What's the used Renault Megane estate like?
It’s fair to say that successive generations of the Renault Mégane haven't had the impact in the UK that the French brand would have liked. Rivals such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf are household names that sell in huge numbers, while the Mégane has always been a bit-part player at best in the family car class.
This fourth-generation model hoped to redress the balance by offering a little more style, and nowhere is that more evident than in this handsome estate version, called the Sport Tourer. It offers a useful boost in luggage space and a touch more practicality over the Mégane hatchback, too.
Underneath its sharply styled body is a platform shared with a number of other cars from the current Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. There are four engines available: two petrol units, including the Renaultsport-tweaked turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, and two diesels, driven by either a six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
On the equipment front, there are six trims to choose from: Expression+, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav, Signature Nav, GT Line Nav and GT Nav.
The entry-level trim adorns the Mégane as standard with 16in alloy wheels, cruise control, front fog lights, hill start assist and automatic emergency braking as standard, while inside there is a DAB radio, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, air conditioning and electric windows.
Upgrade to Dynamique Nav and you get automatic lights and wipers, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, part-leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and an Arkamys stereo, alongside Renault's R-Link 2 infotainment system complete with a 7.0in touchscreen and TomTom sat-nav.
Dynamique S Nav adds a reversing camera, 17in alloy wheels and an 8.7in portrait touchscreen display to that already-burgeoning package.
Signature Nav models get 18in alloy wheels, leather upholstery and LED headlights, while the GT Line Nav Megané gets a sporty bodykit and sports seats.
The range-topping GT Nav model benefits from all the equipment found on the Signature Nav model, plus four-wheel steering, parking sensors and that Renaultsport tweaked engine.
All the engines push the Sport Tourer around with reasonable verve, especially so the 1.6 petrol engine and its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which turns the car into a bit of a flyer. The diesels have plenty of grunt, even if there is the occasional gruffness to them around town.
One pleasant surprise is the soft and forgiving ride, which makes the Sport Tourer a mostly comfortable car to be in, although it can be caught out by larger potholes and deep ruts. The steering is light and direct, and it corners safely with plenty of grip, even if it’s not as engaging to drive as some of its rivals. However, the sportier GT Nav, which comes with four-wheel steering, is a surprisingly agile thing on winding roads.
Inside, the Sport Tourer is modern and uncluttered, and most of the materials feel of a high quality. The driving position is good, the dashboard and surrounding areas are attractive to look at and the controls are logically arranged.
Space is good, both in the front and rear, but head room is a little limited by the sloping roof, and there are rivals that offer a little more rear leg room. The boot is large enough to take several suitcases, but it’s not as big as the one in the previous Sport Tourer or some rivals.