There are seven engines to choose from – four petrol and three diesel – but the 158bhp 2.0-litre diesel is undoubtedly the pick of the range. Free-revving and plenty powerful, it’s an absolute peach. For those who can’t stand the thought of a diesel engine in their sun-seeker, the best bet is the 1.4 TCE turbo petrol engine, but it lacks the punch of the 2.0-litre diesel engine.
Renault’s chassis engineers have done a good job of isolating body shimmy, even if they have erred on the side of comfort rather than sportiness. The steering is light and the car is a little slow to change direction; and, when the roof is folded, you’re always aware of the extra weight hung out at the back when rounding fast bends.
With the roof up or down, there’s a fair bit of wind noise noticeable at speed, but the standard wind deflector means you don’t get buffeted when the lid is stowed. Unusually, the 2.0-litre diesel engine is more refined than the petrol engines when cruising.
In this image-conscious class, it’s always the newest, must-have model that tops the sales charts. So, now that the Megane has had its moment in the sun, its resale values are softening and discounts are readily available. The smaller petrol engines will make the best long-term proposition.
The Megane uses high-grade materials and a good standard of fit and finish, and that’s enough to give the cabin an impressively classy feel. Renault hasn't exactly covered itself in glory in our reliability and customer satisfaction surveys over the years, but in the last JD Power study, owners rated it as above average for reliability.
Renault is proud of its safety record, and the Megane CC doesn't let the side down: it has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. All models come with front-, side- and thorax airbags as standard, along with stability control. The CC also has front seat airbags, which are designed to stop you slipping under the seatbelts. All models have deadlocks and an alarm to deter thieves.
There’s a decent amount of steering wheel- and seating adjustment, but the windscreen pillars extend a long way back, so they figure prominently in your peripheral vision and you need to be careful not to bang your head when getting in and out.
With the roof down, there’s a useful 211 litres of boot space; and, with the roof up, the hold grows to 417 litres. There’s not a lot of room left over for rear passengers, however: adults sitting in the back will find their heads uncomfortably close to the roof and there’s very little kneeroom.
Even entry-level cars come with 17-inch alloys, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic headlights and wipers, cruise control, a fixed glass wind deflector and fully integrated Tom Tom sat-nav. Step up to GT Line TomTom and you also get dual-zone climate control, as well as a GT bodykit and two-tone seats.
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The 1.4 TCE turbo petrol engine is ideal for people who can’t stand the thought of a diesel engine in their sun-seeker, but it lacks the punch of the diesels.