Renault will turn back the clock when it rolls out a new affordable sporting coupé model in January – and it will be hoping the latest version will repeat the original’s success.
Ten years ago, the Megane coupé put a fresh slant on family motoring. Now Renault is hoping to broaden the appeal of its C-segment contender by returning to the formula and adding better performance, more comfort and greater versatility.
The new model – available in 10 versions across three trim levels – has striking looks to complement its more overtly sporting nature. But it still offers rear seat accommodation for three and has the biggest boot capacity in its class at more than 340 litres.
Renault has addressed quality problems by upping the manufacturing costs by f400 per vehicle.
The improvements show in better fit and finish, higher-grade trim materials and neater detailing. Renault’s internal quality assessments rate the Megane above the Laguna.
Riding on lowered suspension, our two-litre TCe 180 coupé provided a blend of ride comfort with more secure cornering.
Apart from some exhaust boom around 4,000 revs, overall noise levels were low and relaxed open-road cruising in a high sixth ratio give the car GT credentials.
The entry-level model comes with alloy wheels and brake assist, fog lights, height and reach steering adjustment, height-adjust driver’s seat and keyless entry.
In mid-range Dyn-amique form, the car has upgraded audio equipment, keyless entry, height- adjustable passenger seat, leather steering wheel, speed limiter and extra tinted rear side windows, while Privilege trim adds dual-zone climate control, power-fold door mirrors, a rear armrest and rear parking sensors.
With its upmarket packaging and general air of refinement, the Megane is setting Renault on the way to becoming Europe’s third best quality auto manufacturer.