Renault Megane review
Its stylish good looks may attract attention, but the Renault Megane can't compete with the very best in class
The Renault Megane is more stylish than ever, although it’s not the sharpest car in its class to drive. It has the looks and enough ability to attract some attention from buyers but, ultimately, it comes up short against the top competition.
A facelift in 2020 has added a little zest, while the introduction of fresh on-board tech and extra standard kit should strengthen the Megane's appeal. The plug-in hybrid version could be of interest to those with an eye on low running costs, although there isn't really a compelling reason to recommend Renault's family hatchback over its more complete rivals.
About the Renault Megane
The Renault Megane is a staple of the compact hatchback class and has been on sale since 1995. The current car is the Megane Mk4, and it was launched in 2016 after the Mk3 had a relatively long eight-year shelf life. The latest Megane, facelifted in 2020, builds on the talents of past models by adding some much needed quality and technology to the mix.
The Megane has an evolutionary look, which is no bad thing when you consider how radical past versions have been. The shape is similar to before, but with larger dimensions that are designed to create more interior space, while details such as the C-shaped daytime running lights on higher-spec cars and the prominent Renault badge on the nose help the Megane to stand out from the crowd.
Currently, the Megane is sold as a five-door hatchback or as a Sport Tourer estate. The third-generation Megane was sold as a sporty three-door, and there was the Megane CC folding hard-top convertible, too. However, with buyers now more interested in SUVs, crossovers and sports cars, it's hard to imagine Renault ever offering new versions of these two cars.
Car group tests
For those wanting increased performance, Renault offers the R.S. 300 and R.S. Trophy, along with the track-ready Trophy-R model.
With prices starting from around £22,000, Renault has pared back the Megane range to two available trim levels: Iconic and R.S. Line, while there is a single 138bhp 1.3-litre petrol engine and a 113bhp 1.5-litre diesel unit to choose from - each available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed auto transmission. A plug-in hybrid model is due to join the lineup later in 2021.
Iconic trim includes 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors and a 7.0-inch infotainment display, while the R.S. Line features bigger 17-inch alloys, sports seats, upgraded upholstery and a 9.3-inch touchscreen.
The compact hatchback class is fiercely competitive, and there are a lot of talented rivals to the Megane. Chief among these are class staples, the Vauxhall Astra, VW Golf and Ford Focus. French rivals are the Peugeot 308 and currently the Citroen C4 Cactus, although the latter is a budget alternative in the class. The SEAT Leon and Mazda 3 offer sporty handling, while the Skoda Octavia has more space than the Megane. If dependability and a long warranty are what you're after, then the Toyota Auris, Kia Ceed, Hyundai i30 and Honda Civic are all dependable.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingIts stylish good looks may attract attention, but the Renault Megane can't compete with the very best in class
- 2Engines, performance and driveRenault has prioritised comfort and refinement for the standard Megane, while the R.S. model delivers plenty of performance
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsPick a diesel-powered Megane and you'll benefit from superb fuel economy, although residual values aren't the best
- 4Interior, design and technologyRenault has upped the standard kit and on-board tech for the facelifted Megane
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceDespite offering a sizeable wheelbase and big boot, space in the back of the Renault Megane is only on a par with rivals from Vauxhall and SEAT
- 6Reliability and SafetyRenault reliability is improving, while safety has always been a key selling point for the French manufacturer
- 7Used and nearly newA full used buyer’s guide on the Renault Megane covering the Megane Mk4 (2016-date)