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 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. 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 8.7 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. The Trophy-R meanwhile, is fitted with the smaller seven-inch screen for weight saving reasons.
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. A set of 19-inch wheels is standard, as are a set of supportive sports seats and a matching steering wheel. Sat-nav is provided, too.
Plump for the range-topping RS 300 Trophy and you gain a different set of 19-inch alloy wheels, with lighter 'Fuji' wheels wearing special track-focused Bridgestone Potenza S007 tyres offered as an option. You'll also notice how much lower the driving position is, thanks to Recaro bucket seats mounted 20mm lower than the standard ones.
The Trophy-R doesn’t have back seats or a rear windscreen wiper, and even the carpets aren’t as thick. Optional equipment on the Trophy-R includes £12,000 carbon wheels.