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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The Megane's engines are excellent, and it's comfortable, refined, cheap and safe

Against Cabin space is poor, and reliability and Renault dealer service can be patchy

Verdict It's outstandingly safe, well equipped and good-looking, but plagued by niggling faults

Go for… 1.9 dCi Expression

Avoid… 2.0 VVT

Renault Megane Hatchback
  • 1. Faults have been reported with the keyless ignition and door entry system, so check it over closely
  • 2. Electric windows can fail, and problems can strike the indicator and wiper stalks
  • 3. Squealing brakes – a common problem – can usually be cured by changing the original pads
  • 4. The hatchback’s boot is not overly large
  • 5. Sluggish, erratic engine response or starting problems can prove expensive and time-consuming to fix
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Renault Megane Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The Megane takes bumps and potholes with a comfortable spring in its step. That traditionally French soft ride quality means there’s a degree of lean through corners, but it isn’t at all unpleasant, and there’s plenty of grip. It's just a shame the electric power steering lacks feel.

All of the engines are willing and fuel-efficient, although the 1.6 petrol and 1.5 turbodiesel can become a bit noisy on the motorway.

The high-set driving position has a good range of adjustment, and there’s no shortage of high-quality materials and good design in the cabin.

You’ll struggle to get so much safety and luxury kit for the money elsewhere, and perhaps the only major complaint is that the hatchback’s boot could be bigger.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Diesel is always the most in demand with the 1.9 dCi Dynamique easy retail

James Ruppert
Used car guru

There’s more space for rear passengers in the saloon, but this five-door has extra versatility, so which you'll prefer depends on how you intend to use it. On balance, we’d opt for this five-door, and just put up with the tight rear legroom.

Once you've chosen the body style, the good news is that there are no bad models in the line-up, from the frugal 1.4 to the scorching 222bhp Renaultsport 2.0 turbo cars.

We most like the 1.6 (the most sensible petrol choice) and 1.5 turbodiesel for their relaxed driving style, and the 2.0 petrols have plenty of punch.

But, the dearer 1.9 diesels have the edge for all-round ability, especially if you do a lot of motorway driving. Given the cash, that’s where we’d spend it.

Expression trim offers the best value, but all come with at least eight airbags, anti-lock brakes and a generous array of goodies. Extreme and Authentique are the entry-level models, while Privilege is the top spec.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Questionable reliability - there are much better cars

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

The biggest potential stinger is depreciation. From new, Meganes lose value fast, so haggle hard if you’re buying a nearly-new example. By year three the depreciation is comparatively modest.

If you buy one still within its three-year/60,000-mile warranty period, running costs should be kept in check, as any problems should be taken care of without you needing to dip into your savings.

At least, there's nothing to fear from insurance. Although the Renaultsport versions sit in group 17, ratings are low on all the other models. The Megane’s fine security roster and extensive safety kit help, as does the fact that minor knocks are easy to repair.

Fuel bills aren’t steep, either. All diesels return more than 50mpg on the official combined cycle, and the 80 and 106bhp 1.5 diesels bump that up to more than 60mpg. The 1.4 and 1.6 petrols manage more than 40mpg, and even the Renaultsports return over 30mpg.

On the other hand, servicing is dearer than for a Vauxhall Astra or Ford Focus. But, going outside the Renault franchised network could shave about a quarter off the labour bill.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Diesel is always the most in demand with the 1.9 dCi Dynamique easy retail

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Renault has taken great strides in improving problem areas, but it still languishes in the bottom half of our reliability survey. The Megane only just keeps its head above the tail-enders in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey, too.

Electrical faults are the most common bugbear, and they aren’t always easily fixed by Renault dealers, much to the frustration of some owners.

So that’s where you should pay the most attention. Electric windows can fail, and problems can strike the indicator and wiper stalks. Faults have also been reported on cars fitted with the keyless ignition and door entry system.

Squealing brakes – a common problem – can usually be cured by changing the original pads for a later compound. However, sluggish, erratic engine response or starting problems can prove more expensive and time-consuming to fix. Also, listen out for squeaks and rattles in the cabin, and check for leaks (although they are rare).

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Questionable reliability - there are much better cars

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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