The petrol range kicks off with a 109bhp 1.6, but the two turbocharged engines are far more impressive; there’s a 114bhp 1.2 and the 261bhp 2.0-litre that’s in the Renaultsport hot hatch. Diesel fans can choose from 89 and 109bhp 1.5s and a 129bhp 1.6, with the more powerful 1.5 making most sense.
The Megane Coupe turns into bends crisply, but its steering provides little feedback (unless you go for one of the sensational Renaultsport hot hatches), which undermines your confidence in the car. These Coupe models have stiffer, lower suspension than the five-doors, so body lean is well controlled. However, you pay for this composure with a firm ride..
Most of the engines are impressively smooth and quiet, but there’s too much wind and road noise on the motorway. The Megane’s vague gearshift also disappoints, making changes harder than they should be.
Spec for spec, the Megane Coupe is cheaper to buy than key rivals such as the Vauxhall Astra GTC and Volkswagen Scirocco. You’ll also get a big discount at your local dealer and running costs are competitive, but resale values are among the weakest in the class.
The Megane has high-grade materials and a good standard of fit and finish, which gives 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 doesn't let the side down - it has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. All models comes with front, side and curtain airbags as standard, along with stability control. The Coupe also has front seat airbags, which are designed to stop you slipping under the seatbelts in a crash. All models have deadlocks and an alarm to deter thieves.
The sports seats have plenty of side support to stop you sliding around when cornering, and with a good range of seat- and steering wheel adjustment, it's easy to make yourself comfortable. Unfortunately, the dashboard is fussier than it needs to be, with the stereo particularly confusing and fiddly. Rear visibility is awful, too.
The Megane has enough space for most people up front, but there's not as much headroom as in many rivals. A sloping roofline means things are worse in the back, where six-footers have to slouch. They're not helped by legroom that’s also well below par. At least you get a large, well-shaped boot, even if the big load lip makes it awkward to load.
Even entry-level Expression+ trim gives you air-conditioning, Bluetooth, a USB socket and alloy wheels, while Dynamique Tom Tom models also come with sat-nav, automatic lights and wipers, cruise control and an upgraded stereo with Bluetooth. Top-of-the-range GT Line Tom Tom models have a unique look, along with dual-zone climate control and electrically folding door mirrors.
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Just what a good hot hatch should be - reasonably affordable and thoroughly thrilling.