New Renault Megane vs Seat Leon vs Vauxhall Astra

Renault's striking new Megane is designed to steal company car sales from the Seat Leon and Vauxhall Astra. We find out which is best

Words By What Car? team

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Vauxhall astra rear

Our Verdict

If you’re a company car driver looking for an affordable diesel hatchback, our advice is to buy the Vauxhall Astra. It might not be the best car in every respect, but it’s an impressive all-rounder and, crucially, doesn’t let itself down in any particular area.

Where it really counts, in the affordability battle, it really stands out. Its low CO2 emissions and cheap list price push down company car tax, and the attractive leasing costs are where the Astra hits home. That it’s relaxing and responsive to drive, and has the most practical interior are welcome assets, too – we just wish it had better steering.

The Seat Leon is a likeable and recommendable alternative. It will please keen drivers the most. That it has space for four adults and is in the ballpark for affordability are also pluses. Its shortage of modern safety features, such as automatic emergency braking, let it down, though, as does the relatively basic infotainment system.

That leaves the Renault MΓ©gane. Where the Astra is solidly good, the MΓ©gane is consistently average, particularly in the way it drives. Couple that to poor rear-seat space and the highest running costs, and it has to come last. Yet there are positives. The interior is eye-catching with the standard digital instruments and the optional, but reasonably priced, larger infotainment screen, which can be configured to taste. The MΓ©gane is also well equipped with plenty of luxury and safety kit, too, and automatic emergency braking is an affordable option; we’d absolutely recommend you add it.

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Also consider...

1st – Vauxhall Astra

For Low CO2 emissions; good to drive; decent performance; roomy interior front and back

Against Poor steering feel; no standard-fit alarm

Verdict A very solid performer, if not brilliant in any one area

Rated 4 out of 5

Read the full Vauxhall Astra review

2nd – Seat Leon

For Sharp handling; performance; driving position

Against Poor safety and infotainment kit; road noise

Verdict Fun to drive, practical and fairly cheap to run

Rated 4 out of 5

Read the full Seat Leon review

3rd – Renault MΓ©gane

For Well equipped; lots of safety kit; supple ride

Against So-so performance and interior; highest CO2

Verdict Costly to lease; cramped rear; so-so to drive

Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full Renault MΓ©gane review

Specifications: Renault MΓ©gane 1.5 dCi 110 Dynamique Nav

Engine size 1.5-litre diesel

List price Β£19,400

Target Price Β£17,463

Power 108bhp

Torque 192lb ft

0-62mph 11.0sec

Top speed 116mph

Fuel economy 47.2mpg (True MPG)

CO2 emissions 96g/km

Specifications: Seat Leon 1.6 TDI 110 Ecomotive SE 5dr

Engine size 1.6-litre diesel

List price Β£19,650

Target Price Β£16,758

Power 108bhp

Torque 184lb ft

0-62mph 10.3sec

Top speed 124mph

Fuel economy 56.0mpg (True MPG)

CO2 emissions 94g/km

Specifications: Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi 110 Ecoflex Tech Line

Engine size 1.5-litre diesel

List price Β£18,345

Target Price Β£16,758

Power 108bhp

Torque 221lb ft

0-62mph 10.5sec

Top speed 121mph

Fuel economy 56.3mpg (True MPG)

CO2 emissions 88g/km

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