Feature

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 ByWhat Car? team

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Renault Megane rear

What are they like inside?

All three of these cars have plenty of space up front, but comfort is more crucial because all are popular with business drivers for pounding up and down motorways. None of our trio is uncomfortable, but the Leon and the Astra sit you in the most natural position, while the MΓ©gane’s shallow footwell lays you out flatter than is ideal.

While each car has steering wheel height and reach adjustment, the Leon’s moves the most and its front seats are the most shapely and supportive. The Leon and MΓ©gane both have driver’s seat lumbar adjustment as standard, whereas this costs Β£250 on the Astra.

Each car uses a mix of soft-touch plastics on prominent interior surfaces, with harder, less appealing finishes lower down. The Leon’s interior feels the most sturdily built, but it’s the least interesting to look at, while the MΓ©gane’s has more neat design touches, such as digital instruments and all-round ambient lighting, which bathes the interior in a funky glow at night. There’s some chrome trim in the Astra to brighten things up, and it mostly looks smart; some of the switches feel a bit low rent, though.

Rear seat passengers will be most content in the Astra, with plenty of head and leg room. Things are also fine in the back of the Leon; head room is even more generous, although leg room is tighter. Grumbles of discontent will be heard from the rear of the MΓ©gane, though. Head room is okay, but leg room is poor and there’s not much room for your feet under the front seats. Carrying three adults in the back of all three cars is a squeeze.

There’s not much to split them for boot space or versatility. All have usefully squared-off luggage areas at least a metre wide. None has a height-adjustable boot floor, though, and all have sizeable steps in their extended load bays when you fold down the rear seats. All have high load lips, although the MΓ©gane’s is the highest.

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