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The power of fleets should never be underestimated.
The estate version of the new Renault Megane is only coming to the UK because fleets buy it in significant numbers and retail demand alone would not be strong enough to merit the costs of UK development.
In estate form, or Sport Tourer to use Renault speak, the Megane is a good-looking car, regaining some of the ground the five-door hatch lost in comparison to the three-door hatch/coupe version.
Normally, good looks mean a sacrifice in the practicality department. However, Renault's managed to give the Megane estate a 486-litre boot, which is near the head of the class. And there's a couple of concealed cubby holes beneath - one of which will take the roller-blind boot cover. The rear seats fold with one lever to increase space to 1562 litres, although they don't fold fully flat. If you need to carry long loads the front passenger seat can be folded to allow for a package up to 2.55m long.
Up front, the estate is exactly the same as the Megane hatch and the quality of both materials and build is first rate.
We drove the 2.0-litre 160dCi engine, which is the most powerful option. While it's great and comes in below 160g/km threshold for capital allowance, fleets are far more likely to opt for either the 2.0-litre 130dCi or the 1.5-litre 106dCi, with the latter qualifying for the minimum 13% diesel benefit-in-kind tax band.
The only trim level available on the launch was Dynamique, which isn't coming to UK, while the 160dCi is only available in top Privilege trim in the UK.
The only downside to the smooth and powerful 160dCi is that at 70mph in sixth gear the engine is turning over at 2500rpm, which can't help motorway economy, particularly when you consider that the eco gear change-up indicator comes on at 2000rpm in other gears.
Ride comfort has always been one of the brand's strengths and the Megane estate is no exception, but the car's engineers have also managed to provide an involving drive with flat cornering and a good level of steering feel.
This combination of talents for the Megane estate makes it one of the most attractive cars in the class.