New Renault Megane; on sale now from £16,600
Renault's all-new family hatch is available to order now with UK dealer deliveries this summer
We drove the new Megane late last year, but Renault has waited until now to reveal market-specific pricing details. That £16,600 pricetag is slightly more than the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, but it nets you a more powerful 128bhp 1.2-litre TCe turbo petrol. That manages a 0-62mph time of 10.6 seconds and 52.3mpg combined.
Renault has also confirmed a 'Hybrid Assist' petrol-electric powertrain, as well as a more powerful 'dCi 165' diesel, will arrive in 2017. The Sport Tourer estate will go on sale later this year.
Standard kit on base Expression models includes air-con, cruise control, Bluetooth, electric windows front and rear, LED daytime running lights, active city braking and alloy wheels. The 1.5 dCi 110 diesel costs £1,300 more than the petrol, but manages a a claimed 76.4mpg and emits 96g/km of CO2.
Step up to Dynamique Nav for an extra £1,500 (as most are expected to) and you get a seven-inch portrait touchscreen with sat-nav and an uprated sound system, rear parking sensors, climate control, auto lights and wipers, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition.
Dynamique S Nav, starting from £19,100, adds 17-inch alloys and tinted glass, while Signature Nav brings 18-inch alloys, leather and full LED headlights. Both also receive a larger 8.7-inch touchscreen. GT-Line Nav builds on the same kit levels but adds styling details from GT spec.
The flagship GT Nav trim is £25,500, with a sportier exterior look and most of the options boxes ticked. Further engines include a 1.6-litre diesel engine with 128bhp (from £20,600) and a 1.6-litre THP turbo petrol with 202bhp.
That's not set to be the fastest Megane for long, though - Renaultsport is reading a storming 300bhp, 4WD answer to the Honda Civic Type R for launch by 2018.
The curvy design of the Megane shares cues with the recently-revealed Talisman and Espace, but also falls in line with the latest Renault cars that are available in the UK like the new Kadjar crossover and popular Clio supermini.
At the back, the rising waistline and slim rear windows meet the unusual rear lights that stretch across almost the full width of the rear of the car. Top-spec models will boast an LED light signature to top things off.
The new Megane is 25mm lower than the previous model, as well as being 47mm wider at the front and 39mm wider at the rear. It makes the car look much sportier and more purposeful than before, and should help it compete with design-focused competitors like the SEAT Leon and Audi A3. The wheelbase is 28mm longer, too, which will make the car more spacious for both front and rear passengers.
Lead designer Laurens Van Den Acker told Auto Express he wanted the new Megane to be “aspirational”, with the brand benchmarking its new family hatchback against high-quality rivals like the Volkswagen Golf and Peugeot 308.
“This is a serious segment”, Van Den Acker told us. “The new Megane should be seen as a D-segment sibling rather than the Clio’s brother.”
Renault has openly acknowledged that quality was one of the main criticisms of the current car, and will hope to build on the success of its Clio and Captur with its all-new family hatch.
Isabelle Marchand, director of perceived quality at Renault told us: “We wanted to place the new Megane at a very high level of quality. Quality starts at the beginning – it cannot be an afterthought.
“We started with the Clio and each model is a step-by-step progression. The Megane project has been on-going for more than three years.”