The all-new Renault Mégane GT 205 is a frenetic French fiend on the straights and on twisty turns of tarmac, says our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay.
Like many warm-hatches, this car can actually be used as family motor, although the rear seats are perhaps better for the short of leg, or for the kids. The boot is top-notch, though, and will fit a pram and the shopping in, no probs.
Priced at only £25,500, Renault is bound to attract punters to this fourth generation of its 20-year-old Mégane range. Highpoints include a 1.6-litre petrol-turbo power unit, derived from Renault’s Clio RS 200. It produces a muscly 205PS and 207lb-ft of torque. Just like the Renault Clio, it comes with a factory-fitted EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) seven-speed auto gearbox.
The Renault Mégane GT 205 is buttressed by the French manufacturer’s 48-month-old CMF (Common Module Family) platform. However, Renault Sport has sprinkled magic dust over the dampers, springs, engine breathing and steering ratio to make everything feel very 2016/2017. And you can let Renault off for sticking a fake tailpipe on – the twin exhaust look does work very well indeed.
The automaker’s Sport division has also tweaked the Renault Mégane GT 205’s 4Control four-wheel steering. Shift it into RS mode and sub-50mph the car’s rear-wheels steer 2.7 degrees in the other direction to the front-wheels, honing turn-in on the bendier bits of bitumen. Beyond 50mph the front wheels operate 1.0 degree in the same direction, encouraging high-speed plantedness.
The Renault Mégane GT 205 is one of a kind when it comes to its interior touchscreen. It’s the only car in its segment to house a vast portrait oriented 8.7-inch screen. This is accompanied by other tech that raises the bar even higher. Kit includes traffic sign recognition, launch control and attractive LED headlights.
The Renault Mégane GT 205 sounds as awesome as it performs. Although, like the dummy exhaust, the sound isn’t all real. Some of the racing refrains are cleverly fed into the cabin through the car’s speakers.
The seven-cog auto ‘box is smooth and kicks-down nicely when you press on for pace. The gear selector paddles work well for manual shifting and look the business. You won’t use them though; I did for about five-minutes, but soon left it to the capable EDC transmission to do its job.
Zigzagging my way across County Durham’s rural routes at the Mégane’s media launch, it became obvious just how capable the Renault Mégane GT 205 is on corners. There’s little, if any, body lean and it’s all very comfortable, regardless of the stiffer, sportier suspension. That only becomes noticeable if you hit a particularly large rut – but then pothole-peppered roads affect the ride in any car.
There are lots of things to love about the all-new Renault Mégane GT 205. It’s a fun, energetic, agile and relatively practical five-door hatch – it’s also a handsome creature. You can’t go wrong with the £25,500 price-tag, either.
Why not pop into your local Perrys Renault dealership and see what the all-new Renault Mégane GT 205 is like to drive for yourself!
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Performance √
- Handling √
- Price √
- Kit √
- Rear legroom X
- Max speed: 143 mph
- 0-62 mph: 7.1 secs
- Combined mpg: 47.1
- Engine layout: 1616cc 4-cylinder 16v turbo petrol
- Max. power (ps): 205
- CO2: 134 g/km
- Price: £25,500