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 VW 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.
An overhaul in 2020 left only one engine on offer, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) that combines a non-turbo petrol engine with two electric motors and a battery pack. The result is a decent electric-only range, low CO2 emissions and impressive fuel economy.
It also means that the Megane ST can go on the same shopping list as other PHEV estates, such as the Kia Ceed Sportswagon, Peugeot 508 SW and Skoda Superb Estate while also competing against conventionally powered versions of those cars. You might also consider the hybrid Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, along with the Ford Focus Estate and Skoda Octavia Estate.
Renault altered the trims to just two trim levels: well-equipped Iconic, and sportier and even more kit-laden RS Line.
What used Renault Megane estate will I get for my budget?
Around £12,000 is the starting point for this generation of Mégane Sport Tourer. This will get you a late 2016 model with an average mileage for the year and a full history, from a trader or an independent dealer. Step up to between £13,000 and £15,000 and you’ll find 2017 and 2018 models satisfying the same criteria, while £15,000 to £17,000 gets you 2019 and 2020 cars; while around £18,000 to £20,000 gets you into the territory of nearly new cars from franchised dealers.
How much does it cost to run a Renault Megane estate?
The 1.5 dCi 110 diesel is the most economical engine in the range, with a claimed average fuel consumption of 76.4mpg in some trims, corresponding to a CO2 emissions figure of just 96g/km. The best-performing petrol in this respect is the 1.2 TCe 130, which claims an average of 52.3mpg.
Annual car tax will be low for all cars registered before the tax changes of April 2017, but those registered after that date will pay the flat rate charge – currently £155 per year.
Insurance groupings are good for all versions of the Sport Tourer, ranging from group 14 up to 27 for the sporty petrol-engined model.
Renault’s standard warranty is three years and 60,000 miles. When the time comes for servicing, costs should be reasonable. Minor services (which should be carried out every 12 months or 10,000 miles ) cost from £140 for petrols and £190 for diesels.
Which used Renault Megane estate should I buy?
The 1.6 dCi diesel 130 has plenty of low-down oomph and good on-paper economy, so we’d seek that out over the others.
We’d also look for Dynamique Nav trim. This has swish night-time ambient interior lighting, power-folding door mirrors and dual-zone climate control. You also get keyless entry, a configurable 7.0in digital instrument display and a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system equipped with sat-nav.
Our favourite Renault Mégane Sport Tourer: 1.6 dCi 130 Dynamique Nav
What alternatives should I consider to a used Renault Megane estate?
The Ford Focus Estate is a sweet-handling car with a good-sized boot. It’s not quite the tour de force it once was in the handling department, but it’s still a car that will appeal to drivers, as well as families out for a spacious and practical loadlugger.
The VW Golf Estate is a more capacious and practical version of this class-leading hatchback. It has a large boot, a supple ride and a well-built interior. It’s great to drive, too, with all the good qualities of the regular Golf hatchback.