The petrol options are a 109bhp 1.6 and a 114bhp 1.2-litre turbo, while diesel fans can choose from 89 and 109bhp 1.5s, a 129bhp 1.6 and a 158bhp 2.0-litre. The 1.2-litre petrol is far more flexible than the 1.6, while the 109bhp 1.5 and the 1.6 are the standout engines in the diesel range.
The Megane is grippy enough and body lean is well contained. The steering is fairly responsive, but it has virtually zero feedback, which detracts from your driving enjoyment. The ride is rather firm, too, and at times, can be uncomfortable.
The engines are particularly impressive on this front, being very smooth and quiet. It's a shame that a rather vague gearshift lets the side down, while there's also too much wind- and road noise on the motorway.
The Megane, spec for spec, is cheaper to buy than key rivals such as the Ford Focus and VW Golf, and you'll get a healthy discount. Running costs for most models are low - the smaller diesel engines are particularly clean and frugal - but residual values are weak for the class.
The Megane has high-grade materials and a good standard of fit and finish, and that’s enough to give the cabin a reasonably 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.
Safety is a banker for Renault, and true to form, the Megane has achieved the maximum five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests. All models come with front, side and curtain airbags as standard, plus the all-important stability control system. Renault also fits deadlocks and an alarm across the range.
Quirks such as a digital speedo, push-button starter system and electronic handbrake make the Megane's interior fussier than it needs to be. Many of the dashboard buttons are also too small to use easily, and the stereo is also very confusing to use. However, the driver's seat is supportive and comfortable.
The Megane has enough space for tall 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, and things are not helped by legroom that's also well below par. At least you get a large, well-shaped boot.
Even the entry-level Expression+ trim is well equipped, getting air-conditioning, Bluetooth, a USB socket and alloy wheels. Meanwhile, Dynamique TomTom adds automatic lights and wipers, cruise control and satellite-navigation. Range-topping GT Line TomTom models have dual-zone climate control, a parking camera and a sporty body kit, among other items.
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive
If you’re after a diesel Megane, this version is well worth considering.