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 Sport Tourer isn’t as good to drive as the best small family estates, but it does everything reasonably well. The steering is responsive and the car turns crisply, giving it nimble handling, although you don’t get much feedback through the wheel. Similarly, the ride is generally fine, but rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf Estate cope better with poor surfaces.
All of the Megane engines are pretty hushed, although the diesels do send some vibrations through the pedals. You have to put up with a rather vague gearshift, too. There’s some wind noise at motorway speeds, but road noise is generally well isolated.
Spec for spec, the Megane Sport Tourer is cheaper to buy than many rival wagons, including the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. It looks a bit pricey compared to Skoda’s Octavia Estate, though, and its resale values aren’t as strong. Running costs for most models should be low, with the small diesel engines particularly clean and frugal.
The Megane has 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 Sport Tourer doesn’t let the side down. Every model comes with stability control and front, side and curtain airbags. What’s more, the car should perform well in a collision because its hatchback sister was awarded a maximum five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests. Deadlocks and a fully integrated stereo help to protect against thieves.
Quirks such as a digital speedo and push-button starter system make the Megane’s cabin fussier than it needs to be, and the controls for the optional satellite-navigation system aren’t ideally placed. However, most of the dash is sensibly laid out and there’s a good range of adjustment to help you get comfortable. Thick rear pillars restrict over-the-shoulder vision.
The wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) of the Megane hatch has been stretched, and the Sport Tourer’s body extends farther behind the rear wheels, so it has more rear legroom, as well as a larger boot. Folding the rear seats is trickier than it could be, though, because you have to flip up the bases before the backrests will lay flat. Even then, there’s a step in the extended floor.
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.
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If you’re after a diesel Megane, this version is well worth considering.