Renault Megane Hatchback full 9 point review
Petrol engines are a 1.6, two 1.2-litre turbos and a turbocharged 2.0-litre, while the diesels are a 1.5 or a 1.6-litre unit. The lower-powered 1.2 petrol is far more flexible than the 1.6, so you don’t have to rev it as hard to make decent progress; it’s our pick of the petrols. Both diesels are strong performers, and even the 1.5 is decently brisk.
Ride & Handling
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 enjoyment and confidence on twisty roads. Ride comfort isn’t great, either; it's firm on most surfaces, and things can get genuinely uncomfortable on bumpy roads.
The engines are particularly impressive on this front, being very smooth and quiet. The rather vague gearshift lets the side down, though, and there’s also too much wind and road noise on the motorway.
Safety & Security
Safety is a banker for Renault and, true to form, the Megane was awarded the maximum five-star rating in its Euro NCAP crash test. All versions come with front, side and curtain airbags as standard, plus stability control. Renault also fits deadlocks and an alarm across the range, so your Megane should be safe from thieves.
Buying & Owning
Spec for spec, the Megane is cheaper to buy than key rivals such as the Ford Focus and VW Golf, plus you’ll get a healthy discount. Running costs for most models are low – the diesel engines are especially economical and efficient – but resale values are weak for the class.
Quality & Reliability
The Megane’s interior uses high-grade materials and has a good standard of fit and finish, which is enough to give it a reasonably classy feel. Renault hasn’t covered itself in glory in our reliability and customer satisfaction surveys over the years, and owners rated the Megane as below average for reliability in the latest JD Power study.
Behind The Wheel
Quirks such as a digital speedo, push-button starter system and electronic handbrake make the Megane’s interior stand out from those of other family cars. It’s not as useable as it should be, though; many of the dashboard buttons are small, the stereo is confusing to operate and it’s a bit of a stretch to the optional touch-screen for the sat-nav system. At least the driver’s seat is supportive and comfortable.
Space & Practicality
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 legroom is also well below par. At least you get a large, well-shaped boot.
Even the entry-level Expression+ version is well equipped, getting air-conditioning, Bluetooth, a USB socket and alloy wheels; that’s a lot for the money, so it’s what we’d go for. Dynamique TomTom trim adds satellite-navigation, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and starting, and automatic lights and wipers. GT Line TomTom models get rear parking sensors, a bodykit and larger alloy wheels, but they’re not worth the extra.