Used Renault Megane Cabriolet 1996 - 2003 review

Category: Convertible

The Renault Megane Cabriolet is a cost-effective way into convertible ownership

Renault Megane Cabriolet (96 - 03)
  • Renault Megane Cabriolet (96 - 03)
  • Renault Megane Cabriolet (96 - 03)
Used Renault Megane Cabriolet 1996 - 2003 review
Star rating

What's the used Renault Megane sports like?

Based on the Megane Coupe, the Renault Megane Cabriolet lost its top and gained some weight. In truth, however, this is a car that's designed to look good rather than deliver sheer driving thrills.

The range was revised in 2000 and, before then, the ride was supple, but a little vague, with too much bounce. After the changes, the Megane had better body control, but at the expense of an overly firm ride, which passengers can find uncomfortable. Wind and road noise are both obvious, too, and you can expect some buffeting at speed when the roof's down.


The Renault Megane Cabriolet is a cost-effective way into convertible ownership

  • It's stylish and cheap - enjoy the sun on a budget
  • Not that great to drive, no room in the back

In most other respects, though, it's not too bad, and passengers in the front should find it easy to get comfortable. The design of the dashboard and the quality of materials might not appeal to all, but the revisions introduced better quality materials.

Perhaps surprisingly, even practicality is quite decent. The Megane Cabriolet can take only two in the rear, but boot space is adequate for this kind of car.

Ownership cost

What used Renault Megane sports will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Renault Megane sports?

Meganes were big sellers and, although the Cabriolet wasn't as popular as the hatchback and saloon models, there are plenty out there to choose from.

Most are generally good value for money, and if you've got a reliable one it won't cost a fortune to run. But, again, it makes more sense to go for a post-2000 model, as the service intervals changed from 12,000 miles to 18,000, so your running costs will fall accordingly.

Likewise, fuel economy shouldn't put you off. The 1.6 delivers a solid 40mpg, while the 2.0-litre's figure falls to 37mpg, reasonable considering the performance on offer.

Our recommendations

Which used Renault Megane sports should I buy?

If you're more concerned about comfortable cruising than outright performance, the 1.6-litre is the way to go. However, the Cabriolet is heavier than the Coupe (because of the extra stiffening Renault added to compensate for the loss of the roof), and the 2.0-litre does a far better job of shifting it.

When the range was revised in 2000, a series of new engines was introduced. These had more power, yet drank less fuel, making them the better second-hand option

There is an automatic option with both engine sizes, but it's jerky, unsatisfying to drive and prone to failure, so avoid it.

Generally, the Cabriolet comes well equipped, but the high-spec models are the most desirable. Again, the post-2000 models have a higher level of trim, and are worth seeking out.

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What alternatives should I consider to a used Renault Megane sports?