Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Should you buy a Renault Megane Sport Tourer?

As good looking and comfortable as it is, the Renault Megane Sport Tourer is not the best small estate car for your money. However, before you walk away without a backwards glance, it's worth remembering that the market isn't exactly awash with small estate car-shaped plug-in hybrids out there, and for that alone, you might want to consider the E-Tech 160hp version.

Otherwise the Ford Focus Estate and Skoda Octavia Estate have the Megane well-beaten as all-rounders, even if they're both duller places in which to spend time. The surprisingly excellent Toyota Corolla Touring Sports is also well worth looking at if you're considering a hybrid and don't need it to be a plug-in.

The Renault Megane Sport Tourer manages to blend stylish looks with practicality reasonably well. As well as the E-Tech plug-in hybrid, the DCi 115 promises huge economy, with a claimed official WLTP Combined figure of up to 62.8mpg. Given that the TCe we tested averaged 47mpg in a week-long test, compared with the official figure of up to 47.1mpg, that diesel figure looks easily achievable.

It also has a distinctive interior to go with that extrovert styling, and all models come with a generous amount of equipment without the need to raid the options list. But the black marks – top-spec models that cost too much, and the strength of the opposition – leave the Megane in the unenviable position of being difficult to recommend unless it's a plug-in hybrid you're specifically looking for.

The E-Tech plug-in hybrid has a bit of sparkle and is a solid feeling, reasonably comfortable small family estate car with unusually low emissions for the performance. That really should be enough – but it would be nice to see some of the more adventurous trim and styling choices of the Clio and Captur to make the Megane feel special too.

The car market is also changing rapidly, and where small estate cars used to be popular with growing families, many buyers now find themselves attracted to small SUVs, such as Renault's popular Kadjar and Captur instead. But the Megane Estate still has some appeal, nevertheless.

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