The third generation Megane represents a long-awaited return to form for Renault.
Styling/Image Renault’s designers have brought their family model bang up to date. The distinctive rear end of the old hatchback has been ditched in favour of a much sleeker look. Details like the over-sized rear light clusters are a bit heavy handed, but the third generation Megane is a marked improvement on its predecessor. The Honda Civic is more striking and the VW Golf more elegant, but the Megane is arguably the best of the rest. Renault has dubbed the three-door hatch a Coupe. Its sportier styling sets it apart from the more practical five-door version.
Interior/Practicality The interior is a bit of a mixed bag – you get only adequate rear legroom, but one of the biggest boots in the family car sector. The smart cabin design is pleasing to the eye and features decent quality trim, but the digital speedo looks like a gimmick and the controls for the stereo, ventilation and cruise control are fiddly. Question marks remain over interior build quality, too.
Engine/Performance A broad selection of petrol and diesel engines means there should be something for everyone in the Megane line-up. Entry-level 1.5dCi diesels provide impressive economy, low CO2 emissions and cheap road tax. The more powerful oil-burners provide more punch but still won’t break the bank at the pumps. Petrol options include a 178bhp 2.0-litre turbo unit. It powers the hatchback from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds.
Driving experience The Megane has always been a comfortable family car, but the latest model is both capable and entertaining to drive. It doesn’t have the handling finesse or high grip levels of a Ford Focus or Honda Civic, but the Renault is an excellent all-rounder. The steering is well weighted and precise, while the suspension delivers smooth and refined progress.
Ownership Costs Renault prides itself on its competitive pricing and the third generation Megane is no exception. Generous equipment levels also help to make it a value for money choice. The diesel engines all provide impressive economy, while their low emissions help to cut road tax bills. Predicted residual values are also on a par with its mainstream family car rivals.
Safety/Environment A solid performance in Euro NCAP tests makes the Megane a competitive choice. Its green credentials are pretty strong too, especially in economical diesel guise. Lower powered oil burners fall into band B for road tax and even the flagship diesel emits only 134g/km.
Our Choice: Dynamique dCi130