Renault Megane Sport Tourer
The Renault Megane Sport Tourer mixes stylish looks with a spacious, practical interior and a focus on comfort
The Renault Megane Sport Tourer is one of the most handsome choices in the family estate car class, and combines a well equipped, high-quality interior with a range of strong and efficient engines. On the road, the focus is more on comfort than driving fun, but families will be more interested in the space on offer – and the Megane Sport Tourer is competitive with rivals like the Ford Focus and VW Golf estates in terms of boot capacity. Plus, while it can’t match the Peugeot 308 SW, which has the largest luggage area in this class, it still has plenty of clever, versatile touches to appeal to family car buyers.
Our choice: 1.6 dCi (130) S/S Dynamique TomTom
The Renault Megane Sport Tourer has a stylish body, with a curving shape. The design has been updated to include LED daytime running lamps on higher-spec models, while alloy wheels are standard across the range. The line-up has been simplified to give buyers a choice of Expression+, Dynamique TomTom and GT Line TomTom models, and each comes generously equipped as standard. All are fitted with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, while the top two specs feature automatic headlights and windscreen wipers. Plus – as their names suggest – Renault’s built-in TomTom Carminat sat-nav system is included, along with keyless entry and go.
Don’t be fooled by the name; the Renault Megane Sport Tourer is no performance car, as the suspension is set up more for comfort than agile handling. In fact, the car is one of the smoothest and most comfortable choices in this class, with light steering and slick gearboxes. Buyers can take their pick from a wide range of engines, comprising 115bhp 1.2-litre turbo and 110bhp 1.6-littre petrol engines, plus 90bhp and 110bhp 1.5, 130bhp 1.6 and 160bhp 2.0-litre diesels. If you intend to carry large loads in the boot, the diesels are best, although the entry-level 1.5-litre is a little short on pulling power.
Over the years, Renault hasn’t had the best reliability record, but the Megane Sport Tourer is likely to buck this trend. The regular hatch model on which it’s based has been a consistently strong performer in our Driver Power satisfaction surveys over the past couple of years, and finished a superb 31st in the Top 100 of Driver Power 2012. As with all Renaults, the car has strong safety credentials. It achieved a top five-star rating for occupant protection in Euro NCAP crash tests. ISOFIX child seat mountings are included as standard across the range, as is stability control, which will boost the car’s appeal to family buyers.
While the Renault Megane Sport Tourer can’t match the Peugeot 308 SW, which has a massive 2,149-litre maximum luggage capacity, it’s on par with many of the other big sellers in its class in terms of practicality. The boot offers 524 litres of space with the rear seats in place; fold them flat, and this increases to an impressive 1,600 litres. Adding to the Renault’s versatility is an underfloor storage area – ideal for hiding away valuables – while rear seat passengers have plenty of room in which to stretch out and there are plenty of cup-holders and storage cubbies.
The Megane Sport Tourer is competitive with the likes of the VW Golf Estate and Peugeot 308 SW on price, although the Skoda Octavia Estate is better value for money. But Renault sells the car with a generous tally of equipment as standard, including air-con, electric windows and mirrors, cruise control, alloy wheels and Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Higher-spec cars also come with sat-nav and keyless entry and go. Diesels are obviously the best options for fuel economy and running costs: stop-start can be specified on the 1.5-litre dCi engine to take emissions down to 90g/km, while this version also returns 80.7mpg economy.