort
Comfort is a Renault Megane RS strong suit, but the finish is a little patchy
It came as some surprise that the RS has barely lost the Megane's underlying smoothness in the quest for sporty handling. The big 19-inch wheels fitted to the RS 300 Trophy kick up a little more noise with so much more rubber in contact with the road, and potholes are felt more abruptly. But overall, the RS is a very comfortable hot hatch to travel in.
It also benefits from the Megane's flair-filled interior, its stylish dashboard dominated by a portrait-orientated touchscreen infotainment display and a digital instrument cluster. There are enough individual touches to remind you that you're sitting in something other than normal a family car, though.
Renault Megane RS dashboard
Once you've settled into the deeply contoured driving seats, you'll spot that the steering wheel is wrapped with Alcantara suede for both extra grip and a sense of sportiness. The dials are laid out in the same way as any other Megane, but bear Renaultsport markings, and every other control is carried over from the regular hatchback. We're not entirely sold on the patches of carbon-fibre that adorn the doors, though – they stress the 'performance' message in a slightly forced way.
That big 9.3-inch central infotainment screen looks great, but isn't the most user-friendly on the market. Some of the menus are a little confusing and there's no 'haptic feedback' to confirm selections with a vibration or a click. Some of the plastics used in the centre console feel a little insubstantial, too. A 10-inch digital instrument cluster is also fitted and features custom Renaultsport graphics.
As well as offering a unique Volcanic Orange paint colour, the Megane RS is set apart from lesser models by its more muscular styling, with flared wheel arches and deeper spoilers front and rear. The RS additions are relatively discreet compared to the outlandish spoilers and intakes of the Honda Civic Type R, but more showy than the sober-looking Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST. A set of 18-inch wheels is standard on the RS 300 model, as are a set of supportive sports seats and a matching steering wheel. Sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are provided, too.
Plump for the range-topping RS 300 Trophy and you gain a unique tri-colour set of 19-inch alloy wheels. Optional Recaro bucket seats can also be specced, which are mounted 20mm lower than the standard ones.