Megane GT review
Renault has been free and gone for quality, says John Carey – and Megane stands out in brotherhood.
A new French revolution is not what Renault wants with its new Megane.
The goal, according to chief engineer Fabrice Garcia, “is not to create revolution, but to improve”. Renault realized that it needed to improve the quality of its hatchback to make it stand out in the crowded small car segment, he explained. And the team also wants to make keeping the car safer, but not detracting from the comfort.
Renault has achieved these goals, as a motivation for the introduction of the new Megane in Portugal proved. But the car will draw attention for other, more obvious reasons. The French brand has created one of the most beautiful cars in the class, both inside and out. It’s a huge improvement over the old Megane, launched in 2008 and these days look outdated.
The stylish exterior that makes some of Megane’s main rivals – cars like VW Golf, Ford Focus, Peugeot 308, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30 and even the extremely popular Mazda 3 – seems a bit simple.
The high-end version of Megane will for the first time feature a large 8.7-inch directional touchscreen in the center of the luxuriously designed dashboard, bringing a luxury car technology for the first time.
A comprehensive set of driver assistance and safety technologies can be installed in the new Megane. The list includes automatic emergency braking, a rear view camera, automatic headlights and side sensors to alert the driver when there is a risk of scraping the vehicle against an invisible obstacle.
The new Megane is a bigger car than the old model; length, width and wheelbase are all increased, while height is a little less. Despite the growth in dimensions, Renault used special steel in Megane’s body to ensure the weight did not increase. Substitutes for metal used in places.
For example, Megane’s tailgate and front guard are made of plastic. Compared to the model for the model, the new Megane weighs about 10kg more than the old one, Garcia said. There are more rooms inside. Renault claims an increase in shoulder room and knee room behind the seats.
Definitely enough room for a few adults in the backseat. And the car’s 384-liter cargo compartment is one of the largest in the class, albeit quite tall.
The engine is a powerful performer that sounds good when hardened
The new and greatly improved Megane won’t arrive in Australia until the second half of 2016, either in September or October. Renault Australia plans to import a line with two turbo petrol engines and one turbo diesel engine.
Renault’s Energy TCe 130 engine, 97kW 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine, will come with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch automatic. The manual will be the least expensive model in the range, with a price equivalent to $ 21,000 like the current Megane base model.
The only diesel will be the Energy dCi 110, a 81kW 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It will be partnered only with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which Renault’s market is EDC (for efficient dual-clutch).
Topping the new Megane range will be the GT 205, which Renault Australia aims to cost from around $ 37,500. Its Energy TCe 205 is a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder petrol engine, and it will only be offered with a seven-speed engine.
Intending to bridge the gap between conventional Megane models and super sports RS models, the GT features technology to make it an interesting vehicle to drive.
Renault had the basics right
These include more direct steering systems, computer-controlled rear microcomputer steering systems to improve low speed flexibility and high speed stability, and bigger brakes front and rear. .
This is a CarsGuide model that spends a lot of time driving in Portugal. The engine is a strong performance that sounds good when hard acceleration, but the dual-clutch gearbox can hesitate when driving fast in Sport mode. It’s better in the Neutral and Comfort modes.
Ride and handle very well. It clings well and corners securely, as it should.
The more basic Megane sampling, without GT’s agility enhancement technology, showed that Renault had the basics. Ride comfort feels better than the class average, and the overall tranquility of the car is impressive.
As with GT, the quality of the interior fit very hard to fault.
Renault designers and engineers have created a well-equipped car to compete in a segment where there are many excellent candidates.
If Renault Australia can appoint and value the new Megane strong enough, the way it appears and drives can make this French evolution truly successful.