Renault Megane Trophy driven

* Extra 14bhp * Only 50 coming to the UK * On sale now, at £27,820...

Renault Megane Trophy driven

What is it?

Renault has taken the fast and focused Megane Renaultsport Cup and made it faster and even more focused to produce this, the limited-edition 265 Trophy.

Power is up by 14bhp, it gets inch-larger 19-inch wheels wrapped in grippier tyres, a set of superbly supportive Recaro front seats, LED daytime running lights and metallic paint. You also get free access to all the 2012 Renaultsport track days in the UK.

Whats it like to drive?

Nearly all the changes are positive. The engine punches harder and earlier than the standard cars, so its even easier to make rapid progress. The brilliantly judged suspension deals with everything you can throw at it, while the steering keeps you totally involved in whats going on.

Unfortunately, so do the bigger wheels. The ride of the standard model is already firm, but the Trophy jiggles more around town and reacts harshly to big bumps. Theres slightly more road noise, too. The Trophy is still fantastic to drive when youre in the mood, its just a bit more wearing than the Cup when youre not.

Whats it like inside?

The cabin wont wow you despite the flashes of yellow dotted around - but everything falls easily to hand. The materials are classy and everything feels solidly put together, too. Pity the stereo is so fiddly and tinny-sounding.

Theres plenty of space up front, although tall rear-seat passengers will want more head- and legroom. You also have to lift your bags over the high boot sill, but the boot is a decent size.

Thick rear pillars and small rear side windows mean over-the-shoulder visibility is awful (thankfully, rear parking sensors are standard).

Should I buy one?

Its £3800 more expensive than the Cup. Yes, buy a Trophy and youll enjoy the kudos of driving the fastest and rarest Megane (just 50 are coming to the UK), but youd be better off buying the Cup with Recaro seats and using the money saved to pay your fuel bills for almost 10,000 miles. The Trophy is good, but its not that good.

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