Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

It does without the weakest and most powerful petrol and diesel engine options found in the Megane hatchback, but for a car most at home cruising, the range should cover most needs. It starts with a 111bhp 1.6 petrol and tops out with a 165bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. A pair of diesels are offered in 1.5 and 1.9-litre sizes and both gained a bit more power in 2006.

An automatic option is offered on the 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol and 1.9-litre diesel engines, although it takes the edge off the performance considerably.

The Megane has relatively soft suspension that helps to keep the body from flexing and wobbling too much when driven over poor road surfaces. It grips the road well and handles safely without being particularly stimulating company for the enthusiastic driver. Its electric steering system does the job in that it’s easy to manoeuvre, but doesn’t give much feedback although.