What Car? says...
Renault must have a fair idea what Francis Ford Coppola felt like when making The Godfather Part II. Or the pressure Radiohead were under while writing the follow-up to OK Computer.
Yes, the predecessor to this Renault Megane RS was undoubtedly one of the greatest hot hatches ever. So, the job of designing and building its successor must have been daunting in the extreme.
It’s not just the past that the latest car has to live up to, either; there are a host of extremely talented rivals that buyers can choose from. For a start there’s our 2021 Hot Hatch of the Year, the tiny tearaway that is the Toyota GR Yaris, and the car that took the title last year, the scalpel-like Honda Civic Type R. Of course, you can’t mention hot hatches without the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and the Hyundai i30N is fantastic fun, too.
To help it do just that Renault has used everything in its arsenal, including four-wheel steering to improve agility and the sort of sophisticated suspension tech you’d usually expect on a rally car. Meanwhile, under the bonnet lives a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine that’s shared with the Alpine A110 sports car.
If you prefer your hot hatches fast and fun yet still easy to live with, the regular Megane RS is aimed squarely at you. But if you think a great hot hatch should be about maximum thrills whatever the consequences, we’d point you towards the more focused Trophy version. This gains stiffer suspension and, crucially, a limited slip differential.
In this review, we’ll tell you about all three versions, how they compare with their rivals and what you should consider before buying. And if your interest is piqued, our New Car Buying service takes all the effort out of car shopping, and could save you a fortune.
At a glance
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