Renault Megane GT Line 2014 review

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

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

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.

Most Popular

New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900
Audi RS 3 Sportback - front
Audi RS3

New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900

Full exterior and interior reveal for Audi RS 3, with aggressive styling and racy cabin to match strong performance
19 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021
New MG 5 EV 2021 review
MG 5 EV - front
MG MG5 Hatchback

New MG 5 EV 2021 review

The MG 5 EV has been updated with a bigger battery, meaning it now boasts a 250-mile range
21 Jul 2021