Renault Megane review - Engines, performance and drive

Renault has prioritised comfort and refinement for the standard Megane, while the R.S. model delivers plenty of performance

It doesn’t take long behind the wheel of the Renault Megane to discover that the brand’s engineers have focused primarily on comfort and refinement. Not only does it ride well, but noise levels are generally low. This relaxed approach extends to the car’s outright acceleration, though, with the popular 1.5-litre dCi diesel falling short of punchier rivals. 

On the road, however, the diesel Renault feels reasonable enough, plus its slightly shorter sixth gear means you’re less likely to need a downshift from the slick manual box on the motorway. There’s decent grunt, and it doesn’t sound too brash, either. 

The 1.3-litre TCe 140 petrol engine needs to be worked hard if you're after decent acceleration, which can impact on refinement. We feel the Volkswagen Group's 1.5 TSI is the more sophisticated unit. If you seeking more driving thrills then perhaps look towards the R.S. 300, R.S. Trophy or Trophy-R models.

At low and medium speeds the Megane still soaks up bumps with the sort of supple finesse for which French models used to be famous. It’s also settled at motorway speeds, but sharp ridges send a shockwave through the cabin. Overall, it’s calm and composed.

The steering is a little light and the Megane turns in a little lazily, but once settled, the Renault grips hard. And while there’s some roll, body control is good, with mid-corner bumps failing to knock the Megane off line.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The diesel-engined Megane uses a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder unit producing 113bhp. It manages 0-62mph in 11.1s in six-speed manual guise, with the seven-speed auto a tenth quicker.

Opting for petrol power, sees the 138bhp TCe 140 manual version dispatch the same sprint in 9.4s, while the auto version is slightly slower this time at 9.7s.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.3 TCE Play 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £18,080

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.3 TCE Play 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £18,080

Fastest

  • Name
    1.3 TCE Play 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £19,680

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