Used Renault Megane RS 2018-2022 review

Category: Hot hatch

The Mégane RS offers so much driving enjoyment for such reasonable outlay. 

Renault Megane RS front tracking
  • Renault Megane RS front tracking
  • Renault Megane RS side
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 rear left static
  • Renault Megane RS rear tracking
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 front left static
  • Renault Megane RS
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 rear left static
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Renault Megane RS rear tracking
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 front left static
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Renault Megane RS rear seats
  • Renault Megane RS infotainment
  • Renault Megane RS front tracking
  • Renault Megane RS side
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 rear left static
  • Renault Megane RS rear tracking
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 front left static
  • Renault Megane RS
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 rear left static
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Renault Megane RS rear tracking
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 front left static
  • Renault Megane RS 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Renault Megane RS rear seats
  • Renault Megane RS infotainment
Used Renault Megane RS 2018-2022 review
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by
Oliver Young
Updated23 March 2023

What's the used Renault Megane R.S. hatchback like?

Visit any circuit, whether it be Goodwood in West Sussex or the Nürburgring in Germany, on a day where people are bombing around in their personal cars (for the sheer fun of it), and you're bound to see a Renault Mégane RS – or multiple examples, more likely.

That's because this hot hatch is very well respected among keen drivers. From previous iterations to the focus of this review, the latest one, the Mégane RS gives buyers a high level of performance and handling for relatively little money.

Overview

Some competitors may be faster, some may be easier to live with, but the Mégane RS offers so much driving enjoyment for such reasonable outlay. 

  • Great agility
  • Strong performance
  • Affordable relative to main rivals
  • Firm ride
  • Rear space and boot not the largest

Engines & Performance: The RS 280 gets 276bhp from its 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and that's enough for 0-62mph in an impressive 5.8sec. While that's on a par with the rival Ford Focus ST, you can best it by opting for the RS 300, because its 1.8-litre unit has 296bhp, allowing for 0-62mph in 5.7sec.

Sure, that difference is very marginal, but fans of fast cars love a good game of top trumps, plus the 300 does feel that little bit punchier – the uber track-focused Renault Mégane Trophy-R model further so, but that's down to a 130kg drop in weight, because power stays the same.

If you're keeping score, it's worth noting that the 2017-2022 Honda Civic Type R is more powerful than any Mégane RS, while the 2016-2018 Ford Focus RS (aided by four-wheel drive) is quicker.

Ride & Handling: Every Mégane RS has a firm ride, but especially the RS 280 Cup and RS 300 Trophy models – the pay off is that they're the sharpest handlers of the lot. The Civic Type R, despite looking more mad and aggressive, is actually more comfortable (when put in its most relaxed suspension setting).

The Mégane RS has sharp steering and a satisfying manual gearshift – a dual-clutch automatic gearbox is also available. The RS feels light and agile through the bends, remarkably so and that's down to the car's four-wheel steering. You almost feel as if the car is much smaller than it actually is. It's brilliant.

Interior & Practicality: Inside, there are sports seats, with even more figure-hugging Recaros being an option from new, as well as an adjustable steering wheel and a pretty good driving position. Quality is quite mixed, but there are plenty of sporting touches, and although the infotainment isn't the most modern or easiest to use, it can be bypassed via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring.

There’s a decent amount of space up front, and two adults will be fine in the back, although a third middle passenger wouldn't want to travel too far. Go for the Trophy-R version and those rear seats are removed altogether (to save weight), leaving room for you to store the optional-from-new spare set of carbonfibre wheels.

Trims & Equipment: Standard equipment is pretty generous and includes climate control, LED headlights, rear parking sensors and keyless entry. Alas, you’ll have to track down a car fitted with the optional Safety Pack Premium to get automatic emergency braking.

Interested in buying a used Renault Mégane RS? Visit our Used Cars For Sale pages to find lots of cars listed at great prices.

Renault Megane RS side

Ownership cost

What used Renault Megane R.S. hatchback will I get for my budget?

Prices for this generation of the Mégane RS start at around £18,000: expect a 2018 or 2019 RS 280 (with or without the Cup chassis) in good condition and with an average mileage, bought from a dealer.

The RS 300 starts at around £21,000, but if you want the stiffer, sharper Trophy variant, have a budget of around £23,000.

The Trophy-R is a rather rare beast. As of writing, there's just one for sale on our Used Cars For Sale pages, priced at £43,980.

Check the value of a used Mégane RS with What Car? Valuations

Renault Megane RS 2019 rear left static

How much does it cost to run a Renault Megane R.S. hatchback?

MPG: The official WLTP fuel consumption figure for the RS 280 is 35.8mpg and a near-identical 35.3mpg for the RS 300 Trophy. If you go for one with an automatic gearbox, these figures improve, but you're unlikely to see much of a difference in the real world.

Road tax: Owners of all models that cost less than £40,000 when new will have to pay the current standard flat-rate fee of road tax. This is currently £180 per year. However, the Trophy-R will have an additional tax levied on it because it breached this threshold. This will cost an additional £390 per year for years two to six of the car's life.

Insurance and servicing: Expect servicing and other maintenance costs to be higher than those of the regular Mégane. You can buy one of two Easylife service plans from Renault, provided you do so within a year of the registration date. The least expensive is a three-year/30,000-mile schedule for £449, or a four-year/40,000-mile plan for £699.

Insurance groups range from mid to late 30s (out of 50), which is reasonable for the hot hatch class.

Renault Megane RS 2019 RHD dashboard

Our recommendations

Which used Renault Megane R.S. hatchback should I buy?

The standard RS is great, and upgrading to a Cup model doesn't come with a big jump in price. If you want the Trophy, then go for it as it's excellent as well, but for now we'd save the money.

Our favourite Renault Mégane RS: 280 Cup

Renault Megane RS rear tracking

Alternatives

What alternatives should I consider to a used Renault Megane R.S. hatchback?

The 2017-2022 Honda Civic Type R is arguably the chief rival to the Mégane RS and it's sharp, engaging and exciting to drive. You’ll need around £25,000 for a good one, mind you.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is a favourite of many buyers. It isn't as thrilling as the Mégane RS, but it's easier to live with, mainly due to its more compliant ride. There are plenty to choose from, too, and it'll suit a vast range of budgets.

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Interested in buying a used Renault Mégane RS? Visit our Used Cars For Sale pages to find lots of cars listed at great prices.

Renault Megane RS 2019 front left static