Renault Megane Coupe: easy rider

Ride quality divides opinion

The Megane Coupe is designed as a sporty car - one that looks good and should be enjoyable to drive. It's certainly more sporty than the standard hatchback - instantly noticeable in corners. It handles sharply with precise steering and impressive body control.

It's not quite as involving to drive as other coupes, such as the Volkswagen Scirocco, but it's still one of the best handling models in the Renault line-up (with the exception of the performance Renaultsport models of course).

But there is a downside - the ride quality. The firmer suspension is good for cornering but not so good when it comes to comfort. It's not instantly apparent, though. On smooth surfaces such as motorways and dual carriageways, the Megane Coupe feels smooth and refined.

However, on poorer quality surfaces such as country lanes, it's far too firm to be comfortable and fidgets and crashes over potholes and bumps, even at sedate speeds. It's certainly not what you'd expect given the way it performs on good-quality roads.

The lower ride-height compared to the standard five-door hatch is doubtless a factor, as is the sports suspension and the larger 17-inch wheels fitted to our car. But sporty handling and comfort don't have to be mutually exclusive as other cars, such as the Ford Focus ST, prove.

It's a shame, as this is probably the biggest criticism of the otherwise impressive Megane Coupe.

Current mileage: 11,178

Average mpg: 41.8mpg