Jul 28 2009 Peter Hayward
Renault find pleasing shape for Megane
THERE is nothing like a 140 mile trip covering all types of road to show up the best and the worst of a new car.
It's marvellous that Renault have found a pleasing shape for the latest Megane but there is one drawback I had not expected.
While the high speed ride is good, in town comfort is sadly lacking. This was partly due to the wide alloy wheels and very low profile tyres, but the suspension itself is partly to blame.
It's set up to give superb handling and road holding, safe and quick through every corner.
But the downside of that is the poor low speed ride and it really is not good enough.
I drove the 1.5 dCi turbo diesel which is one of the smoothest and quietest oil burners on the market. It's also reasonably powerful and fairly economical but even here, I would have expected better.
In my hands it only managed 40 miles per gallon over that 140 mile trip and that's nowhere near the best.
It has a big boot and a 60/40 split fold rear seat. There is good support in the front seats and it comes very well equipped.
It has digital main instruments, keyless entry and starting, a light clutch and slick change six speed gearbox.
All four windows are electric and it also comes with automatic folding electric mirrors.
Renault Megane 1.5 dCi 106 Privilege
Mechanical: 106bhp, 1,461cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 118mph
0-62mph: 10.6 seconds
Combined mpg: 62
Insurance group: 6
CO2 emissions: 120g/km
BIK rating: 18%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 100,000 miles
Main rival: Ford Focus