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Renault Megane Dynamique S Nav dCi 110 Test Drive Review
21 July 2016
Author: Debbie Wood
It's been a long time coming but the fourth-generation Renault Megane has finally arrived on UK shores. It's a key car for the French firm, with 6.6 million sold in Europe since it was first launched in 1996, 560,000 of which have found homes here in the UK.
Following in the footsteps of its stablemates, the Kadjar and Clio, the new Megane showcases the firms latest design language, featuring a wide front end and striking new lighting signature. At the rear, eye-catching 'Edge Light' technology also make a distinct impression.
There's a choice of four engines in the line-up, under the bonnet of our test car is a 1.5-litre diesel offering 110hp and 260Nm of torque. Smooth and refined, the engine is excellent when cruising on the motorway, although can feel underpowered when you want to accelerate quickly; the 0-62mph sprint officially takes 11.3 seconds.
As you may expect it's no hot hatch, you'll need the GT version for that, but the Megane is comfortable over long distances and composed in the corners. The light steering lacks any real feel, though, and there's a fair amount of wind noise intruding the cabin at higher speeds.
You've got a choice of five different driving modes including ECO, Sport and Comfort, which make small alterations to the steering and throttle set-up to suit. Mated to the engine is a well-matched six-speed manual, our preferred choice over the dual-clutch auto that costs an extra £1200.
You can specify the new Megane hatchback in six trims, here we're testing the car in mid-range Dynamique S and there's a whole host of equipment available for the £20,345 P11D price.
Among the highlights is sat-nav, 17-inch alloys, a reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, upgraded sound system, stylish ambient lighting, automatic lights and a portrait-style 8.7-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Our favourite option pack is the 'Parking Pack Premium' which includes an intelligent hands-free parking system, blind spot monitoring and 360 degree parking sensors. It costs only £500 extra and well worth the investment.
Interior quality is a mixed bag, with a few cheaper plastics littered around the cabin, and the audio controls housed behind the steering wheel are fiddly, the shift paddles for the auto gearbox (if selected) feel flimsy too, and like its stablemates, the odd location of the cruise control functions will leave you scratching your head. The lane departure warning system, although good in execution, makes an interesting noise when it alerts you if you've strayed out of lane too, sounding like the driver has a bad bout of flatulence. Although amusing the first few times, it quickly started to irritate.
Longer and lower than the car it replaces, space upfront is plentiful, although legroom is still restricted in the rear. Boot space trumps many of its main rivals at 434 litres with plenty of room for the weekly shop or family holiday; fold down the rear seats and boot space expands to 1247 litres.
Low running costs
This version of the Megane offers an official combined fuel economy of 74.3mpg and the lowest CO2 emissions of the range at 96g/km, slotting the hatchback into a 19% BIK tax band for the current 2016/17 tax year.
According to the French firm, residual values have seen an 8.8% uplift over the previous generation, however the Megane still lags behind its main rivals with a 29.6% RV verses the like-for-like Focus at 31.0%, the Honda Civic at 32.0% and Vauxhall's new Astra which achieves 32.7%.
Whole life costs of 46.8p better the Focus at 47.6p and are only slightly higher than the Honda Civics' 45.7p; none can match the Astra, though, at 39.4p due to the Vauxhall being so much cheaper.
Model price range: £16,600-25,500
Residual value: £6025 (29.61%)
Service, maintenance and repair: £1976
Vehicle Excise Duty: £0
National insurance: £1769
Cost per mile: 46.81p
Fuel consumption: 76.4mpg
CO2 (BIK band): 96g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £64/£129
Boot space: 434 litres
Engine size/power: 1461cc/110hp
The Megane's stylish looks will win many fans and the smooth diesel engine tested here is a real highlight; it's just a shame the hatchback doesn't drive as well as its rivals and interior quality lets the cabin down