18 July 2012 Last Updated: 29 October 2013

Full Renault Megane Hatchback (08 on) Model Review

by Gareth Evans

  • We test the Megane in GT Line specification
  • Company car tax at £48 for 20% tax payer
  • Comfortable and refined with excellent MPG
Renault Megane Hatchback (08 on) 1.5 dCi (110bhp) GT Line TomTom (Stop/Start) 5d - Road Test
If you’re in the market for a hatchback as your next company car, the likelihood is you’ll be looking at the usual suspects: Ford’s Focus, the Volkswagen Golf and perhaps the Vauxhall Astra. There is however another, slightly left-field choice you which may have passed you by – the Renault Megane.

If you’re in the market for a hatchback as your next company car, the likelihood is you’ll be looking at the usual suspects: Ford’s Focus, the Volkswagen Golf and perhaps the Vauxhall Astra. There is however another, slightly left-field choice you which may have passed you by – the Renault Megane.

Although perhaps not quite as popular as the aforementioned machines, the French have quietly been getting better and better at building comfortable, economical and practical cars. Smooth diesel engines have long been a hallmark of French cars, and any concerns once banded around about build quality don’t necessarily apply anymore. So how does this high-spec model stack up?

Loaded with equipment

We’re testing the Megane in GT Line TomTom specification. This means that on top of the standard list of equipment you get 17-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights, and automatic parking brake with hill-start assist, Bluetooth, USB, a GT Line bodykit, TomTom satellite navigation, electric folding door mirror, a parking camera, lowered suspension and keyless entry.

The 1.5-litre diesel engine coupled with the car’s low weight means this version of the Megane is capable of some seriously impressive fuel economy. The claimed combined average is 80.7mpg, and although we failed to get quite that much on our test we saw well over 60mpg possible without too much fuss. In range terms that means this car is officially capable of 1065 miles between fill-ups, although our driving meant a theoretical range of 792 miles before you run out of fuel.

Another product of this Renault’s excellent efficiency is the low CO2 emissions. Just 90g/km is the quoted figure, meaning company car tax is payable at 13%. Given that this model has a P11d value of £21,245, you’ll be in for company car tax at £46 per month on the 20% pay scale and £92 on the 40% pay scale.

Our car did have a few optional extras, though, and this pushes the monthly tax bill up. The spare wheel, lane departure warning, automatic main beam headlights and Xenon headlights add a total of £1,005. This means the tax bills will rise to £48 and 96 respectively.

What’s it like on the road?

In performance terms this car isn’t going to win any land speed records. The leisurely jaunt to 62mph takes 12.1 seconds while top speed is 118mph. What you do notice though is how smooth and refined the diesel engine is. There’s also a fair amount of torque available, meaning you don’t have to work the six-speed gearbox too hard to effect over-taking manoeuvres.

When negotiating corners the Megane performs very well indeed. Its accomplished nature is accentuated by the lower sports suspension setup, yet the ride doesn’t present much in the way of choppiness as a result. This means it’s a comfortable car to spend time in – an attribute made all the more obvious by the comfortable front seats. The steering does lack feeling and is a little on the light side, but if you’re looking for a car with better sporting characteristics you’re better off investigating one of the hotter Renaultsport-fettled Meganes instead.

So, if you’re looking for a hatchback with a bit of French chic, loads of equipment and a seriously smooth and efficient engine capable of impressive running costs, you could do a lot worse than the GT Line Megane.

Also consider:

Volkswagen Golf

The Golf is a popular and capable choice as a hatchback, and thanks to BlueMotion Technology is capable of seriously low running costs.

Ford Focus

The Focus has become a best-seller in recent years thanks to its mix of efficiency and levels of standard equipment.

Vauxhall Astra

A fleet favourite, the Astra enjoys low purchase and running costs which mean it is a good proposition as a company car.