RENAULT'S FRENCH FANCY (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The Renault Megane has been competing against cars such as the Vauxhall Astra and other similar sized hatchbacks since 1995. Now in its fourth generation, it faces stiff competition from hatchbacks and crossovers alike. Jonathan Crouch drives one.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 75
Renault's fourth generation Megane family hatchback is now a smarter proposition - in more ways than one. If you're shopping for something Focus or Astra-shaped in this segment, it'll probably no longer be one of the first cars you'll immediately think of, but this MK4 model is clever, sensible and very good looking, with the bold exterior styling matched by the cleverness of the fresh platform that lies beneath. In short, it might surprise you.
Backgroundword count: 154
Ordinary family cars can no longer be ordinary. People want polish these days, a smarter feel and hi-tech features that make them feel pampered and premium. Which means that in the Focus-sized family hatchback segment, they may well find themselves looking at cars like this one, Renault's latest fourth generation Megane. This more sophisticated design these days has a more mature look to match seriously grown up technologies under the skin. Luxury car touches such as a massaging drivers' seat and full colour head up display merge with sub-100g/km CO2 emissions to make for a very interesting package. With the French maker's position as one of Europe's biggest car makers severely under threat and a slimmed-down range of conventional models forced upon dealers by this brand's commitment to electric power, it's hard to over-state the importance of this car if you happen to run a showroom with the yellow-backed silver diamond above the door.
Driving Experienceword count: 209
As with the vast majority of cars such as this, a big part of the driving experience will depend on the engine you've plumped for. The mainstream Megane range is based around just two engines, a 1.3-litre Tce 140 petrol unit and a 1.5-litre Blue dCi 115 diesel. Both come with the option of dual clutch EDC auto transmission. At the top of the range, the flagship Megane R.S. hot hatch uses a 280hp 1.8-litre petrol turbo unit. On the road, all versions of this Megane are precise and responsive while still being supple and comfortable thanks to extensive work on the suspension dampers, bump stops and bushes as well as the steering. Refinement is also significantly better than wth previous models, thanks to a stiffer body shell, thicker window glass, improved door seals and greater use of foam and felt in areas where road, wind or powertrain noise could be transmitted into the cabin. A more individual driving experience is offered by Multi-Sense technology, which allows drivers to personalise the accelerator pedal and engine response, engine sound, steering weight and interior lighting ambience through a choice of five colours, plus - where fitted - the speed of the gear changes through the Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) auto gearbox.
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Category: Compact Family Cars
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