What's the used Renault Megane hatchback like?
The Renault Megane has been around since 1995 when it replaced the Renault 19, and went on to spawn several different body styles, including the taller Scenic, longer estate, sportier coupe and, er, breezier cabriolet. In this review we’ll be talking about the five-door hatchback version of the third-generation Megane, which arrived in the UK in 2008 with a range of petrol and diesel engines.
As with previous Meganes, this version obtained a full five-star rating in Euro NCAP’s industry standard crash tests at launch, although this was subsequently reduced to four stars when retested in 2014 under tougher conditions.
Renault also took the unusual step of prioritising a big boot over space for rear-seat passengers, so there’s appreciably more room for luggage or baby buggies than you get in a Ford Focus or a Volkswagen Golf of the same vintage. However, if you want to carry a tall rear passenger or perhaps a rear-facing child seat on an Isofix base in the back seats you wouldn’t want the person in the front to be too much taller than 5ft, and even then, head room is a little tight.
Interior quality is a mixed bag, with the main dashboard feeling quite plush while some of the other panels and control are a little flimsy. Renault’s music system is also fiddly to use, and programming the optional TomTom sourced sat-nav can be tricky because its controls are located by the handbrake.
As for the driving experience the Megane does a solid enough job of being composed and comfortable without ever threatening to offer much in the way of fun. The range of petrol engines earlier in the Megane’s life included a 1.6-litre with 99bhp or 108bhp, a 1.4-litre turbo with 128bhp, or a 2.0-litre turbo with 178bhp. A smooth and punchy 115bhp 1.2-litre TCe turbo was added to the range in 2012.
On the diesel front buyers of early cars can choose between 1.5- and 1.9-litre engines with power outputs ranging from 84bhp to 128bhp. These were later joined by a 1.5-litre dCi with 108bhp or the 1.6-litre dCi with 128bhp.
In 2014, the Megane received a more modern grille design in line with Renault’s other cars. Shortly after this GT models were re-launched with more powerful 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines, uprated suspension and sportier looks, but even in this guise the Megane is no hot hatch to drive.