Megane 220 GT impresses

It seems every time you turn around, Renault are refreshing their Megane range of cars, and they have just recently done it again for 2014.

I have no problem with this in principle, as it keeps things fresh and updated – but it must be hell on the car’s resale values with models changing so often.

Anyway, the range now is only built around three cars: the top-of-the-range Megane GT Turbo that produces 162kW, the mid-range GT-Line Turbo with 97kW and the base level Dynamique with 81kW.

For this test we got to sample the VW GTI challenging GT Turbo. No easy task.

Megane 2

On the surface the Megane has the goods in the form of six airbags, ABS coupled with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA); cruise control plus speed limiter and Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with electronic antislip regulation (ASR) and three-point Isofix seat anchorage on side rear seats all as standard.

Also standard across the range are technologies like dual-zone climate control, fingertip controls behind the steering wheel, integrated navigation system including Live services, Bluetooth connectivity, USB port, auto locking/unlocking system and rear park assist to complete a package that is exceptional at the suggested retail price of R329 900.

The chassis is derived from the performance-plus Megane Renault Sport (RS) but with specific suspension settings and specifically calibrated power steering.

The brakes have been adapted to the GT Turbo’s performance levels along with high-performance tyres.

Which means this Megane can still hustle between A and B but does so in a manner slightly less frenetic than we are used to on the RS models. I reckon the Megane would give the GTI a good go through the twisties.

Megane 3

The Megane runs a 2.0-litre turbocharged powerplant that produces a decent 162kW of power between 4 750rpm and 6 500rpm and 340Nm of torque between 2 400rpm and 3 500rpm. Numbers that are once again on par with the haloed GTI.

The top end came in almost spot on at the claimed 240km/h with 239.74km/h recorded but –the big surprise – the 0-100km/h claim of 7.6 seconds was smashed by a full second when I recorded a 6.64 second run.

This is only 0.3 seconds off the class-leading GTI DSG and quicker than the manual version by more than 0.5 seconds, so this Megane won’t be easily bullied in a straight line either.

The Megane GT comes with Renault’s industry-leading five-year/150 000km warranty and a standard five-year/90 000km service plan.

Where it falls short is that it is starting to show its age on the inside and here the all-new GTI just feels so much better.

I still don’t see a diehard GTI- type fan rushing off to buy the new Megane, but a person who wants to save close on R100 000 over the GTI (same spec level as the Megane) has a decent car to consider at the right price now.



today in print

today in print