I bought the Megane Sport Tourer in April 2004 as an economical, practical, long-distance motor, as I was travelling up to a 100 miles a day commuting. The dealer couldn't get a new for two months so I bought an ex-Renault company car with 8k on the clock. It's now covered over 25 thousand miles.
It hasn't lived up to the economy predictions often averaging 46mpg on motorway runs, never getting near the 50-plus mpg of the official figures. It seems to be getting better now that I'm driving more around town.
Handling is OK if a bit nose heavy and has a tendency to plough on if driven too fast into a bend. Also, despite the 17inch wheel and tyre combination, I'd only describe grip as reasonable. Brakes on the other hand are really good.
The biggest surprise was the diesel engine. It's not that revvy but you rarely need to use more than 4000rpm. 70mph equates to about 2000rpm and I kept finding it really easy to join slow moving motorway traffic and forget to change up from 4th gear, the engine is not stressed. Even when fully loaded it never feels like its struggling.
On a practicality note it's brilliant, I've never owned an estate before and now I wonder how I'll ever get by with a hatchback or booted model if I were to change.
Minus points: A service was well over £200 for little more than a change of oil and it has worn out a set of front tyres at 22 thousand miles.
As a load carrier and on motorway journeys the Megane Sport Tourer is excellent. Lots of useful storage areas, a supple ride and strong, quiet performance from the DCi 120 engine add to the car's virtues. Around town the car is less happy - a fairly baulky gearchange (especially first) and overly sharp brakes mean that progress is not always smooth.
After covering 24k miles in a year, I have also noted a few reliability glitches - the rear tailgate wouldn't lock, which meant the car had to be locked manually (taking ages with the keyless entry system); then on another occasion it went to the other extreme and wouldn't open at all. The rear seatbelt core also failed leaving one of my children travelling illegally and without restraint until a part was ordered. Finally, the alarm - this has repeatedly gone off at random (often in the early hours) for no obvious reason and without solution.
Add to that a couple of blown bulbs (the front indicator being virtually impossible to replace as a DIY job due to its location), a plethora of creaks and rattles from the dashboard and aftercare back up that requires more than one visit to solve a problem and basically you have the Megane Sport Tourer: a good car dynamically that has been a little underwhelming to own from a reliability perspective. Would I buy another one? Yes, but only if my previous dealer takes on the franchise.
This car is now 2.5 years and has done 49,000 miles since purchase from new. The car is still very sound and does everything it is asked to do without fuss. It averages about 45mpg in rush-hour traffic on a 50 miles per day commute.
The best it achieved is 51mpg on long steady journeys. Fuel economy is usually better than that displayed on the computer, but never as good as the official figures.
The car has used two sets of tyres. Replacing light bulbs is frustrating - I have had to get the dealer to do this, as it's impossible to gain access for DIY changes. I had a problem with an electric window which wouldn't close, too. The dealer fixed it promptly under warranty.
The car has coped well with duties as an estate car - holidays, trips to the tip, transporting furniture, roof loads and so on. The car is quiet, comfortable, powerful and the bodywork and paint is still good. Overall, it's a very sound car.
Even with a full load, the dCi 100 is a strong performer, especially up hills, and economy is excellent: with only a little restraint, mid 50s mpg is easily attainable.
Steering is light, but needs a firm grip for accuarcy on narrow roads. The ride is smooth and quiet. Passenger and boot space is generous, and the rear seats not folding quite flat seems to matter little in practice.
Equipment levels are very good, though the automatic wipers sometimes do more or less wiping than I want.
Quality and reliability have been a bit disappointing - several trim faults, some squeaks and vibrations, the gearchange linkage had to be replaced, and at times the brakes are snatchy. My selling dealer has been friendly and efficient at putting things right.
Overall, I recommend this as a stylish and practical family car with low running costs for its size.
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