- Good build quality
- Comfortable ride
- Impressive extras
- Improved steering feel
- Conventional styling
- Limited rear headroom
- Fiddly controls
Renault caused a real stir when it launched the 2002 Renault Megane with its angular styling and distinctive rear.
This generation Megane is a huge improvement in terms of interior quality, ride and handling but sadly it lacks the same styling flair and looks conventional as a result.
Much better to drive than predecessor
The good news is that it is far better to drive, thanks to an advanced steering system, plus there's more room inside.
Build quality has taken a huge step forward too and the interior feels better finished than previous Renault efforts.
Renault has worked hard to improve efficiency and part of that has been a commitment to weight-saving. The new Megane is now 8kg lighter than its predecessor, even though it’s 10cm longer. Aerodynamics have been improved and, as a result, CO2 emissions have been reduced by between two and 10g/km, while fuel economy has improved by between 0.9 and 4.2 mpg.
The French brand has also underscored its commitment to the environment by increasing its levels of recycling. Around 12% of the plastics used in the Megane’s construction – an average of 22kg – are sourced from recycled materials. The Megane also has a fully galvanised engine sub-frame and wax-injected hollow sections which means all models are sold with a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Lower running costs
For owners on a tight budget a fixed-price service plan is available that, for a one-off payment, covers all scheduled servicing, labour and VAT costs for three years or 30,000 miles. This plan can be transferred to different owners for free prior.
Servicing intervals are now comparatively long: maintenance is recommended every 18,000 miles/two years for all models, except with the dCi 90 engine, where services fall every 12,500 miles/two years.
There's a good choice of engines, most emitting less than 120g/km of CO2 and can average 63mpg. In a bid to lure customers away from rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, Renault is offering plenty of kit, even on entry level models. Fully-integrated TomTom sat-nav system is standard on Dynamique TomTom and GT Line TomTom models but can be specified as an option on other versions.
In 2012 the Renault Megane was given a mild facelift, followed by a heavier one in January 2014 to bring it into line with the newer Clio. The front end features new headlights, LED daytime running lights, a redesigned bonnet and bumper plus there's a wider choice of alloy wheels.
To find out if this hatchback can hold its own against the likes of Ford’s Focus and Volkswagen’s Golf, read the full Renault Megane review that follows.