Renault Megane Coupe: quality interior?

Latest Megane a huge step forward

One of the main criticisms of previous Renault models is aimed towards their rather flimsy feeling interiors. When judging quality, most people's first perception comes from the behind the wheel. After all, it's where they'll spend most of their time.

So plastics which aren't pleasant to touch and feeble switches do little to inspire confidence in the rest of the car. But thankfully Renault is starting to address these issues and the latest Megane range is a huge step forward from its predecessor.

It may not be up to the quality of a Volkswagen Golf, but it's certainly a match for the Ford Focus and - in my opinion - better than others like the Peugeot 308 and even the latest Vauxhall Astra.

The soft touch plastics on the dash top and the neat metallic-effect strip that runs across the dash give it a sophisticated feel. I also like the slick climate control system while the doors close with a reassuring thud, rather a clang.

The leather steering wheel is great to hold and the indicator/wiper column stalks feel more robust than they did in the previous Megane. The digital instrument cluster is another upmarket feature and means you always know exactly what speed you're doing. And don't worry if it seems bright, it can be dimmed at night so it doesn't strain your eyes in the dark!

I do have a few criticisms though.

- It's a shame the handbrake lever feels so spongy. It's almost as if the leather gaiter is too thick, so when you release it, it never feels like it's completely off.

-The stereo isn't very easy to use and it's not helped by the fact the control panel is tucked away down by the gear lever. I'd prefer it at the top, above the air con switches.


- There are still some small and fiddly buttons in odd places - such as the speed limit on/off switch by the handbrake.

But overall the Megane interior is impressive and has a quality feel. Our car is fast approaching 10,000 miles and even with its larger 17-inch alloy wheels fitted, there are no squeaks or rattles in the cabin, even on very poor roads. A telling sign that quality has certainly improved.

Current mileage: 9778

Average mpg: 40.6