Renault Megane Coupe vs VW Scirocco

New diesel coupés from VW and Renault blend style and efficiency. Which is better?

Renault Megane Coupe Vs. VW Scirocco

Dedicated followers of fashion aren’t satisfied with sharp hatchbacks or sleek saloons. For today’s trendsetters, only a curvy coupé will do. And the good news is that there has never been more choice.

Car manufacturers will label pretty much anything a coupé these days. From four-door saloons to three-door hatchbacks – if it looks good, the chances are it will get the racy badge.

The Volkswagen Scirocco can trace its roots all the way back to the Seventies, so it is steeped in two-door tradition – although the latest model focuses more on the now than the nostalgic. It’s a world away from the boxy car that introduced the Scirocco name.

Tested here in 2.0-litre diesel form, the latest Golf-based hatch adds low running costs and emissions to its long list of talents.

But Volkswagen isn’t the only manufacturer to attach the desirable coupé tag to what is effectively a three-door hatchback.

Renault is trying the same trick with its Mégane Coupé. And while it is more closely related to the five-door Mégane than the Scirocco is to the Golf, the distinctive design ensures it cuts a dash.

The French company also has a reputation for producing great diesel engines, so this model is the perfect opponent for our VW. On paper, its 130bhp 1.9-litre unit is 8bhp down on the German model’s, although a lower price tag and long list of standard equipment count in the Renault’s favour.

So, has the Mégane got what it takes to sideline the Scirocco? We find out as the two go head-to-head in the battle for coupé honours.

Verdict

Looks are important in the coupé sector, but the winner of this test needs beauty that runs more than skin-deep.

Judged purely on style, the Renault Mégane is an appealing choice. Its French flair is evident in its design and driving dynamics – and it’s the more practical car, too. Yet that counts for little against a car as talented as the Scirocco.

While the Volkswagen’s smart design is not as daring as the Renault’s, its purposeful stance and smoothly styled rear end provide a more aggressive look. Add surefooted Golf underpinnings, a high-quality cabin and impressive fuel consumption, and the sleek Scirocco deserves to take the victory.

The fact it will be better for your bank balance in the long run only adds to the appeal, and as always the VW ownership experience shouldn’t disappoint, either.

* 1st: VW Scirocco

A choice that should satisfy the head and the heart – the Scirocco mixes dynamic ability and fashionable looks with high-quality components, a frugal diesel engine and impressive residuals. As an all-rounder, it is hard to fault.

* 2nd: Megane coupe

The Mégane is one of the best family car-based coupés around. In fact, if you want to get attention it’s the better of these two, and also boasts a superior engine. However, we couldn’t ignore the VW’s stronger residuals or fuel economy.

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