Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy long-term test review: report 6

The latest Renault Megane RS is one of our favourite hot hatches, but how easy is it to live with?...

LT Renault Megane RS - listening to exhaust

The car Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy Run by Steve Huntingford, editor

Why it’s here To see if this thrilling hot hatch continues to impress when you live with it every day

Needs to Combine the pace and agility we’ve come to expect from Renault Sport cars with the practicality we haven’t

List price £31,995 Target Price £30,321 Price as tested £35,435 Miles 3248 Official economy 34.2mpg Test economy 26.8mpg

23 October – Sound effects

We’ve come to expect perpetual progress from the automotive industry, with each generation of car offering more space, smarter technology and superior performance or efficiency to the model that went before. However, if there’s one thing that we need to enjoy while we still can, it’s engine noise.

Sure, in many types of car, the absence of noise is a good thing, making the experience more relaxing. But in something sporty, like my Renault Megane RS, the soundtrack is a huge part of the appeal – or at least it will be until the twin trends of downsizing and electrification call time.

LT Renault Megane RS Trophy side

It helps that you don’t have to be bouncing off the redline in the Megane for it to sound good. With the engine and exhaust set to Race mode, you get a menacing burble when you’re just pootling around town. And the way the exhaust crackles on all roads when you lift off the accelerator is enough to make me smile, even after the most frustrating of days.

Not just me, in fact. My wife is no car nut, but she was still quick to comment on how special the Megane sounds and – now that it’s almost time for us to move onto something else – how much she’ll miss it.

LT Renault Megane RS - changing gear

The other thing that the Megane has reminded me of is the simple pleasure that can be had from changing gear. Sure, I’ve driven plenty of manual test cars in recent years, but I haven’t lived with a manual since 2012.

Indeed, given that my daily commute features plenty of stop-start city driving, I seriously considered specifying the optional dual-clutch automatic gearbox. However, in hindsight, I’m very glad I didn’t, because the Megane’s clutch is light enough to prevent it becoming frustrating. And when the road opens up, the manual ’box – with its short action and absence of slack – really adds to the sense of involvement. Sometimes, the old ways are the best.

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