Renault Megane Hatchback, great to drive and very well specified

RENAULT have been doing quite well despite the harsh economic times we find ourselves in. I have no doubt having road tested their cars that a lot of that success can be put down to competitive pricing, great levels of standard specification and quite frankly just very good cars!

RENAULT have been doing quite well despite the harsh economic times we find ourselves in. I have no doubt having road tested their cars that a lot of that success can be put down to competitive pricing, great levels of standard specification and quite frankly just very good cars!

Road Tested by Hugh Maguire

This week I am road testing the Renault Megane 5-door GT Line Hatchback. A car that will appeal to both the family and possibly the fleet buyer. The GT Line Irish Edition cars are a little bit special with an emphasis on a sporty theme which adds to the appeal of the Megane hatchback.

First Impressions

The style is fresh and contemporary. It is also distinctive and manages to look very elegant. The dark metal 17 inch alloys with low profile tyres look good and the sweeping curves of the car look well. Other nice detail design touches are the dark chrome mirror surrounds, and the dark metal diffuser. All in all the Megane hatch GT-Line looks very well indeed.

Behind The Wheel

The cabin is a real revelation. The layout is clean and concise, while the materials used feel top class. The fit and finish of everything is beyond reproach and the ergonomics of the design means everything is perfectly placed for ease of use. There are a variety of trims and finishes to suit your particular taste.

The driving position is very good with height adjustment for both the seat and steering wheel allowing one to get the best seating position possible.

Standard equipment on the GT Line hatchback really is comprehensive with multiple airbags, ABS, ESP, EBD, ISOFIX, power windows, aluminium pedals, remote key card entry with push-button start, Bluetooth, climate control, multi-function steering wheel, half leather upholstery, figure hugging Sports Seats, CD/MP3 disc player, auto lights, auto wipers, and much more. The car on test is the Tom Tom edition of the GT Line hatchback. The Tom Tom edition of course comes equipped with a fully integrated Satellite Navigation system. I found it to be great in terms of getting you to the door of where you want to go, but address entry and other functions are a bit fiddly. Accommodation is pretty good all round with adequate head and legroom both front and rear and a decent sized boot.

Performance

The 1.5 turbo diesel engine is a real revelation. It is a gem. Producing some 110bhp it proves quite lively, refined and very frugal. Performance is good taking about 12 seconds to hit 100kph from a standstill but more importantly mid-range torque is impressive making for very good overtaking and in gear acceleration. This lovely engine is mated to a smooth 6-speed gearbox, and over my test period this new GT Line Megane hatch burned just 5.9 litres of diesel per 100km giving it a mighty range of over 1,000km between refuels. Road tax is just €104.

Road Behaviour

The set-up of the new Megane GT Line is pretty good offering a good balance between comfort and handling. This car has a slightly lowered suspension allied to a sports chassis which combines to make the car feel a lot more dynamic than its standard Megane stablemate. The car feels nimble and agile through corners. In fact it is actually good fun to drive with surefooted handling, high levels of refinement and great comfort.

Verdict

I enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the new Megane GT line hatch. It looks well, drives well, is economical to own and is pretty well equipped. The added goodies such as the lowered suspension that come with the GT Line specification are worthwhile, not merely cosmetic and really do add to the enjoyment of driving the car.

The Renault Megane GT Line 5 door costs €24,200.