In-depth reviews

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.

Next Steps

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

Most Popular

New Dacia Duster facelift priced from £13,995
Dacia Duster facelift - front
Dacia Duster

New Dacia Duster facelift priced from £13,995

The Dacia Duster has been updated for 2021 with subtle design tweaks and a new eight-inch infotainment screen
2 Aug 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
'Formula E could be on course for victory in its battle with F1'
Formula E opinion
Opinion

'Formula E could be on course for victory in its battle with F1'

Mike Rutherford thinks there can only be one winner out of Formula One and Formula E
1 Aug 2021