Renault Megane GT Line 2014 review

16 Jan, 2014 10:45am Tom Phillips

Renault Megane GT Line facelift brings fresh look and cleaner diesel. We see if it keeps hatchback in contention


Despite the facelift, the Renault Megane GT Line still feels like a bit of an old-stager in this class. Cars like the Focus, Golf and SEAT Leon are better to drive, feel more grown-up and look more modern. Even so, the Megane’s diesel engine is a good performer and offers decent fuel economy, and the car comes with plenty of kit as standard. Plus, the lower price adds to the appeal.

A lot has happened in the motoring world since we described the Renault Megane as a “head turner” on its debut at the Paris Motor Show in 2008. However, not a great deal has happened to the Megane since then – which is why Renault has grafted its new family face on to the Volkswagen Golf rival.

We've driven the top-spec Renault Megane GT Line TomTom Energy dCi 130, which includes climate control, keyless go and a built-in TomTom sat-nav. The latter is easy to use, but feels cheap compared to the integrated systems other makers offer. It looks a bit dated, too, with low-res graphics shown on a pretty small screen.

• Full Renault Megane review

On the road, the Megane remains good to drive. There’s not much steering feel, but the wheel provides a positive and direct response. There’s decent grip and the car handles well, although the sports suspension fitted to our model is rather firm.

Our test car also features the top-spec 1.6-litre diesel, which is now branded Energy, in line with next season’s turbocharged Renault F1 engine.

Performance is still strong, thanks to a hefty turbo, which kicks in aggressively at around 1,300rpm, and helps to take the car from 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds. It’s quite quiet for a diesel engine, too, although there’s a fair bit of road noise that works its way up through the suspension and body.

The new Renault look doesn’t sit as comfortably on the Megane as it does on the new Clio and Captur. The new headlights are a bit fussy, although this GT Line version compensates with a sharper front bumper design, with contrasting grey plastic around the air intakes and neat LED daytime running lights.

Inside, the dashboard retains a clean, simple look and everything is easy to use – although we wish a few of the buttons were a bit bigger. The driving position is decent, with plenty of scope for adjustment and some really comfortable seats.

Newer rivals outclass the Megane, and Renault knows it. Adding kit helps, but an extra sweetener is the fact that this model costs £1,200 less than before. Yet while this makes the Megane considerably cheaper than a Golf GT, the price is still the same as the similarly equipped Ford Focus Zetec S 2.0 TDCi – and while the Focus isn’t as frugal, it’s more practical, has a more powerful engine and is better to drive.

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I like Renault Megane GT Line 2014 review

Who are theses guys at Auto express There are cars that are better looking they say Tosh I say The Golf or Focus are nowhere as good looking full stop, the Golf especially looks just like the last model which looked just like the one before yawn yawn . Look more modern they say . So AE explain what more modern means bet you can,t such rubbish writing AE.

Car designs change over the years, and the Megane's rivals are more up to date both inside and out. If you disagree, that's fine - it's subjective, after all!

the megane is much better to drive than the vw and ford.
And better car.
AND YOU KNOW THAT...... propaganda stop

So, given that it's subjective Sam (which I agree, it is), it's fair to say that AE's opinion is niether valid nor wanted! Giving your subjective view on a design is sloppy journalism at best. Downright biased at worst. Unless a car is truly bog-eyed, the writers' opinion should be kept private so as not to influence potential buyers.
For what it's worth, my opinion is:
1. Focus
2. Megane
3. Golf
Oh, and the mk.VII Golf has been a disaster in it's homeland. Even VW stalwarts proclaiming that the Golf has taken a step back from even the Mk.VI! (itself not a particularly modern design). That would make the Megane a considerably more contempory design than the Golf, would it not!?

The styling of a car can be a subjective viewpoint, but research has repeatedly shown that it is a key element in people’s buying decisions. Hence why we include it in our reviews.

As I've already said Sam, I completely agree with your point on subjectivity.
The very first thing that draws me to a car (and indeed, my main criteria) is the styling. However, I do not care for your, or anyone elses opinion (with respect). With the styling, only my opinion counts.
Therefore, do you genuinely consider it fair for the author to present their opinion where it's simply not wanted?
To my mind, the front of the Megane is FAR more attractive than a Mk.VII Golf (which was dated when launched).
Perhaps a demographic on 100 peoples' opinions would be more appropriate?

Megane is ugly, Focus is ugly, Golf is Ugly, 1 series is ugly, the A3 is ugly, the A-class is the ugliest. Best looking in this class are definitely the V40 and the 308.

You may not want to read about it it, but if we omit our reviewers' thoughts on the styling of the car then the people who do appreciate the opinion can't read it.

It's very easy for you to ignore, after all!

No, you are completely wrong! Or, you could give me a demographic on your readers that show that they want your thoughts!?
The quotation given is that "[the other cars] look more modern". This is NOT an opinion, this is a statement. A fact!!
If it was an opinion, it would have started with: "In my opinion . . . "
Ask your readers if they are really interested in your opinion? I'm not.
It's like asking Richard Hammond if the styling of the new 911 is better than say, a 458 - the answer would be 'YES'. My opinion is NO. Yours? I really don't care (again, with respect).
People have personal preferences (your hack is no different) but to lay that opinion on your readers is sloppy & biased. All of my mates think so, as do people that I speak to in business. Not one has shared your view.
Oh, and it not easy for me to ignore, it makes my blood boil.

Key specs

  • Price: £21,245
  • Engine: 1.6-litre 4cyl turbodiesel
  • Power: 128bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 9.8 seconds
  • Top speed: 124mph
  • Economy/CO2: 70.6mpg/104g/km
  • Equipment: 17-inch alloy wheels, TomTom sat-nav, sports seats
  • On sale: Now