This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Renault Megane Saloon (06-09) review.

Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

Breathless and underpowered 1.4e engines have only 75 bhp – go for the newer, 20 bhp more powerful 1.4 16v, which is 3.3 seconds quicker in the 0-60 dash and 3.2 mpg more economical. 1.6 16v litre engines are willing, though rather harsh when stretched, and the 1.8 is brisk. 2.0 litre engines are most appreciated in sporty coupe and cabriolet models.

Newer dTi and dCi turbo-diesels are more powerful, burn less fuel and are livelier than the sloth-like 1.9D unit.

Accurate steering and nimble handling make the most of the nippier engines, but when pushed hard Megane does wallow a bit and suffers from body roll. The gearbox can feel notchy and sometimes changes are not as clean as they should be; restricted space for the clutch foot is another common complaint. On A roads and motorways, Megane holds its own as an easy drive with a stable and responsive handling.