If we told you the original Renault Megane was released all the way back in 1995, would you feel old? We only ask because we definitely did after hearing that. Typically, a model has a set life cycle before it's placed into retirement by a newer successor. Similar to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, the humble Megane has remained a mainstay for a long time because it has become a dependable name people look for when they are considering a new car. Chances are, you're reading this because you know the Megane has a good reputation for being a superb all-round car to own and you want to know more. See what we mean?
The designers at Renault are a crazy bunch, because with every one of the four generations of Megane that have passed, the exterior design has radically differed from the last. The third and fourth gen are definitely the best looking (although some may prefer the big booty of the second gen), as their body shapes are well-proportioned and feature some distinctive features that set them apart from the rest. We particularly like the headlights on the latest generation; the way the day-time running lights hook around and under the main cluster reminds us heavily of Alice Cooper's make-up, which is awesome.
The interiors on earlier Meganes weren't renowned for their exquisite design, or build-quality... or anything really. But good news, dear reader, because Renault decided to really up their game by utilising superior materials throughout the cabin. Renault have also improved the way the interior looks; on the latest model you can benefit from a Tesla-esque mounted 8.7" touchscreen that can be used to alter a variety of safety and parking features. Look around any modern Megane, and you'll notice just how ergonomical everything is. Nothing feels massively out of reach, while the driving position offers plenty of adjustment.
Renault's credentials when it comes to setting up a car to drive well cannot be argued. After all, their RS cars have been hailed as some of the best hot hatchbacks of our generation. So, what can you expect? A Megane offers a pleasant driving experience that is very engaging (rare these days), with a large chunk of feedback being offered through the steering wheel. What is pleasing to see is that Renault haven't ruined the ride of the Megane by making it harsh and bumpy on rough road surfaces, instead they have opted for a natural blend of performance and comfort that works magnificently.
The Renault Megane has always been spacious inside, with plenty of room inside to seat five in comfort. Thanks to a longer wheelbase, the latest generation of Megane benefits from more head and leg room. Over 400 litres of boot storage is available, ranking the Megane amongst the best in its class. You'll be glad to hear the doors open wide, granting convenient access to the rear of the car. This is essential if you have a young family and need to get the kids in and out the car without too much hassle
Engines and transmissions
Renault have always been renowned for creating engines that boast a healthy blend of performance and economy. Take their infamous 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine for example, it provides a hefty chunk of torque from low down in the rev-range - which makes progress effortless - and still manages to return over 70mpg. There are a few petrol engines to choose from, we are big fans of the 1.2 TCe engine that has a good spread of power across the rev-range. Fancy something with a bit more of a kick? Then the Megane RS may be the car for you, these cars come with over 200bhp and certainly know how to place a smile on your face. With a selection of manual and automatic gearboxes to choose from, it all comes down to your preference.
It probably sounds a bit cliché, but the Megane really is a great all-round car to run on a daily basis. The diesel engines are both quiet and frugal, making the car perfect for motorway slogs. While the spacious interior with a huge boot means the Megane is perfect for the working family who need to get the kids from A to B in comfort and safety (The Megane possesses a 5 Start Euro NCAP rating). It's not all sensible though, the RS is a ridiculously fun car to drive and will no doubt have you looking back numerous times as you walk away from it.
Great all-round car that is engaging to drive and reasonable to run on a daily basis.Search used Renault Megane