Our cars: Renault Megane Renaultsport - June

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  • Renault Megane long-term test
  • Year-long review
  • Tested by Barnaby Jones
Renault Megane Renaultsport 250

Week ending June 24
Current mileage 12,960
Driven this week 360 miles

There was no missing the Megane's first service at 12,500 miles. Not only has the trip computer been counting down the miles to the service, but when it was time to visit the dealer, a bright orange warning light came on – and stayed on. It was very distracting at night, so thankfully the car was booked in a couple of days later.

The service was done while I waited by Renault Croydon (020 8276 4077). The waiting area wasn't the most comfortable, but the staff were polite and the work was done promptly. Apart from the service, I got the Megane’s tyres swapped front to rear to even up the wear and had the squeaky accelerator pedal sorted (it simply needed to be lubricated). At £219, the bill was decent, too.
Since the service, the Megane feels tighter, smoother and faster than ever. Sounds like the perfect excuse for taking the long route home.

Week ending June 17
Current mileage 12,600
Driven this week 1460 miles

A weekend trip to the country beckoned and luckily I got hold of the Megane Renaultsport 250, but it took a few hundred miles before I realised what was missing. Rattles, squeaks and creaks. There may be a few issues with practicality, but certainly none about cabin build quality. After more than 12,000 miles of pummeling on Britain’s crumbling highways and byways, with a very firm suspension set-up, I would have expected any weaknesses to be found out by now.

It’s a shame the solid interior doesn’t share the flamboyance of the exterior. In the metal, the dramatic lines coupled with the yellow and black colour scheme rarely leaves people without an opinion, and it’s usually positive. The interior is a little gloomy by comparison.

One thing that could definitely do with more light is the speedo needle. In anything other than bright sunlight it’s hard to see the dark red speedo needle against the black dial. Turn the side lights on to illuminate the needle and the daytime running lights are replaced by very dim bulbs in the headlights. Know your speed or know you're seen.

Week ending June 10
Current mileage: 11,460
Driven this week: 200 miles

Practicality isn't the Megane Renaultsport's forte. Rear passengers have to put up with precious little leg- and footroom (shoulder- and headroom are nothing to write home about), rear visibility is woeful, and the boot has a narrow opening and a tall loading lip. Even getting into and out of the optional high-sided Recaro front seats takes a little getting used to.

Judged against similarly priced coupes such as the Volkswagen Scirocco, it's not too bad, but rival hot hatches such as the (five-door-only) Seat Leon Cupra are better at doing the mundane but necessary things in life.

One drive down an interesting road and that’s all forgotten, though. The Megane is blisteringly fast, fun and thrilling in a way its rivals cannot match. That's why you forgive its downsides so easily. I love it!

Our cars: Renault Megane Renaultsport - May


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