Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Renault Megane facelift: Test Drive Review
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Renault Megane facelift: Test Drive Review

Date: 05 April 2012   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £20,745
Key rival: Ford Focus

Beneath the Megane's mildly revised exterior are some of the cleanest engines in the lower medium sector.

Renault has made its two lowest-emitting diesels and an ultra efficient, low-capacity petrol available with its long-standing hatchback.

The 1.6-litre dCi 130 (from the Scenic and Nissan Qashqai) offers 104g/km and 70.6mpg, while a 1.5-litre dCi 110 offers an astonishingly low 90g/km and 80.7mpg. The new petrol is a 115hp 1.2-litre TCe unit with 119g/km and 53.3mpg. All of the new engines come with stop/start.

We weren't able to try the cleanest 1.5-litre diesel, but the 1.6-litre dCi 130 proved exceptionally refined with sufficient power even for the larger Sport Tourer. The 1.2-litre TCe petrol was equally quiet, save for a faint whine from the turbocharger, and performed strongly in the hatchback considering its modest size and power. It struggled on anything more than a slight gradient, but still makes a solid case for lower-mileage drivers.

Styling differences are few and far between but what little changes have been made consist of LED daytime running lights, new bumpers that vary in their appearance depending on the trim level, and additional alloy wheel designs. Renault has also turned its hand to the interior, which features a series of new seat trims and various mild upgrades to the dash materials such as gloss-black plastics.

The firm is hoping that trim upgrades will make the car more appealing to fleets, as the entry-level Expression+ model comes with the likes of Bluetooth, USB connectivity, and 16-inch alloys, although P11D values have risen in line with this. Kit available further up the range includes a rear-view camera and a lane-departure warning system, which proved overactive during our test.

Both the styling and mechanical changes are relevant to the whole Megane range (hatchback, coupe and Sport Tourer) with the exception of the Coupe Cabriolet, which retains its current appearance and engines.

Fleet buyers will make up 80% of Sport Tourer sales, although it only accounts for 8% of the total sales mix, and while there is no change in its interior dimensions over the outgoing model, rear passenger space is still generous considering the Megane's medium proportions.

Neither is the hatchback short of space, although it does offer a prosaic driving experience and a lack of badge appeal next to the Ford Focus and VW Golf. The former of those complaints is addressed by the Renaultsport model (also subject to styling and trim changes), which, though no winner on costs, is simply fantastic to drive.

Renault Megane1.6 dCi 130 Dynamique TomTom
P11D price£20,745
Model price range£16,275-£26,025
Residual value25.4%
National Insurance£1202
Cost per mile50.0p
Fuel consumption70.6mpg
CO2 (tax) 104g/km (14%)
BIK 20/40% per month£45.0/£89.9
Service interval18,000 miles
Insurance (1-50)group 19 (est)
Boot space372/1129 litres
Engine size/power1598cc/130hp
Top speed/0-62mph124mph/9.8secs
On sale April 2012
Verdict:Excellent running costs
and refinement but lacks
desirability and P11D value