Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The Megane sedan sits on a wheelbase stretched 61mm over the hatch = increased rear legroom and longer rear doors for easier access. Conservative design appeals to a wider demographic than the more avant-garde Megane hatch with its distinctive rear end.
Not so good The current shape has been on sale in Europe since 2002 and even the mid life facelift arrived here way back in July 2006 = an ageing design that will be replaced shortly with an all new design.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good Decent levels of refinement and build quality. The front seats are comfortable and the steering wheel adjusts for both rake and reach. Neat touches include the air chilled glovebox (climate control Air-conditioning is also standard) and a floor storage bin located under the front passenger seat. Rear seat legroom is excellent for a small family car and the already large 520 litre boot can be further expanded thanks to a 60/40 split folding rear bench seat.
Not so good The front seats lack sufficient side support, most noticeable when cornering. The aircraft-inspired handbrake looks cool - however it takes up more space than a typical design and offers no real advantages. The Megane’s interior doesn’t feel as premium compared to a number of competitors, i.e. Volkswagen Golf, Peugeot 308.
Performance

Performance

Good Two four cylinder engines on offer, a 2.0L petrol with 98kW of power and 191Nm of torque or a 1.9L turbo diesel with 96kW of power and 250Nm of torque. The petrol engine is smooth, offers adequate power and good amounts of torque; engine noise insulation is also impressive. The Diesel is impressively refined and noise levels are also kept to a minimum (for a diesel).
Not so good A Manual gearbox is no longer available in any Megane sedan and the four speed Automatic gearbox (tiptronic style) is only average and struggles to hold a gear up until the redline. The petrol engine lacks character and whilst the diesel feels a little grunty in isolation, it isn’t when compared against the competition. The amount torque on offer, considering the diesel is almost 2.0L in size, is now behind the 8-ball, matching closer to a modern 1.6 Diesel. Fuel economy figures are also behind the best today.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good Great ride and handling tradeoff. The ride itself is very impressive, staying comfortable over a variety of surfaces, thanks in part to a well balanced chassis. At the same time the handling could also be referred to as semi sporting. It’s an enjoyable car to drive.
Not so good The steering is less impressive. The weighting isn’t consistent, it feels overly light, lacks feel and can kick back over coarse road surfaces.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good Ticks the safety box with Anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stability Control and six airbags as standard. The Megane sedan now comes in only one trim, ‘Exception’, meaning good levels of standard features. The side and rear sunblinds are a nice touch.
Not so good The petrol grade prefers more expensive Premium Unleaded fuel. Nearing the end of its life cycle, with this model due to be replaced by the all new Renault Fluence sedan towards the end of 2010.