Our Fleet Test Drive: Renault Megane Sport Tourer - Final Report
01 June 2010
Author: Guy Bird
|P11D price:|| £19,350 (est.)|
|Key rival:|| Ford Focus Estate|
Moving from large to small family estate was the long-term exercise we've just completed, undertaken to see if a more compact car could really cut it for business.
The good news for Renault is that on this basic brief the Megane Sport Tourer succeeded perfectly. Due to a wheelbase extended by 62mm compared to the Megane hatch, interior room was very good and the 486-1562-litre boot space is large and flexible, particularly the flip-up load floor divider with elastic restraint .
The smaller vehicle also felt at home with Renault's 106hp 1.5 dCi diesel engine, the solid unit proving quiet and able, even when fully laden on motorway missions. The only disappointment was its occasionally sluggish nature before fully warm and this driver's inability to get close to its official economy figures. Although the car's computer did record a few mpg figures in the early 50s on specific rural journeys, the best full-tank mpg we managed was 44.3. The worst was 36mpg - not so hot compared to a 51.4mpg official urban and 62.8mpg combined. However, the 41.7mpg real-world average with its heavy city bias is still, we suspect, way better than equivalent petrol engines in similar-sized cars and most other diesels too. An official 120g/km CO2 rating ensuring a low 13% BIK tax band is good news either way.
Other pluses included a high-spec interior that looked and felt good quality, with cold-touch metal switchgear, a clean uncluttered dashboard  and driver dials, plus a really easy-to-use built-in TomTom satnav that gives this model its name . Apart from being quick to direct you via full postcode input, clear screen menus and mapping, its accented voice and icon options added great fun to the function.
Vehicular downsides included a clunky locking system that disallowed hands-free and remote plipper unlocking at certain times and an obvious left-hand bias to the design - with both the starter button and bonnet release placed less intuitively for a right-hand drive set-up.
But these are minor niggles. In conclusion, this cleverly packaged car is more than capable of doing the job of a bigger estate. My only real note in the Renault suggestions box would be to make the exterior more desirable to potential owners when compared to more stylish mini-MPVs of similar cost and proportions.
|Renault Megane Sport Tourer |
1.5dCi TomTom 5dr 6spd manual
|Claimed combined |
|Our average consumption||41.7mpg|
|Model price range||£14,935-£22,285|
|CO2 (tax) ||120g/km/13%|
|BIK 20/40% per month||£43/£87|
|Service interval||up to 18,000mls/2yrs|
|Boot space (min/max)||486/1567 litres|
|Why we’re running it||To see if downsizing |
estates can really work
|Positive||Satnav, interior detail, |
|Negative||Odd locking, left-hand |
drive bias, engine
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