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Renault Megane review – Family hatchback is future-proofed

Daily Record logoDaily Record 21/04/2017 Edward Stephens
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

YOU have to hand it to the French – when it comes to style, they always seem to be one step ahead of everyone else. And that applies just as much to their automotive creations as to the garments created for the catwalks of Paris.

Take the latest generation Renault Megane, now a racy little number with enough curves to earn it a place on the cover of Vogue.

The fourth generation of the popular family hatchback is not a car you will miss in the daylight or at night thanks to the dramatic wave of red LEDs lighting its rear and vivid white ones outlining its “face”.

Longer and lower than its predecessor, the new incarnation retains the same width so there is still plenty of elbow room for passengers.

Step inside and you will find an interior that is just as stylish as the outside, with a nice quality feel to the seats – part leather and part cloth in the case of this Dynamique S Nav grade car – and a futuristic dashboard design.

The dash is dominated by an 8.7in portrait touchscreen that operates virtually everything except the temperature control so you have a clutter-free surface.

Via the screen you can also set the car up for whatever style of driving you prefer, including eco, comfort and sport and each mode changes the ambient lighting colour as well as the look of the dials.

Opt for sport, for example, and you get red lighting on the dash and car interior as well as a dominant rev counter wrapped around a digital speedometer. Other choice settings allow for a conventional analogue speedo if that’s your preferred option.

The large screen also features TomTom Live satellite navigation services, as well as showing you what’s behind you when reversing, via the rear view camera.

The 110hp model I tried is expected to be the best seller of the range and it doesn’t take long behind the wheel to find out why.

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Not only is the cabin very quiet but there is a very impressive blend of real punchy performance and economy that makes the car rewarding to drive yet is easy on the pocket.

With a little bit of care, I managed to easily achieve a real-world figure of 65 miles per gallon even when driving in Sport mode. And, with CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km, this Megane will be popular with business users trying to keep their tax bills down.

When you need to move quickly, the Megane doesn’t disappoint, with a surprisingly sharp response to the accelerator and good road holding.

On a practical level, the Megane has a sensibly sized boot, with 384 litres of space that can be increased to 1247 litres with the split/folding rear seatbacks lowered. And useful on-board features include automatic low/high beam headlights, traffic sign recognition and a lane departure warning system.

The Megane has been around for 20 years in different guises and notched up more than 6.5million sales but the latest one – as you would expect – has been taken to a completely different level and should ensure it’s around for many more years to come.

Factfile:

  • Model: Renault Megane Dynamique S Nav dCi 110
  • Engine: 1.5-litre diesel
  • Power: 110hp
  • Top speed: 116mph
  • 0-62mph: 11.3 seconds
  • Average mpg: 76.3
  • CO2 emissions: 96g/km
  • Warranty: Four years/100,000 miles
  • Price: £21,340

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