Renault has face-lifted the Megane Coupe for 2014, refreshing its looks, adding more standard equipment and slashing up to £1200 off the price.
The Coupe’s engine choices consist of a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.2-litre turbo petrol, along with 1.5- and 1.6-litre diesels.
Until now, the Megane Coupe has found it hard to stand out against strong competition, so these latest revisions need to tempt buyers away from rivals such as the Seat Leon SC and three-door Audi A3.
What’s the 2014 Renault Megane Coupe like to drive?
We tried the 128bhp 1.6 diesel in GT Line trim. This engine doesn't start to pull strongly until 2000rpm, but doesn't labour if you let the revs drop below this.
Unfortunately, the engine is also quite noisy – especially under hard acceleration – and it also transmits too much vibration through the steering wheel and pedals.
Happily, the engine quietens down on the motorway, but the noise is replaced by quite a bit of road roar – especially over coarse surfaces.
GT Line models get a sportier chassis set-up than other Meganes, and lowered suspension, so are genuinely fun to drive. There’s very little body lean in corners, and although the steering is a little vague around the straight-ahead, it weights up quickly and reassuringly as you turn into corners.
Ultimately, when pushed hard, the Megane’s front end will run wide sooner than its rivals'. However, it does so in a predictable manner, so isn't at all alarming.
The downside to the GT Line model’s agility – and its relatively big 17-inch alloy wheels – is that the ride feels firm around town and choppy on faster roads, such as motorways.
What’s the 2014 Renault Megane Coupe like inside?
Inside, the changes are pretty subtle, which means the Megane Coupe retains some features that frustrate.
The R-Link infotainment system fitted to our test car is a £300 option, and is reasonably easy to understand on-screen. However, navigating the menus using the many buttons between the seats, and operating the fiddly stereo on the dashboard means remains rather complicated.
Meanwhile, the steering-column-mounted phone and music controls are obscured from view – so you need to spend time learning which button does what.
Whether you get on with the Megane's digital speedo and push-button start is more a matter of personal preference, but the hard-to-access cupholder in front of the gearlever will prove annoying to all buyers.
Look over your shoulder, and the Coupe’s thick rear pillars obscure much of your view, too.
Still it's not all bad news, because the soft-touch dashboard feels well screwed together and the standard sports seats offer plenty of adjustment and support. However, rear passengers have to put up with less legroom than in the rival Seat Leon SC.
Should I buy one?
The £22,945 1.6 dCi GT Line Megane is very expensive. So, although it's fun to drive and very well equipped, there are certainly better options.
For example, the Seat Leon SC 2.0 TDI 150 FR costs nearly £1700 less, is more powerful, handles better, is only slightly less frugal and is similarly well equipped. In fact, you could add sat-nav as an option to the Leon and still spend less. The Leon is a cheaper company car, too.
It's the cheaper Megane Coupes that make more sense, then, and private buyers will benefit from large discounts – especially when shopping online. Just bear in mind that the best rivals will hold their value far better, offsetting a lot of that initial saving.
What Car? says…
Renault Megane Coupé 1.6 VVT
Engine size 1.6-litre petrol
Price from £17,645
Torque 111lb ft
0-62mph 10.5 seconds
Top speed 118mph
Fuel economy 40.9mpg
Renault Megane Coupé 1.2 TCe 115
Engine size 1.2-litre turbo petrol
Price from £19,345
Torque 140lb ft
0-62mph 10.9 seconds
Top speed 118mph
Fuel economy 53.3mpg
Renault Megane Coupé 1.5 dCi 110
Engine size 1.5-litre diesel
Price from £20,345
Torque 191lb ft
0-62mph 12.1 seconds
Top speed 118mph
Fuel economy 80.7mpg
Renault Megane Coupé 1.6 dCi 130
Engine size 1.6-litre diesel
Price from £21,445
Torque 235lb ft
0-62mph 9.8 seconds
Top speed 124mph
Fuel economy 70.6mpg