Renault Megane Review

The brand new Renault Megane has been a long time coming – 6 years to be exact. So what’s changed from the original model and how will this car fare on our roads?

Exterior

First things first, the new Renault Megane looks much better than its older counterpart. Gone is the conservative and timid design – it has been replaced by the striking and dynamic look that firmly places this car as one of the most stylish in its class. The sculpted shoulders and tight curves contrast superbly with the imposing front grille to create a daring design that will definitely turn heads.

This generously sized hatchback is extremely well-built so it will be able to withstand the trials and tribulations of family life.

Interior

The sense of quality translates well into the cabin of the Renault Megane. The designers chose refined materials with a high quality finish and even added a chrome trim to add a bit of finesse to the final product. We particularly like the Nappa leather steering wheel, which is smooth yet hard-wearing and comfortable when driving. Comfort was important to Renault when designing this car, and the elegantly upholstered seats provide the highest level of comfort on long arduous drives.

One thing you can definitely say about this car is that it’s high tech. That said, it’s not cluttered, because everything is controlled by one tablet that’s installed onto the dashboard. This tablet can be installed horizontally (7” screen) or vertically (8.7” screen).

The tablets in the new Megane are pioneers of Renault’s R Link 2 Multimedia technology. It has a lot of fancy features that will help you be entertained and safe whilst driving. There is even the opportunity to programme in up to 6 user profiles, so all your passengers can have a go! The tablet is intuitive and acts in a similar way to a smartphone. It uses voice recognition, so there is no need to take your eyes off the road when using all of its features. Let’s take a look at some of them:

• Sync with your smartphone – use Bluetooth to synchronise R Link 2 with your smartphone so you can have your contact list on the screen. The voice recognition also means that you can make your calls hands-free.
• Make it your own – you can configure your home screen so that you can quickly access your favourite functions without messing around trying to find them.
• Driving Assistance – you can configure your ADAS features from the tablet and change the layout of the digital instrument panel there too. There are lots of ADAS features that will help keep your Renault Megane safe, but we’ll go into those later.
• Navigation system – Renault has teamed up with TomTom to give you the best in navigation systems. It even lets you view the nearby points of interest and buildings in 3D if you want it to! TomTom also gives you real time traffic information and map updates for free for the first 12 months.
• R-Link store – For the first 12 months you’ll be connected to the R-Link store for free and you’ll be able to access a complete range of free or paid applications to help improve your driving experience. (Apps include Renault Assistance, Michelin guides, fuel prices, weather, concierge service, email, social media etc and can be downloaded from the vehicle or from a PC or Mac).

On the road

The new Renault Megane handles well and you feel in complete control thanks to a couple of new technologies that assist you when driving.

4CONTROL is the 4-wheel steering chassis that makes the car precise and easy to handle. When it’s engaged, the road holding is optimised and the grip is enhanced. When combined with MULTI-SENSE, driving is smooth and tailored to the road conditions.

MULTI-SENSE is the collective name for the five driving modes that the Renault Megane can put into operation.

1. Neutral – A relaxing drive. You can enjoy the air conditioning at its full capacity as well as the 4CONTROL system’s precise handling and a standard engine response.
2. Eco Mode – This mode makes use of the Renault Megane’s energy-saving features. It reduces steering wheel effort, engine response, EDC calibration and the capacity of your air conditioning unit.
3. Comfort Mode – For this mode, the steering effort is still low, but the engine response is vastly improved and the 4CONTROL system is active again. You can use the air con at full capacity and the engine sound is enhanced to give the car a bit of a ‘roar’.
4. Sport Mode – This mode uses all the car’s features at full capacity. Acceleration is quicker, EDC gear-box ratios are reduced, 4CONTROL system generates sensational sporting responsiveness for increased agility or stability depending on the speed and the steering is heavier for more precise control.
5. Perso mode – If none of those options are for you, you’re free to personalise your driving mode and choose the level of each feature to configure your vehicle to meet your current needs.

The Renault Megane has six engine variations – petrol, diesel, manual or automatic, they’ll have the perfect engine for you. However, we’d suggest the EDC automatic gearbox. It has the concentrated technological comfort of the EDC dual clutch automatic gearbox but the responsiveness and economy of a manual gearbox.

Fuel efficiency is one of the Renault Megane’s prime concerns, and the engines are designed to deliver a dynamic performance and reduce your fuel consumption. Eco mode will also monitor your driving style and give you individual recommendations to improve your efficiency.

The ADAS system is extensive and really beneficial for the driver. Here’s a quick break down of what the Renault Megane’s safety system does to help you:

• The active emergency braking system alerts you if there is a risk of collision with the vehicle in front. If you don’t react, the system will react for you and engage the brakes to prevent or mitigate a collision. The dash also has a safe distance warning light installed to remind you to stay away from cars in front.
• The Renault Megane also features adaptive cruise control. This activates between 31mph and 87mph and acts on the brakes when the distance between you and the car in front is too short. It also acts on the accelerator when the road in front of you is clear.
• The blind spot warning system does what it says on the tin – detects vehicles in your blind spot and alerts you with a warning light. This is active between 19mph and 87mph so don’t try to use it in the supermarket car park!
Hands free parking is a great innovation, if a little disconcerting at first. You can parallel park like a pro with a flick of the wrist. All you have to do is control the accelerator, brakes and gears – the car will do the rest for you.
• Another interesting feature is the traffic sign recognition – it’s pretty useful as people often miss/misunderstand some road signs. The Renault Megane’s on-board camera identifies traffic signs, and if you exceed the authorised speed limit a warning light will appear on the dashboard. Adapt your driving and you’ll be fine.

The final piece of tech that I want to tell you about is the automatic high/low beam lights. The front camera detects if there are any vehicles around you, and automatically switches your lights if there are any changes. Just one less thing to worry about while you’re on the road.

Our verdict

This is a great little car, and for a starting price of £16,600, it’s fantastic value for money as most of the features are included with the standard model. There are 6 models available, so ask your dealer about the differences between them.

The 5-star safety rating from EURONCAP makes this car a perfect choice for families as it protects everyone from danger. The 434l boot also makes it one of the best cars for storage in its class, so you’ll be able to fit the PE kits, school bags, art projects and more quite easily.

The Renault Megane offers a smooth ride, and you’ll be in complete control every step of the way. It’s great to drive and is full to the brim with lots of tech to make the most boring of drives that little bit more interesting.

To find out more about the Renault Megane, or any of our new cars, talk to your local Perry’s dealer today!